Mac clone maker Psystar files for bankruptcy protection

Maker of the Open Computer running Mac OS X filed Chapter 11 in Florida last week. Apple's copyright infringement suit against the company will be temporarily suspended.

This post was updated at 10:45 a.m. PDT with information from court filings.

Psystar, maker of the the Open Computer, has filed for bankruptcy protection.

The papers were filed in a Florida federal court Thursday. Psystar is more than $250,000 in debt, according to the bankruptcy petition, owed mostly to shipping companies, the IRS, and the law firm Carr & Farrell.

In the filing, Psystar pins its financial mess on the poor economy.

"Debtor sales have been greatly affected by the decrease in consumer spending. The financial crisis has also caused creditors to tighten up their terms and become more demanding for immediate payment," the company said in a court document.

Psystar also blames its partner vendors' own financial problems, which resulted in Psystar having to pay higher prices on parts. At that point, Psystar was unable "to turn a significant profit in each sale."

The Chapter 11 filing will temporarily suspend Apple's copyright infringement suit against Psystar, which is currently before the U.S. District Court of Northern California. But once the bankruptcy protection is sorted out, the copyright case will resume. Apple had no comment on Psystar's bankruptcy filing.

A major question surrounding Psystar and its young CEO, Rudy Pedraza, has been who has provided financial backing to the Miami-based company, which should come to light once all of Psystar's creditors are named.

Psystar began selling desktops and, later, laptop computers running Mac OS X in April of last year. In July, Apple sued it for copyright infringement.

About the author

Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur.

 

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