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Apple sues clone maker Psystar

The suit was filed July 3 in federal court. The real question, what took Apple's lawyers this long to take action.

Updated at 9 a.m. PDT with comment from Apple, at 9:45 a.m. with more background on Psystar, and at 11 a.m. with details from the suit.

Apple has sued Psystar, the company that for months has been selling the Open Computer, a Mac clone.

Psystar's Open Computer, as seen shortly after its unboxing at CNET. CNET News

The suit was filed July 3 in U.S. District Court in Northern California. Although the action is listed in the federal court's electronic filing system, the complaint itself is not available.

Thanks to some shoe leather on the part of our ZDNet colleagues, we have a copy of the suit, which alleges copyright infringement, induced copyright infringement, breach of contract and trademark infringement, among other things. It seeks an injunction, damages, Psystar's profits and a recall of the Open Computers already sold as well as other remedies.

Of course, if anything, the surprising thing is not that Apple is suing Psystar, but what took them this long?

Psystar has been selling a desktop computer running Apple's Mac OS since April.

The company, a small Florida operation that also handles IT consulting for small and mid-size businesses, has had an interesting rise to fame. The company announced its plans to sell the Open Computer in April, only to encounter hiccups regarding payment, leading to speculation of whether it was even for real. Poll

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However, in a few days time they did get things up and running, despite the possible violation of the legal terms that accompany Apple's operating system, which stipulate that it is only licensed for use on Apple-branded hardware. The company has since been shipping the $399 device and has also set up its own mechanism to offer OS updates, once they have been confirmed not to brick the Open Computer.

The suit was noted earlier Tuesday by ZDNet blogger Adrian Kingsley-Hughes and legal blogger Jorge Espinoza.

An Apple representative confirmed the company had taken action against Psystar, adding, "We take it very seriously when we believe people have stolen our intellectual property."

It's not clear what grounds Psystar might use in its defense. A Psystar employee said no one was available to comment on the suit.