Psystar antitrust claim against Apple dismissed

Mac clone maker Psystar's best hope of emerging as a winner in its legal dispute with Apple is dealt a severe blow by a federal judge.

Tom Krazit Former Staff writer, CNET News
Tom Krazit writes about the ever-expanding world of Google, as the most prominent company on the Internet defends its search juggernaut while expanding into nearly anything it thinks possible. He has previously written about Apple, the traditional PC industry, and chip companies. E-mail Tom.
Tom Krazit
2 min read
Psystar's Open Computer might be an endangered species after its antitrust claim against Apple was dismissed Tuesday. Psystar

A federal judge has tossed out Psystar's antitrust lawsuit against Apple, one of its most important avenues to remaining in business.

Judge William Alsup of the U.S. Federal Court for the Northern District of California rejected Psystar's argument that Apple uses anticompetitive practices to prevent companies from selling computers that run Mac OS X, according to court documents spotted by AppleInsider. Psystar can amend its complaint in order to try to convince the judge that it has a better argument, but it has only 20 days to decide whether or not it can overcome the judge's decision.

Psystar has been selling Mac OS-based computers since April, but is under attack in the court system from Apple, which filed a suit against the company in July. Psystar in turn filed its own antitrust complaint against Apple, which some legal observers thought was the company's best chance of winning the dispute and staying in business.

But Alsup was not convinced. He rejected Psystar's argument that the relevant market in this case consisted of a single product: Mac OS. "The pleadings...fail to allege facts plausibly supporting the counterintuitive claim that Apple's operating system is so unique that it suffers no actual or potential competitors," he wrote in his opinion (click here for a PDF copy).

If Psystar fails to come up with a better argument, its counterclaim will be formally dismissed and it will have to get ready to defend itself against Apple's claims that it is infringing on Apple's copyright material and trademarks.