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Psystar said to have deal with Apple

Details are sketchy and there's no confirmation from Apple, but Psystar claims in a filing that a partial settlement has been reached in the copyright infringement case, according to reports.

Although a judge recently ruled in favor of Apple in its copyright infringement case against Psystar, the two companies have reached a new settlement, according to Computerworld and other reports.

Details are sketchy at this point, and there's no confirmation from Apple, but Psystar claimed in a motion filed Monday that a partial settlement has been reached.

"Psystar has agreed on certain amounts to be awarded as statutory damages on Apple's copyright claims in exchange for Apple's agreement not to execute on these awards until all appeals in this matter have been concluded," noted Psystar's motion filed in federal court in San Francisco. "Moreover, Apple has agreed to voluntarily dismiss all its trademark, trade-dress, and state-law claims. This partial settlement eliminates the need for a trial and reduces the issues before this Court to the scope of any permanent injunction on Apple's copyright claims."

Psystar also seems to be looking for a loophole against any injunctions. Apple had asked the court to prevent Psystar from selling clones not just with Leopard, but also Snow Leopard, which was released after the lawsuit began. But in its filing, Psystar argued that it should be allowed to sell its Rebel EFI utility, which lets customers install Snow Leopard on clones sold by the company, thus moving the legal burden away from Psystar.

Psystar's motion also indicated that another motion with further details would be filed Tuesday with Judge William Alsup.

Apple's lawsuit against Psystar began in July 2008 after Psystar started selling Mac clones with OS X installed on them. Apple has argued that its end user license lets people install its operating system on Apple computers only.

On November 13, Alsup ruled in favor of Apple, finding that Psystar's use of OS X on its clones was not "fair use" as the company contended and further finding that Psystar violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) by "circumventing Apple's protection barrier."

Since then, Apple has been keen to shut down Psystar's Mac clone business permanently, calling for an injunction against the company and potentially millions of dollars in damages, substantially more money than the clone maker has.

Alsup's findings and Apple's fervor in going after Psystar raise the question of why Apple would agree to any kind of settlement at this point. A hearing was set for December 14, with a full trial scheduled to start in January. But if the latest news from Psystar is true, then the company may be able to avoid further courtroom drama.

Neither Psystar nor Apple has responded to requests for comment. We'll provide further details of this latest development as court documents become available.