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Apple sues Mac clone maker Psystar for tradmark, copyright infringement

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Apple has filed suit against Florida-based Psystar for selling computers preinstalled with Mac OS X Leopard and Mac OS X Server. Apple filed the 16-page suit in U.S. District Court in San Francisco on July 3, alleging copyright and trademark infringements, and other wrongs to Apple. Florida-based Psystar began selling a $400 tower in April, and added a rack-mounted server in June.

Apple asked the court to grant an injunction against Psystar to stop it from selling its Open Computer desktop and servers. Apple also asked the court to require Psystar to recall all products sold to the public, and asked for damages and court costs.

"Apple will suffer and is suffering irreparable harm from Psystar's infringement of the Apple trademarks insofar as Apple's invaluable good will is being eroded by Defendant's continuing infringement."

The Mac OS X end-user license agreement stipulates that the owner won't run the software on non-Apple hardware. The suit alleges that by selling its computers pre-loaded with Leopard, Psystar is in breach of contract by violating the end-user license agreement. It also claims that Psystar induced its customers to breach a contract (the license agreement) by running Mac OS X on non-Apple hardware. The amounts of most of the damage claims were unspecified, though in the suit's breach-of-contract section, the suit asks for damages in excess of $75,000.

The suit also charged Psystar with unfair business practices under California law. It said, "Apple has suffered and will continue to suffer lost sales and profits."

Apple objected to Psystar's practice of offering Leopard updates for its Open Computers.

"Psystar's actions have been committed with the intent to damage Apple and to confuse and deceive the public," the suit alleged.

In April, Psystar said, "We call it the Open Computer to reflect the opening of what has previously been a hardware monopoly."

In May, CNET posted a review of the Psystar's Open Computer, giving it a rating of 6.9 out of 10. CNET called it a "faster, more affordable, more upgradable Leopard OS X-based system than anything currently offered by Apple in this price range." CNET rated the equivalently priced Mac Mini at 6.7 out of 10.

ZDnet has posted a copy of Apple's suit at its web site. Comment below

Mac clonemaker to countersue Apple for anti-trust violations

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Psystar, the Florida company that Apple is suing for copyright infringement and breach-of-contract, will counter sue Apple for violating antitrust laws. In April, Psystar begain shipping a $400 PC bundled preinstalled with Mac OS X Leopard, in violation of Apple's end-user license agreement. The licensing agreement only permits running Mac OS X on Apple hardware. When Psystar began shipping it's Open Computer, it claimed that Apple's license agreement was in violation of antitrust laws.

In its July suit against Psystar, Apple claims "irreparable harm from Psystar's infringement of the Apple trademarks." Apple asked the court to grant an injunction against Psystar to stop it from selling its Open Computer desktop and servers. Apple also asked the court to require Psystar to recall all products sold to the public, and asked for damages and court costs. Psystar's response to the lawsuit was a statement that it would continue to sell it's product line with Leopard pre-installed.

CNET reports that legal experts say that Psystar will have a difficult time proving that Apple's software license agreement is an anticompetitive business practice in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act and the Clayton Antitrust Act. Comment below

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