Apple Seeks Permanent Halt To Psystar Mac Clones - InformationWeek
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11/25/2009
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Apple Seeks Permanent Halt To Psystar Mac Clones

The requested injunction would prohibit Psystar from selling Mac knock offs, which a federal court has already ruled violate Apple's copyright.

Apple has asked a federal court for a permanent injunction against Mac clone maker Psystar. The order would prohibit Psystar from selling Mac knock offs, which the court has already ruled violate Apple's copyright.

In court papers filed Monday in San Francisco, Apple asked U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup to issue the permanent injunction while the companies await a trial on Apple's copyright infringement lawsuit.

In seeking the injunction, Apple argued that if Psystar was not ordered to stop, it would cause "irreparable harm to Apple's business, brand, and goodwill." Apple also said it is entitled to $2.1 million, as well as attorney fees and other costs.

As of this writing, Psystar did not respond to a request for comment.

Alsup this month granted Apple a summary judgment that found Psystar violated Apple's copyright over the Mac OS by modifying the operating system so it could run on third-party hardware that was then offered for sale. In the latest filing, Apple wants Alsup to go further and bar Psystar from selling clones.

Even after Alsup's ruling, Psystar remained defiant, continuing to sell Mac clones. The case was significant in that if Psystar had prevailed, other PC makers would presumably have been free to offer their own Mac clones.

In arguing for the injunction, Apple said "Psystar has illegally profited from Apple's efforts rather than investing in developing its own products and building it own goodwill."

"Since its inception, Psystar has invested less than $2,000 in research and development and a minimal amount in advertising," the court filing said. "What little advertising Psystar undertakes centers around using Apple's trade dress, trademarks, and trade names."

Apple went on to say that Psystar's customers have experienced serious problems with its products and after-sale customer support, which have reflected badly on Apple's software. Apple claims Psystar has sold at least 768 computers running Mac OS X.

"Psystar's lack of quality control and the defects in Psystar computers have injured, and will continue to injure, Apple's reputation and goodwill because customers tend to blame the operating system for their computer's problems, regardless of their true source," Apple said.

In his earlier ruling, Alsup did not decide on the amount of damages Apple is entitled to. He also reserved for trial a number of other issues, including Apple's breach of contract and trademark claims against Psystar. A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for Dec. 14.

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