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Apple, Psystar Seek Trial On Nov. 9, 2009

Court filings indicate that the copyright dispute over Mac OS X could drag out for more than a year.

The presidential election has nothing on the Apple-Psystar copyright imbroglio when it comes to drawn out affairs. The two companies filed paperwork with the California court hearing their dispute in which they ask the court to set a trial date on Nov. 9, 2009.

In the joint filing, Apple and Psystar said they expect the trial to last about 10 days. The court has yet to approve the timetable.

Despite seeking a court date more than a year in advance, "The parties believe that this type of case can be handled on an expedited basis with streamlined procedures," according to documents filed last week in U.S. District Court for Northern California.

Apple filed its original copyright suit against Psystar in July. Psystar sells low-cost knockoffs of Apple's pricey Macs -- including models that run the new OS X 10.5 Leopard operating system -- from a nondescript warehouse in Miami. For its defense and countersuit, Psystar has retained high-profile Silicon Valley law firm Carr & Ferrell.

Psystar earlier this month asked the court to let stand its counter charges that Apple's technology and marketing tactics breach federal antitrust laws. Psystar filed the charges in a counterclaim in August in response to Apple's accusation that Psystar's Mac clones violate Apple copyrights. Apple asked the court to dismiss the counterclaim earlier this month.

Psystar, meanwhile, isn't putting all its eggs in the Mac OS market. The system integrator recently introduced a Linux-based personal computer that sells for just $299.

Psystar's OpenLite system ships with the Ubuntu Linux desktop preinstalled, running on a 1.8-GHz Intel Celeron chip with integrated graphics support. Upgrading to a dual-core Pentium chip costs an additional $40. "With unparalleled affordability, this computer can bring Windows computing into every home and office," Psystar boasts on its Web site, even though the system runs Linux, not Microsoft Windows.

Psystar is offering a dual-boot option which, for an extra $75, gives buyers an additional hard drive and the ability to boot the Mac OS or Windows alongside Linux. Psystar's Web site, which appears to have undergone a significant makeover recently despite its battle with Apple, also prominently features other Windows- and Mac-based computers.

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