Psystar Must Disclose Financial Records Monday

A judge rules that the Mac cloner must provide Apple with detailed P&L documents.
More light could be shed on the background of mysterious Mac clone manufacturer Psystar on Monday, when the company must comply with a judge's order to hand over financial information to Apple.

Judge William Alsup of the U.S. District Court for San Francisco, who is overseeing Apple's copyright infringement suit against Psystar, ordered the move this week.

Alsup ordered Psystar to produce all documents related to its June 2008 profit-and-loss statements and balance sheets, all underlying information used to prepare the documents, and bank statements from Psystar's accounts at Commerce Bank and TD Bank.

Psystar also must make an official available for questioning about the documents by Apple's attorneys.

Apple believes that Psystar, which builds and distributes Mac clones from a nondescript light industrial park in suburban Miami, is receiving funding from a third party -- possibly a rival.

Apple sued Psystar for copyright violation last July, alleging that Psystar's Mac clones infringe its intellectual property rights to the Mac OS.

Alsup previously rejected Psystar's claim, filed in a countersuit, that the Mac OS represents a discrete computer market unfairly dominated by Steve Jobs' company.

Psystar's countersuit claimed that Apple's control over the market for its own products violates Sherman antitrust rules and other U.S. laws. A Psystar victory could have paved the way for other PC makers, including big vendors like Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Lenovo, to enter the Mac OS market and offer alternatives to Microsoft Windows PCs.

Psystar isn't putting all its eggs in the Mac OS market. The system integrator has introduced a Linux-based personal computer that sells for $499. Psystar's Open(3) system ships with the Ubuntu Linux desktop pre-installed, running on a 2.5-GHz dual-core Intel Pentium chip with integrated graphics support.

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