Judge OKs Psystar's Countersuit Against Apple

Earlier in the week we reported that a German company was following in the footsteps of Mac clone company Psystar, and offering machines running OS X on non Apple-branded hardware.

While Apple has yet to respond the Ultrameganet’s claims about the validity of the OS X EULA in Germany, further developments in the Psystar case are no doubt keeping the Cupertino-based company’s lawyers busy.

According to ComputerWorld, a federal judge last week signed an order giving Psystar the OK to amend its countersuit against Apple. On Friday U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup ruled that Psystar may change that countersuit, which originally accused Apple of breaking antitrust laws, to instead ague that Apple has stretched copyright laws by tying the Mac operating system to its hardware.

The OS X EULA states that the software can only be installed on Apple-branded machines and according to Apple, Psystar is violating that licensing agreement. However, Psystar says that’s akin to saying Honda owners can only drive on Honda-approved roads and filed an anti-trust suit.

Alsup threw out that suit at the end of last year. The judge handed down a 19-page ruling that said Apple is not abusing its position in the market and we assumed that would be the end of it, despite Psystar’s desperate accusations that Apple was abusing its copyright on Mac OS X to stifle competition. According to a report in CNet:

“Psystar alleges that by virtue of Apple’s leveraging of copyrights in the context of Apple’s EULA, spurious litigation via the DMCA, and various other anti- and unfair competitive conduct, there is no viable alternative to the purchase and use of Apple-Labeled Computer Hardware Systems for users who wish to use the Mac OS, for a prospective buyer of the Mac OS, or for a user of an older version of the Mac OS.”

CW reports that Alsup said last week if Psystar proves that Apple abused copyright laws, some of Apple's charges against the company would be dismissed and seem to hint that others would then be free to follow in Psystar's footsteps. "Moreover, if established, misuse would bar enforcement (for the period of misuse) not only as to defendants who are actually party to the challenged license but also as to potential defendants not themselves injured by the misuse who may have similar interests," he said.

Read the full report on ComputerWorld.

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  • jsloan
    i hope that the legal system hand apple their azzes and allows clones. the osx license agreement is anti competitive in nature imagine your auto dealer telling you that you can only use their tires on their cars or their radios in their cars, ect. nonsense, apple has been able to get away with this nonsense like sco got away with their nonsense until the legal system put an end to it.
  • AndrewMD

    Auto Manufactures in fact can tell you what you can and cannot do with your (their) car. If you continue to use the wheels supplied with your car, then you will need to purchase tires that fit that spec, Radios are the same, now that people want it to look more integrated with the car, it is harder to replace it with an aftermarket.

    Now what I believe you were trying to say was A dealer cannot make you stay with them for all work performed on your car. That would be illegal.
  • 2GooDrumr
    Apple really depresses me. I'm totally a die-hard windows user, but that's besides the point. Back a week or two ago there was an article on Toms Guide about the newest copyright Apple has submitted, effectively barring any future companies fro even thinking about multi touch technology. Mac just keeps waving its user agreements and the likes around (iTunes...). I'd like to see them at least have to rethink their policies once.