Psystar, Apple To Enter Settlement Agreement

The case between Apple and Psystar may in fact finally be over. AppleInsider is reporting on a document filed with the California court which says that the two companies have entered into a settlement agreement. However, since AppleInsider doesn’t actually provide the document in question, and nothing shows up yet on dockets, it’s all a little bit unclear. Update: Here’s the filing. It does not cover the Florida case, but pretty much ends the California one. Round 1 a smashing victory for Apple, round 2 has Psystar starting heavily crippled.

AppleInsider is claiming that in response to Apple’s motion filed last week, Psystar filed a document in which it explains it has entered into a settlement agreement with Apple, which should end “all” sales of non-Apple labelled machines with Mac OS X installed. Sadly, AppleInsider makes no distinction between the California (Leopard) and Florida (Snow Leopard) cases, but their use of the world “all” may indicate that this settlement covers both.

Under terms of the agreement, Psystar will pay an unspecified amount in damages to Apple. In return, Apple would drop the bulk of its case against the small clone maker from Miami, Florida. More details are said to arrive today.

“Psystar has agreed on certain amounts to be awarded as statutory damages on Apple’s copyright claims in exchange for Apple’s agreement not to execute on these awards until all appeals in this matter have been concluded,” Psystar’s court filing reads, “Moreover, Apple has agreed to voluntarily dismiss all its trademark, trade-dress, and state-law claims. This partial settlement eliminates the need for a trial and reduces the issues before this Court to the scope of any permanent injunction on Apple’s copyright claims.”

Psystar does hope that the injunction will not cover its Rebel EFI product. “[Rebel EFI is a] product that has not been litigated in this case, that has not been the subject of discovery in this case, that is presently the subject of litigation in the Florida case, that is composed exclusively of Psystar software, that is not sold in conjunction with any hardware, and that is sold entirely apart from any copy of Mac OS X or any computer running Mac OS X,” Psystar claims.

This bit does mention the Florida case, which could mean that this agreement only covers the California case, leaving the door wide open to continue litigation in Florida. Like I said, without the actual document, we have to rely on whatever AppleInsider tells us – which is very little.

I would presume that Apple would not drop its charges if Psystar didn’t drop its Florida case. Then again, Florida case or no, this settlement does save Apple a substantial amount of time and money on going to court in California. The California case was all but resolved in a slam-dunk win for Apple not too long ago, with only a few minor issues still open for trial – scheduled for January 2010.

I’ll update the item as soon as we can see the actual documentation.


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