It’s been a long, drawn out legal battle, but Apple (s aapl) is clearly winning by almost all accounts, and it just filed for a motion that could end Psystar’s party permanently. On Monday, the company filed a claim for a permanent judgment against Psystar that would stop the clone maker from selling any products at all, under the U.S. Copyright Act and the DCMA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act).
In other words, if you desperately want that Open(7), you’d better place an order ASAP, because you might never get a chance again once the decision comes down. The complaint, is based on the premise that Psystar is now “trafficking in circumvention devices,” which is causing “unquantifiable” harm to Apple’s image.
The new motion specifically targets Psystar’s recently released software product, Rebel EFI, which bypasses the built-in prevention measures that limit the installation of OS X 10.6 to Apple-built hardware only. Using Rebel EFI, customers can supposedly install OS X on any Intel-based system, although the compatibility of individual components will vary widely.
Up till now, Apple has succeeded in dealing serious blows to Psystar, including winning a summary judgment, but it hasn’t managed to get a ruling that would shut down the company’s operation for good. The clone maker can continue doing business even if it keeps having to pay damages, since it can declare bankruptcy and reform as long as it can raise enough operating capital to stay afloat…hence the attempt by Apple to put an end to the expensive cycle.
Apple SVP of Worldwide Product Marketing Phil Schiller puts it succinctly in an affidavit for the latest claim:
So long as Psystar continues these practices, the harm to Apple and its brand will continue. I believe Apple should not be required to file a new lawsuit to stop Psystar from infringing Apple’s intellectual property each time Apple releases a new version of Mac OS X. Requiring Apple to file multiple lawsuits to stop the same infringing conduct would be unfair, expensive, and a waste of the Court’s and the parties’ resources.
Apple also recently tried to shut down Atom support in OS X, which would seriously derail the efforts of at-home netbook hacking, so it looks like Cupertino is just generally trying to shut down any and all efforts to wrestle control of the operating system from its iron grip.
The next hearing is scheduled for December 14, and the official trial will start in January 2010. Psystar doesn’t look to be in good shape as it is, but if Apple manages to get this permanent injunction, all hope is lost for the hackintosh purveyor.