Psystar, Apple reach partial settlement

Well, how about that: Psystar's legal battle with Apple may not end with the complete and utter destruction of the unlicensed Mac clone maker after all. ComputerWorld reports that the two companies have agreed on a partial settlement, which could see Psystar continue to operate without actually pre-loading Mac OS X onto its machines.

ComputerWorld quotes Psystar's motion, filed yesterday, as follows:

Psystar and Apple today entered into a partial settlement that is embodied in a stipulation that will be filed with the Court tomorrow . . . 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. 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.

The filing reportedly refers to the injunction Apple filed last week, demanding that Psystar pay $2.1 million in damages and shut down its clone business.

Psystar claimed in yesterday's filing that it should be allowed to continue selling its $50 Rebel EFI utility, which allows users to bypass Apple's protections and install Mac OS X on generic PCs. Rebel EFI "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," the filing asserted.

ComputerWorld reckons that, if Apple agrees, Psystar could go on to sell computers with Rebel EFI software and "shift the responsibility of installing Mac OS X onto customers." Folks who install OS X onto generic PCs for non-commercial use wouldn't face prosecution, according to Psystar.

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