Apple Loses The Psystar Suit On Trade Secrets

Psystar Open Mac

US federal District Judge William Alsup has denied Apple’s effort to seal information related to its copyright infringement case against Psystar.

The judge has ruled that it is not a protectable “trade secret” because it has already been widely published.

Apple had attempted to seal information related to the Psystar case as a “trade secret,” likely to prevent others from learning how to modify the company’s Mac OS X software to enable it to run on unauthorized hardware.

According to a report by Bloomberg, Judge Alsup ruled that the information sought by Apple to protect could not be given trade secret protection because “much of it” is already “publicly available by examining the software itself”. It had already been published online, or available in print.

Apple had originally filed a lawsuit against Psystar in mid 2008 after it began selling a $400 PC. Psystar has advertised that PC as the “OpenMac,” an unauthorized Mac clone running the company’s Mac OS X software which was an infringement of Apple’s licensing terms.

Two months later, Psystar responded with a counterclaim alleging that Apple had used its “monopoly position” as the manufacturer of Mac computers. They accused Apple of causing restraint of trade, unfair competition, and other violations of antitrust law.

After 16 months of litigation, in November 2009 Judge Alsup ruled in the favor of Apple in a summary judgment. The judge ruled that Psystar had infringed on Apple’s copyrights by modifying and redistributing its software. The claims made by Psystar were dismissed.

Psystar agreed to pay Apple $2.7 million in damages and attorney fees in exchange for Apple dropping its remaining claims involving trademark infringement, trade dress infringement, trademark dilution, state unfair competition, and common law unfair competition.

The judge subsequently issued a permanent injunction that barred Psystar from selling hardware with Apple’s operating system. Psystar filed to appeal the injunction last January.

In September 2011, Psystar lost its appeal when Judge Mary Schroeder ruled in the favor of Apple in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Source: Apple Insider

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