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Apple, Psystar strike a deal

CNET and The Mac Observer noted a legal filing on Friday that suggested Apple and Psystar were looking to bypass the normal lawsuit process and enter a phase of private arbitration and mediation.

The filing notes that Apple and Psystar will participate in the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process, a way to keep legal costs down -- and the outcome private. For famously secretive Apple, this agreement seems right up their alley.

The agreement means the two companies will enter non-binding arbitration, present their case to a neutral party, and work out a deal through mediation.

This all probably comes down to one thing: cash money. Psystar has nowhere near the cash reserves that Apple has, so this less-expensive option is attractive to them. It's attractive to Apple because if they lose, the decision is kept under wraps. As CNET's Tom Krazit notes, if Apple is guilty of Psystar's antitrust accusations, it could hurt their other cases where they're accused of the same thing.

Of course, we'll know for certain the outcome simply by seeing if Psystar continues to sell their computers (or not) after January 31, when the ADR sessions wrap up.

[Via AppleInsider.]

Update: According to Psystar's attorneys, Apple and Psystar were ordered into the mediation by the court. According to several of our commenters, ADR is a common practice. Soulbarn says: "It is practically mandatory. It would be a surprise if it didn't happen, no matter who the case involved, big or small, famous or not famous, precedent-setting or non-precedent setting. It is part of the normal legal process." Thanks, everyone!

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