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Apple, Psystar reach partial settlement

Details are still sketchy, but apparently Apple and Psystar have reached partial settlement in the ongoing saga between the two companies. It appears that in return for paying Apple unspecified damages on its copyright claims (most of which were ruled in Apple's favor in a summary judgment motion last month), Apple will drop its remaining claims against Psystar, including those for trademark violation. Apple also agreed not to execute on those damages until all appeals have been exhausted.

A more detailed document is due to be filed later, but the idea is that the matters before the court will be reduced to only the issue of permanent injunction, a motion Apple filed last week. If the court accepts the terms of the settlement, there will be no need for a trial. Psystar appears to completely concede (though it's not like it had any further leg to stand on) copyright violation, by arguing that whatever the court decides to do with the permanent injunction barring sale of its computers with OS X pre-installed, that it not extend such an injunction to Psystar's Rebel EFI software product.

The Rebel EFI software product does not come with its own copy of Mac OS X or any particular hardware product, but permits installation of Mac OS X on an "unauthorized" computer. Apple's motion for permanent injunction specifically mentions the Rebel EFI product as evidence of Psystar's ongoing attempts to infringe and circumvent Apple's software restrictions. Of course, the Rebel EFI software is the subject of the ongoing Florida litigation, so certain elements are beginning to dovetail together. Apple, for its part, would like both lawsuits to come together.

My guess is that Apple is more interested in the outcome of the permanent injunction than damages. It's not even clear if Psystar could hope to pay Apple any significant money, since Psystar filed for bankruptcy last May, and recent information indicates that Psystar only has sales of 768 units thus far.

UPDATE: The filing is in and the stipulated damages are.....$2,675,000 against Psystar. [Via Engadget.] Half is on the merits of the legal claims, and the other half for punitive damages such as attorneys fees and costs. The parties are agreeing to enter judgment against Psystar on not only the copyright violation claims, but also with regard to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and Breach of Contract.

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