In an unforeseen twist to the Apple/Psystar “clone Mac” legal wrangles, the upstart clone maker has apparently inked a settlement deal that will only be called upon should all of their appeals fall flat. The deal calls for Psystar to pay an as-yet unspecified amount in damages to Apple as well as cease pre-installing OS X onto their computers; however it may not prevent sales of OS-free machines, onto which customers would then be free to load OS X onto themselves using Psystar’s Rebel EFI software tool.
“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” Psystar motion
Rebel EFI, Psystar insist, is entirely a software product of their own creation, and doesn’t contain or include OS X. As such, they reckon it should be left on sale, since Apple’s assertion that Psystar have impinged copyright does not apply to the software tool (even if that’s what users then go on to do with the app).
The unusual element to the story is that Apple seem to have agreed to the settlement amount – as well as to “voluntarily dismiss all its trademark, trade-dress, and state-law claims” against Psystar – only being payable once all of Psystar’s appeal avenues are exhausted. More details of the agreement are expected to be revealed later on today, as the motion is presented before the court in San Francisco.