Apple asks judge to shutter Psystar's clone business

Wants injunction that bars Mac OS X systems, says it's owed $2.1M in damages

Apple wants a federal judge to shut down Psystar's Mac clone operation and order the company to pay more than $2.1 million in damages, according to court documents.

The move was the first by Apple since U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup ruled that Psystar violated Apple's copyright and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) when it installed Mac OS X on clones it sold. Alsup's Nov. 13 order, which granted Apple's motion for summary judgment and quashed Psystar's similar request, was a crushing blow to the Florida company's legal campaign.

In a motion filed Monday, Apple asked Alsup to grant a permanent injunction that would force Psystar to stop selling any computer bundled with Mac OS X; using, selling or even owning software that lets it crack Apple's OS encryption key to trick Mac OS X to run on non-Apple hardware; and "inducing, aiding or inducing others in infringing Apple's copyright."

Apple also asked Alsup to award it $2.1 million in damages, even though Apple acknowledged that it's unlikely to collect from the financially-strapped company.

"Psystar's whole business is premised on stealing from Apple," the motion read. "Psystar pirates Apple's software, circumvents Apple's technological protection measures and illegally benefits from the good will and reputation Apple has built. Psystar's conduct, if permitted to continue, will both tarnish Apple's reputation for excellence and lead to the proliferation of copycats who also will free ride on Apple's investments, infringe Apple's intellectual property rights and cause further irreparable injury."

Apple argued that the injunction is the only way to make Psystar stop infringing its copyright. "Psystar has announced its intention to continue infringing (and to contribute to the infringement of) Apple's copyrights in, and circumventing the technology protections measures in, the current upgrade of Mac OS X, version 10.6," said Apple.

Psystar previously conceded that Apple could get an injunction to bar it from using Mac OS X, but said that that would apply only to Mac OS X 10.5, aka Leopard, not the newer Snow Leopard. Like Apple, Psystar has moved beyond Leopard and has been putting Snow Leopard exclusively on its clones since that operating systems' release last August.

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