Mac clone maker's lawyer hints at antitrust defense
Apple lawsuit not just about copyright or EULA issues, says Psystar attorney
Computerworld - One of the attorneys hired by Psystar Corp. to defend it in a copyright- and trademark-infringement lawsuit brought by Apple Inc. hinted that the clone maker will bring up antitrust issues if the case goes to trial.
Colby Springer, one of the three lawyers from the Palo Alto, Calif., firm of Carr & Ferrell LLP who will represent Psystar, wouldn't go into details about legal strategies but spoke in general terms about the case during an interview on Thursday.
"This case has been mischaracterized," said Springer. "There are a lot more complicated issues than just copyright or trademark. There are more complex issues [than those] in respect to the end-user licensing agreement. And antitrust issues come into play, too."
In a lawsuit filed July 8, Apple charged the Florida-based computer maker with copyright and trademark infringement, breach of contract and unfair competition. The accusations stem from Psystar's practice of installing Mac OS X 10.5 on the Intel-based computers it has sold since April. According to the lawsuit, Psystar violated the Mac OS X end-user licensing agreement (EULA) by factory-installing Leopard on its OpenComputer desktops and OpenServ servers.
The EULA forbids users from installing the operating system on non-Apple hardware. "You agree not to install, use or run the Apple software on any non-Apple-labeled computer, or to enable others to do so," Apple's license reads (download PDF).
When asked to expand on his comments about using antitrust as a possible defense, Springer demurred. "But take a look at the Web site of the lead attorney representing Apple," he said. "Apple knows where this is going."
James Gilliland Jr., a partner in the San Francisco firm Townsend and Townsend and Crew LLP, is the first attorney for Apple named on court documents. As Springer intimated, Gilliland's biography mentions his antitrust expertise, but it also lists patent, copyright and trademark infringement, unfair competition and breach of contract experience.
Gilliland was on the Townsend team that successfully collected more than $1.1 billion from Microsoft Corp. in a class-action antitrust lawsuit after the software and operating system developer settled before that case went to trial in early 2003.
"This will be an interesting case," promised Springer.
Psystar hired Carr & Ferrell about two weeks ago, said Springer. "They came to us, I think, because this is a much bigger issue than just copyright," he said. "There's the fact that we are in [the jurisdiction of the U.S. District Court for Northern California], but we've also tangled with Apple before. We've dealt with Apple. So we're familiar with the courts and the parties.
"And we have an antitrust background," he said.
- Enable secure remote access to 3D data without sacrificing visual perfomance Design and manufacturing companies must adapt quickly to the demands of an increasingly global and competitive economy. To speed time to market for...
- The Truth About Virtual Computing for CAD If you're a user of graphics-intensive software such as 3D modeling, simulation and analysis, and visualization, you might be skeptical about moving to...
- Virtually Delivered High Performance 3D Graphics "A picture is worth a thousand words." That old phrase is as true today as it ever was. Pictures (i.e., those with heavy...
- Simplifying Product Design In A Complex World Product design engineering has moved far beyond the confines of ever-more powerful workstations. Companies can't afford to restrict projects to using only local...
- What should I look for in a Next Generation Firewall? SANS Provides Guidance With so many vendors claiming to have a Next Generation Firewall (NGFW), it can be difficult to tell what makes each one different....
- Why Are Customers Really Deploying an NGFW? It seems every IT Security expert is talking about the NGFW, but what are people really doing? This webcast covers 5 real-world customer... All Macintosh White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!