Apple granted permanent injunction against Psystar

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The age of Psystar may be drawing to a close at last. On Tuesday, Apple snagged a permanent injunction against the clone-maker from U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup, who’s been presiding over the case in the Northern District of California. Apple won a summary judgment against Psystar in November and the two companies reached a partial settlement earlier this month.

Among the stipulations in the injunction, (of which MacRumors has posted a copy), Psystar is prohibited from no-brainers like infringing Apple’s Mac OS X copyrights, circumventing technological protection measures in Mac OS X, making or distributing non-Apple computers that run OS X, and helping or inducing anybody else to infringe Mac OS X copyrights or circumvent technological protections. In addition, Psystar is required to destroy any and all technology it’s used to create its products.

While it might seem like that’s all she wrote, there lingers the question of Rebel EFI, the software that Psystar sells to help users install OS X on their generic PC hardware. While it might seem like Rebel EFI should fall under the aegis of “Inducing, aiding, or assiting others in…circumventing any technological protection measure in Mac OS X,” Psystar has argued that Rebel EFI has not been covered in this case, and should not be included in the injunction.

After a lengthy discussion of Rebel EFI’s status, Alsup concludes that Rebel EFI will not be explicitly covered or granted an exception by the injunction and that Psystar continues to sell the software “at its own peril.” Meaning that it’s entirely possible we will see the matter litigated in another venue, such as the pair’s ongoing trial in Florida over Snow Leopard. (Which topic provides for one of my favorite lines from Alsup’s order: “Snow Leopard (which is apparently a different cat altogether from the non-snow variety) represents Apple’s newest version of Mac OS X, version 10.6.” I do love a little injunction humor in the morning.)

Psystar must comply with all of the stipulations of the injunction by midnight on December 31, giving it just over two weeks (it has already stopped selling clones as of earlier this month); the company is furthermore prohibited from selling off any of its infringing products, so don’t expect any bargains.

However, lest you think the Psystar ordeal is over, do recall that pending Florida case. And the door for further legal action—over Rebel EFI, for example—does remain open, if Apple chooses to pursue the matter. Though, given the actual effectiveness of Psystar’s product and its shady business practices, the company may do a perfectly fine job of putting itself out of business.

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