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Judge dismisses Hackintosh maker's anti-Apple lawsuit

Setback for Psystar

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Apple has successfully had the lawsuit brought against it by Hackintosh system builder Psystar thrown out of court - at least until its opponent can come up with a better case.

So said California District Court Judge William Alsup yesterday in response to the Mac maker's request that Psystar's lawsuit - filed in response to legal action mounted by Apple - be dismissed.

Psystar's lawyers had argued in the countersuit that Apple was engaged in anti-competitive behaviour by restricting in its end-user licence agreement how Mac OS X may be used. Apple is, they argued, abusing a monopoly position.

Not so, said the judge, who agreed with Apple's statement that no market can be defined by a single brand - you can't reasonably claim Honda, say, has a monopoly on Civic cars. It may be the only company making Civics, but the boundaries of the market are defined by its manufacture not of Civics but of cars, and by that definition it's not a monopoly.

Likewise, Apple has neither a monopoly on personal computer hardware nor on personal computer operating systems.

Judge Alsup did give Psystar the opportunity to provide a counter-argument, which it must file by Monday, 8 December.

Apple sued Psystar in July, after the smaller company began selling PCs and bundled copies of Mac OS X plus the software tools needed to run the non-Mac hardware. Apple said its EULA expressly forbids such installations - colloquially known as Hackintoshes.

Back in April, not long after Psystar began offering its clones, it was lambasted by one of the developers of the code needed to get OS X to run on a generic PC for violating the terms of his licence, which forbids the commercial use of his software.

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