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Apple's move to kill Hackintosher suit denied

Must defend 'monopoly rents'

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Apple's motion to toss out a lawsuit filed by pesky Hackintosher Psystar was itself tossed out by a US District Court judge.

Make that one exasperated US District Court judge.

Apple's motion was straightforward. It asked the judge who will hear Apple's suit against Psystar in January of 2010 - William Alsup of the US District Court in Northern California - to throw out a Psystar countersuit filed in August in the Hackintosher's home state of Florida.

Psystar's suit alleges that since Apple is "tying its operating system to Apple-branded hardware," Cupertino is unfairly monopolizing the market for what Psystar dubs "premium computers," and by doing so "collects monopoly rents."

The suit is specific to Apple's new Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard operating system - which is why Apple wanted it thrown out, saying that the new suit was "essentially identical" to the existing legal imbroglio between Apple and Psystar, which centers on the previous operating system, Mac OS X 10.5, aka Leopard.

Apple's motion to dismiss also asked Judge Alsop to reopen the discovery phase of the California trial to allow investigation of Psystar's use of Snow Leopard. That discovery phase had closed on August 21, one week before Apple released Snow Leopard.

Which mightily ticked off Judge Alsup. In his signed order to deny Apple's motion, he wrote: "Apple has fought hard to keep its unreleased product — Snow Leopard — out of this action by, among other things, relentlessly objecting to discovery on Snow Leopard."

Alsup also implied that Apple had intentionally delayed the release of Snow Leopard until after the discovery period had closed. "Apple even chose when to release Snow Leopard and it chose to do so after all opportunity to take discovery on it had ended. The problem is one largely of Apple's own making."

And so Apple now has to deal with both the suit in Judge Alsup's Northern Califonia court and the "monopolistic" suit in Florida.

As Judge Alsup noted, the California trial is "looming early next year" - January 11, to be exact. And in that court, Apple will be facing a judge that's not at all happy with Cupertino's legal shenanigans.

Bootnote

Psystar - which is attempting to burnish its underdog reputation by releasing a new Rebel line of Hackintoshes - invites you to choose the winner of its "I'm a Psystar" ad contest. You can check out the seven finalists here.

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