Psystar shows no intent to surrender in its legal battle with Apple and the company’s persistence was recently rewarded with a small victory that allows the company to claim that Apple misused Mac OS X copyrights.
Psystar’s success may prove to be insignificant, but a new court order shows that Apple’s Mac OS X copyright claims may not be as innocent and untouchable as they seem. In fact, this small victory may provide a hook for Psystar to build a case.
Psystar’s original antitrust claims against Apple were dismissed last November. In an amended complaint, Psystar said “Apple has improperly leveraged its Mac OS copyrights in order to gain exclusive rights with respect to Mac OS-compatible computer hardware systems not granted in the Mac OS copyrights” and unfair competitive behavior resulting from the misuse of copyrights.
Within the eight-page ruling (PDF download, courtesy of justia.com), the court repeats Psystar’s allegations that Apple has “wrongfully extended the scope” of its Mac OS copyright via its End User License Agreement and that Apple is leveraging its Mac OS copyrights by “improperly asserting claims” under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. “Psystar alleges, in effect, that Apple is improperly extending its Mac OS copyright into the computer hardware market by intimidating potential competitors into avoiding the market with dubious DMCA claims,” the court wrote.
Psystar then asked the court for a declaratory judgment that Apple’s Mac OS copyrights are “unenforceable”, based on the claim of copyright misuse, Apple’s use or threat of DMCA claims, a possible violation of California’s unfair competition laws.
Within this latest ruling, the court sided with Psystar on the copyright misuse claims, since Apple did not provide any reasons “to bar the claims” at the pleading stage. However, the court rejected Psystar’s claims targeting a violation of unfair competition laws. In the view of the court, Psystar “fails to explain […] how this conduct constitutes harm to competition or a violation of the spirit of the antitrust laws.”
“In the context of single-firm conduct, tying requires monopolization. Psystar has identified none - other than the limited monopolies inherent in the copyrights themselves,” the court explained.
Source: TG Daily