Would-be ‘Mac cloner’ Psystar claims Apple failed to copyright Mac OS X

“Mac clone manufacturer Psystar said that Apple’s copyright suit against it should be dismissed because Apple has never filed for copyright protection for its Mac OS X operating system with the U.S. Copyright Office, according to court papers,” Paul McDougall reports for InformationWeek.

“The stunning claim, if true, could undermine Apple’s ability to restrict third parties, such as Psystar, from selling clones that run the Mac OS on generic PC hardware. InformationWeek was not immediately able to verify the claim,” McDougall reports.

“Psystar made the allegation in documents filed last week in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, as part of its response to Apple’s latest charges of copyright infringement,” McDougall reports.

“Last month, a judge rejected Psystar’s counterclaim — leading Psystar to file revised claims. Psystar is now asking the judge overseeing the case to declare Apple’s Mac OS copyrights invalid,” McDougall reports. “In court filings, Apple has said it believes Psystar is backed by a silent third party that’s presumably seeking to enter the Mac market.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: MacDailyNews Reader Alan has provided a link for “Mac OS X,” filed by Apple on March 24, 2001 (the release date of Mac OS X 10.0 “Cheetah”) with the U.S. Copyright Office. See it here.


  1. If anyone actually did the search they’d find Apple copyrighted
    Mac OS X 10.0 in 2001
    Mac OS X 10.1 in 2001
    Mac OS X 10.2 in 2002
    Mac OS X 10.3 in 2003
    Mac OS X 10.4 in 2004
    Mac OS X 10.5 in 2007

    There are similar dates for the server versions too, though the earliest copyright I could find for server was 1999.

    It definitely looks like Apple is properly covered. The judge should sanction the lawyers for filing this crap.

  2. Opening up the license would end Apple’s affordable and easy to use upgrades.

    Apple would need to recoup their loss of hardware sales and charge more for the OS, similar to Windows. How much more? I don’t know, but $499,00 sticks in my mind. Obviously it would be cheaper to buy an actual Mac. Then Apple might need to implement user authentication like M$, Adobe and Quark do since they only make money off of the software.

    Any Mac user who buys a Pystar product is essentially helping to kill off the good deal we’ve had for decades.

  3. “Note the date: 2008-01-24 (the date that the copyright for Mac OS X Leopard Version 10.5 was registered–January 24, 2008).

    Psystar started up in what, 2006?”

    Psystar first announced their Mac clones in April, 2008. It only seems like this has been going on for two years. In reality, it’s less than nine months.

  4. @ Regular Reader & Gabriel,

    I can think of one other company that would try this kind of legal shenanigans. They probably still have some money because they filed Chapter 11 for legal protection against creditors just before summary judgment against them in a “legal issue” with IBM. My guess is that it is a desperate attempt to find a revenue source before they emerge from Chapter 11 & get body slammed. Their CEO has made a career out of suing other companies for a living. Of course, I don’t have any evidence. It just sounds like something Daryl McBride & SCO would do.

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