An Apple by Any Other Name???

♫ You are the sunshine of my life, yeah,
Thats why Ill always stay around,
You are the apple of my eye,
Forever you’ll stay in my heart…♫

Words and Music by Stevie Wonder.

The legal proceedings of Apple Inc. v. Psystar Corporation are very interesting. Psystar has been sued by Apple for selling computers with the Mac OS X operating system installed, called Open Macs. Apple, for its part, is alleging copyright, trademark and other claims against Psystar in relation to Psystar’s use of Apple’s operating system. Psystar originally alleged violation of federal and state anti-trust laws. In this latest motion, Psystar sought to amend its pleadings to include the copyright misuse doctrine and state unfair competition laws.

The latest order by Judge Alsup on Feb 6, 2009, United States District Court, can be found at Psystar’s motion to amend for copyright misuse was granted. Now they have 7 days to file these amended claims and Apple has 20 days to respond.

The upshot of this lawsuit could be that other manufacturers would be free to sell Intel-based computers with Apple’s OS X installed. This runs counter to Apple’s claims that it has the right to determine how its software is licensed and used. However, Psystar claims that Apple has stretched copyright laws by tying the Mac operating system to Apple hardware.

There may come a time when buyers are asked to consider whether they will keep the Apple of their eye and avoid the forbidden fruit or whether they will be tempted by a serpent offering yet a different apple…