Apple wins clone suit

A federal judge rules in Apple's favor in the Psystar copyright infringement case

Nearly a year and a half after a Miami company called Psystar announced that it was selling "Open Computers" pre-installed with Apple's (aapl) Mac OS X Leopard -- and 17 months after Apple sued Psystar for copyright infringement -- the case has come to its all-but-foregone conclusion: a federal judge in San Francisco ruled Friday in Apple's favor.

"The material facts are not in dispute," Apple wrote in its request for summary judgment. "Psystar deliberately copies and modifies Mac OS X without Apple’s permission and in violation of the laws protecting copyright."

District Judge William Alsup agreed. At the end of a long preamble, he wrote:

"In sum, Psystar has violated Apple’s exclusive reproduction right, distribution right, and right to create derivative works. Accordingly, Apple’s motion for summary judgment on copyright infringement must be granted." (PDF.)

And so it went for Apple's secondary claims of contributory infringement and copyright misuse. Psystar's motions, meanwhile, were all denied. A hearing to determine remedies is set for Dec. 14.

Apple has several other outstanding claims, including breach of contract, trademark infringement and unfair competition. They could still go to trial, if Psystar has the stomach -- and the funds -- to persevere.

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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