Apple Wins Case Against Mac-Clones and Possibly Samsung, Too

Apple is doing another victory dance as they enjoy the sweet, three-judge ruling handed down by California’s 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.  The court ruled in favor of Apple against Psystar, the company that sells “OpenMacs,” which are cheap computers that come installed with Apple’s operating system plus a disc that contains an authorized copy of the software so users can bypass copyright laws.

When the company was first sued, Psystar argued that Apple was abusing copyright by refusing to let people use software that they validly purchased, basing their argument on the legal rule that a copyright owner’s rights expire after an article has been sold, like when you buy a book or a CD you can resell it.  But in this case, the court ruled that the principle did not apply because people did not actually own the software but instead used it subject to a license from Apple, which sets the limits how the software can be used.

However, there’s a short section at the end of the ruling that pointed out that the lower court that initially handled the case was “wrong in letting Apple seal documents related to the case. The 9th Circuit said it had joined another influential court in believing there is “a strong presumption in favor of access” when it comes to court records.”

And in an update to the Samsung-Apple saga, in a court hearing scheduled today, Apple senior executive Richard Lutton presented evidence that Apple founder Steve Jobs personally made a move in 2010 to stop Samsung from launching their own tablets since Apple and Samsung had a deep partnership as Samsung supplies memory chips and flat panels that are used in iPhones and iPads.

Lutton stated that Jobs initiated the meetings between the two companies regarding the issue but he wasn’t involved in succeeding meetings.  Also, Lutton stated that Apple gave Samsung the “chance to do the right thing.”  And that is the main reason they are filing for a preliminary injunction against Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1.  Justice Annabelle Bennett adjourned the case to Friday and said she hopes to decide next week whether to block temporarily the launch of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1.