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Apple denied attempt to keep info secret in Psystar case

updated 10:50 pm EST, Tue January 3, 2012

Apple told discovered issue must stay public

Apple encountered its one and only setback in its court victory over Psystar Tuesday after Judge William Alsup ruled that it couldn't keep secret details about how Mac OS X worked. Apple couldn't order sealed documents about the boot-up checks to verify Mac OS X, its integrity checks, and its heat sensor management. Apple tried to argue that information it hadn't confirmed itself still had to be secret to avoid , but Alsup countered that trade secret laws couldn't be used simply to avoid confirmation of details already available in books and published code.

"Apple cannot have this court seal information merely to avoid confirmation that the publicly available sources got it right," he said in the ruling.

The Mac builder has been concerned that Psystar's tricks, which were used to pass off generic hardware as a Mac to boot into Mac OS X on its OpenMac clones, might be used to replicate the cloning tactic in the future.

Florida-based Psystar had been permanently banned from selling its Mac clones in 2009. It had tried to make the unusual defense that Apple had a monopoly over its own software. Judge Alsup disagreed and said that Apple's competition was Windows PCs, not itself. The court likewise upheld Apple's end-user license terms requiring its own hardware to use Mac OS X. [via Bloomberg]

By Electronista Staff


  1. Zanziboy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2008



    The judge gets to demand Apple to disclose sensitive information AND tells it who it's competitors are? Public disclosure of proprietary information was not even within the scope of the case. The issue was the violation of Apple's license agreement. Why punish the winner with something completely unrelated?

  1. simon42

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2010



    No one can offer OS X on their hardware; that case confirmed it. So there are no competitors; the info is only sensitive for the Hackintosh community that will get to check whether its guesses were right or not. Since it's already working pretty well, I guess they won't learn much. Apple started from the Homebrew Club after all and they were once based on openness...

    Apple just doesn't get to re-hide what it previously disclosed to win over Psystar.

  1. canonsucks

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2010


    agree with simon42

    Well said sir! And sorry, but Apple's competitors are EVERYONE ELSE, not just Microsoft. Apple likes to play this sheepish game of, "oh, we're not a hardware company, but we're not a software company". Hate to break it to the Mac legion, but Apple is both, plus the various other hats it wears.

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