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Psystar hires attorneys who've faced Apple before

A pair of attorneys representing Psystar in its legal bout with Apple are already familiar with the Mac maker, with whom they've clashed before and came out on top.

After taunting Apple for three months through sales of unauthorized Mac clones (1, 2) and comments to the press, the tiny solutions provider from Florida finally got what it had been asking for: a high profile lawsuit from the Silicon Valley heavyweight rife with charges of copyright and trademark infringement.

A court documented filed Monday extending Psystar's deadline to respond to Apple's complaint until August 18 also reveals the company to have retained the services of Carr & Ferrell LLP, a Palo Alto-based firm specializing in intellectual property litigation.

ComputerWorld, which discovered the stipulation, notes that three attorneys from Carr & Ferrell were listed on the filing, including Colby Springer, Christine Watson and Robert Yorio, a partner at the firm. The publication points out that both Yorio and Springer were part of Burst.com's legal team during its patent-infringement case against Apple that began in 2006.

That cases ended last November when Apple surrendered and agreed to an out-of-court lump settlement of $10 million that afforded it a licenses to use Burst's audio- and video-streaming technology with iTunes and iPods.

Yorio was also integral in a similar case between Burst and Microsoft that ended with the Redmond-based software giant shelling out over $60 million for a nonexclusive license to Burst's patents, just like Apple.

In addition to copyright and trademark infringement allegations, Apple has also charged Psystar with breach-of-contract, unfair-competition, and violating the Mac OS X end-user license by installing Mac OS X Leopard on its run-of-the-mill Mac clones.

Should Psystar lose its case against Apple, it would have to recall all the computers it sold with Apple's software, which intellectual property attorneys believe would almost assure its immediate demise.