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Thursday, July 02, 2009, 11:00 am PT (02:00 pm ET)

Pesky Psystar to emerge from Chapter 11 with new Mac offering

Battered, bankrupt, and thought to be wobbling on its last leg, Psystar this week proved that it can still turn heads when it announced that it will soon emerge from Chapter 11 bearing its fastest Mac system yet.

In an email to its customers, fans, and intrigued journalists, the unauthorized Mac clone maker introduced the Open(7), which will reportedly marry Mac OS X with Intel's Nehalem Xeon chips to yield the company's "fastest and most quiet computing configuration" yet.

TheDoral, Fla.-based solutions provider also used the same email to inform those following its legal proceedings with Apple that its decision to file for Chapter 11 in May was "critical" to maintaining its daily operations, but that the company now sees itself "ready to emerge" from bankruptcy and "again battle Goliath."

"More information will be available in the coming days when we will be formally discharged by the Bankruptcy court," the e-mail concludes. "When life gives you apples, make apple sauce."

As ChannelWeb most appropriately puts it, the email is the "latest twist in a bizarre saga that began last July" when Apple, fed up with the Psystar's online sale of a $399 knock-off Mac systems running hacked versions of the Mac OS X operating system, sued the little-known company on grounds of copyright infringement.

Pystar retaliated with a counterclaim of is own, alleging that Apple was violating anti-trust laws through the terms of its Mac OS X end user license agreement, which forbids the installation of the software on non-Apple hardware.

The court eventually threw out Pystar's anti-trust claims but allowed the company to proceed with its second line of defense, which argues that Apple wrongfully extended the scope of its Mac OS copyright through the end user license agreement.

For its part, Apple has also said in court documents that it believes Psystar may be part of a larger conspiracy and is seeking to uncover unknown parties who may be secretly backing the clone maker, either financially or otherwise, in its efforts to disrupt Apple's stronghold on Mac hardware sales.

In an amended motion filed in late May, Psystar attributed its hardships to the turbulent global economy and pullback in consumer spending, saying the crisis has spilled over to its creditors, who have tightened their terms and become more demanding for immediate payments.

"Debtor’s vendors due to their own financial problems are not being able to supply all necessary items to allow Debtor to produce their product, thus, forcing Debtor to pay higher prices for parts in order to fulfill customer orders in a timely manner and to assure satisfaction with the product," Psystar's attorneys wrote. "These factors seriously contribute to the Debtor not being able to turn a significant profit in each sale."

Psystar's request for bankruptcy threatened to delay its case against the official Mac maker because the proceedings in that case were put on hold while the bankruptcy court began hearing the clone maker's case for Chapter 11 protection. However, Apple a little over one week ago successfully won its motion to have the temporary stay in the case lifted. That ruling overturned the automatic freeze on any court proceedings that followed when Psystar filed for Chapter 11 in May.