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Monday, August 17, 2009, 06:10 am PT (09:10 am ET)

Apple accuses Psystar of destroying evidence in latest court filing

In the ongoing saga between Apple and clone Mac creator Psystar, the Cupertino, Calif., company has filed a new document alleging Psystar erased crucial evidence.

In last week's court filing, Apple alleges that Psystar violated federal rules and a court order after it allegedly destroyed evidence Apple considers pivotal in its upcoming case against Pystar. The trial is scheduled to start on Jan. 11, 2010.

"Defendant, Psystar Corporation, has destroyed relevant evidence that was legally required to preserve," the court document reads. "Specifically, Psystar has overwritten — i.e. erased — infringing versions of the software code used on computers sold to its customers."

In its lawsuit, Apple has attempted to portray Psystar as a company in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Psystar modifies the software Apple creates for its OS X operating system so that it can be installed on non-Apple hardware. The clone Mac maker was served with discovery in November 2008, as Apple sought to obtain the software used by Psystar to create their machines.

"This discovery revealed that Psystar has erased prior versions of its software that Apple's experts independently found on defendant's computers," the document states.

The heavily redacted document conceals descriptions of the bootloader code used by Psystar, but asks the court to force the company to produce the software. One footnote in the document, referring to a redacted portion, reads: "Psystar's counsel stated that Psystar's e-mail and customer support software (SupportSuite) randomly 'deletes or loses' e-mails."

The latest addition, dated Aug. 10, was filed in a California court by the Townsend law firm. In the back-and-forth battle, last week Psystar announced it would depose numerous Apple executives in its own defense. Prior to that, the company's request for its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing to be dismissed was granted in a Florida court. However, that same ruling prevents the company from filing for bankruptcy again to delay Apple's case against them in California.