Apple picks at Psystar counterclaim as court info goes secret

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Apple has responded to Psystar's latest copyright abuse claims against it by pointing out technicalities; simultaneously, both have successfully won approval for a protection order that keeps some of their discoveries out of each other's view.

The latest shot in the conflict between the Cupertino-based Mac maker and its unsanctioned, clone-building nuisance was exchanged on Wednesday when Apple submitted its response to Psystar's amended complaint, which accused Apple of abusing its end-user license agreement and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by forbidding third-party hardware from running Mac OS X.

Submitted through a Northern District of California court in San Francisco, the 13-page response unsurprisingly denies Psystar's accusations point-for-point but takes issue with Psystar's requests that the court find Apple's claimed copyrights untenable until it no longer interprets the license or the DMCA as valid.

Simply stated, Apple claims that the Mac clone builder hasn't asked for declaratory relief, or its own rights, in the newest form of the complaint. The move doesn't necessarily force a further amendment by Psystar, but does leave room for Apple to voice its opinion further on into the case.

Regardless of any possible modifications to the case, the discovery phase that follows next is now closer to reality.

A day before the Apple response, Northern District Judge William Alsup approved the protective order requested by both sides. The decision prevents anyone but the attorneys and others necessarily involved in any court proceedings from viewing information marked as confidential.

While most of the case will remain public, the order will prevent either company from obtaining trade secrets, such as source code for Mac OS X, in the course of collecting evidence before they go to trial — though both will have to prove that the information is important enough to be worth protecting, the judge said.