The general feeling is that when (or even if) Psystar meets Apple in court, Apple will rip out Psystar’s fluid-spurting spine in what in dry legal terminology might be described as a Mortal Kombat style fatality. But CNet’s Don Reisinger brings up an excellent point: if Apple fudges their lawsuit even a little, they might open the door on countless other cheap Mac clones flooding the market.
If Apple gets everything it asks for and totally ruins Psystar, it will never need to worry about an unknown firm trying to sell Mac OS X again. The legal battle will be enough to send small companies packing and Apple will make Psystar just another example of what can happen to a small organization when it tries to stand up to a monster.
But if it doesn’t get everything it asks for and it’s forced to concede some points and the court orders Psystar to pay Apple some sort of licensing fee, Apple will have stepped on a bee’s nest.
In one fell swoop, other companies will realize that they will be able to get away with selling Mac OS X on their own brand of computers and use the precedent of the Psystar case to their advantage if and when they face legal action from Apple.
In the process, these companies will crop up and start selling Mac OS X-based computers and instead of trying to deal with one company, Apple will be forced to play games with dozens.
It would be interesting to see how Apple might react to that worst-case scenario. A return to a proprietary CPU architecture, perhaps?