Psystar will pay Apple $2.67 million in damages

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We posted yesterday that Apple and Psystar had reached a partial settlement in their age-old legal conflict over Psystar’s manufacturing and marketing of PCs with OS X pre-installed. The only thing up in the air was exactly how much those Hackintoshing upstarts from Florida would end up having to pay.

Now the number’s out, and it’s not pretty: Psystar has agreed to pay Apple $2.67 million dollars in damages.

The number breaks down evenly between damages and attorney fees. Psystar has agreed to cough up $1,337,500 in damages for copyright infringement, breach of contract and violation of the DMCA, as well as additional damages and attorney fees of $1,337,500. In exchange, Apple has agreed not to refile their claims of trademark infringement, trade dress infringement, trademark dilution, state unfair competition, and common law unfair competition.

The math here is pretty straightforward. Not only did Psystar file for bankruptcy earlier this year, but they have only sold 768 of their Open Mac desktops to date. Psystar’s total assets are only $50,000. They’re going to be plucking out fillings just to pay their own legal fees. Psystar’s never going to be able to pay.

But that’s okay. $2.67 million is just a droplet of dew clinging to the sides of Apple’s money pool. This wasn’t about money: this was about precedent. Turning Psystar inside-out by their o-rings was necessary to protect OS X as exclusive to Apple-made hardware.

Apple had a lot riding on this suit, and now that the precedent has been set in their favor, Cupertino can rest more secure that the only machines consumers will be able to buy running their operating systems for the next year will be ones they have specifically designed to run it. That security is worth a lot more than $2.67 million.

[via Apple Insider]