A German maker of Mac clones Friday said it's ready to face Apple in court to defend its right to install Mac OS X on the Intel-powered computers it sells.
"First, we try to settle with Apple out of court," said Dirk Bloessl, a spokesman for HyperMegaNet UG, the Wolfsburg, Germany-based company that sells Mac clones under the PearC brand. "But if necessary, we are not afraid of going to court with Apple."
Like the US company Psystar, which has been locked in a legal battle with Apple since last July, PearC adds a copy of Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard" to its Mac clones before they're shipped to buyers.
According to Apple, that practice violates Leopard's end-user licensing agreement (EULA), and is a violation of copyright, among other laws.
Apple has not contacted PearC or its parent, HyperMegaNet, Bloessl said in an e-mail. Perhaps tongue-in-cheek, he then added, "We are awaiting some soon."
HyperMegaNet has argued on its Web site that it believes it is immune from Apple's legal attacks, a stance Bloessl reiterated.
"The German law says explicit[ly], that restrictions made after buying a product are not valid," he said. "So, because Apple's EULA can [only] be first read after buying and starting the setup, they are invalid in Germany."
The company is following in the footsteps of Psystar, which shortly after it started selling its Open Computer line of clones last April, said it didn't believe Apple's EULA would stand legal scrutiny.
PearC sells three Mac clone models, ranging from a £438 "Starter" system to a £1,313 "Advanced" configuration.
The former includes a 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of memory, a 250GB hard drive, an optical drive and an Nvidia GeForce 7200GS graphics card with 256MB of video RAM.
If Apple takes on HyperMegaNet in court, it would be the second time since July 2008 that it has sued a clone maker. Currently, Apple faces Florida-based Psystar in US federal court. Last year, Apple accused Psystar of breaking copyright law by installing Leopard.
A month later, Psystar retaliated by charging Apple with violating antitrust laws, claims a federal judge dismissed in November 2008.
More recently, however, that same judge ruled that Psystar can continue its countersuit using a copyright law abuse argument, and said that if Psystar won its case, other clone makers would be free to install Apple's operating system.
Apple did not respond to email Friday request comment on PearC's selling of Mac OS X-equipped computers.
Apple has not contacted PearC or its parent, HyperMegaNet.