An Australian supreme court yesterday rejected Apple's claim that the liquidator of failed Apple reseller Buzzle was biased against it.

Instead, the judge in the New South Wales case said that claims by Buzzle's directors that it was undermined by Apple are "ripe for investigation", reports Australian Financial Review.

"These would add a new and important dimension to the potential value of claims for insolvent trading," the judge decreed.

Apple brought the case to fend off an investigation into allegations that it was partially responsible for Buzzle's collapse in 2000, at which time Buzzle had been trading for just six months.

Buzzle was set up at the wrong end of the dot-com boom, and was created from the merger of six Apple resellers. However, the company soon collapsed with debts of $30 million.

Former Buzzle directors allege that Apple supplied defective items, and that Apple forced it to stock products it did not want.

While these claims remain unproven, the court's rejection of Apple's counter-argument means it will now be investigated.