Apple has accused Mac clone-maker Psystar of destroying evidence related to the ongoing court battle between the two over whether Psystar illegally modified and loaded the Mac OS X onto non-Apple hardware for sale to end users.
In a heavily redacted letter to Judge William Alsup of the U.S. District Court of San Francisco, James Gilliland, Apple's counsel, said that Psystar has destroyed evidence it was required to preserve.
More specifically, Apple alleged, Psystar overwrote or erased infringing versions of the software code used on the computers it sold to its customers.
Psystar's legal battles with Apple began in 2008 when Apple filed a lawsuit saying Psystar violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) by modifying the Apple Mac OS X software and installing it on non-Apple computers. Psystar then filed a countersuit accusing Apple of antitrust violations, but that countersuit was dismissed.
In its most recent letter, Apple said that it served a discovery notice in November seeking the source and executable software code Psystar used to cause the Mac OS X to run on the Psystar computers.
Apple in its letter also wrote it deposed Psystar CEO Rodolfo Pedraza to discover how Psystar got around technical protection measures in the Mac OS X. Apple also wrote that it inspected Psystar's source code and deposed Roberto Pedraza, Psystar's co-founder, along with a Psystar technical consultant, whose name was redacted.
Apple in its letter alleges that, in the discovery process, it found that "Psystar has erased prior versions of its software that Apple's experts independently have found on defendant's [Psystar's] computers."
Apple wrote that it then sent a letter identifying the problem, but Psystar then filed for bankruptcy.
Apple in its letter further alleged that Psystar ignored the Court's previous order to take "affirmative steps as are necessary to preserve evidence," which Apple wrote included a ban on the overwriting of code.
Apple's letter also included examples of code which has been erased, but those examples were redacted from the letter.
However, in unredacted notes related to the redacted code, Apple wrote that Psystar's counsel had stated that Psystar's e-mail and customer support software, SupportSuite, randomly deletes or loses e-mails, and that despite Psystar's saying that it contacted SupportSuite about the issue, Psystar has yet to provide evidence of contacts with that vendor or evidence of any steps to halt the deletion of relevant e-mails by Psystar's e-mail system.
Apple wrapped up its letter by asking the court to order Psystar to produce all master copies of the code it used. If not, Apple wrote, it requests that the court issue an order requiring Psystar to admit it destroyed documents and sanction Psystar for what Apple called Psystar's "discovery misconduct."