You may remember Psystar from the news of 2008, when Apple filed a suit against them for copyright infringement. Since then, Psystar’s appeal against the 2010 ruling against them has been shot down and this may well be the end of their story. In case you don’t recall, Psystar was making computers that ran OS X and, thusly, were selling “Mac clones”. The problem is that part of the license for using OS X is that it be used on Apple hardware only, and so Psystar was pretty clearly trying to sip Apple’s milkshake.
It should come as no surprise that Apple wanted to kibosh Psystar’s attempts to run OS X on their own machines; Apple makes its money from selling hardware, not software, and Psystar’s clones essentially scoop out the part of the process that pays Apple’s rent. Obviously, Apple’s not going to put all that work into R&D for the software so that Psystar can skim off the benefits, and this is why the hammer fell early and fell hard.
In the pre-Jobs era, circa 1997, Apple did license the Mac operating system for a little while and some clones did hit the market. Unfortunately or fortunately (depending on your personal vantage point), Jobs put an end to that with a quickness when he assumed the role of iCEO, and nary a whisper of licensing has been breathed again since.
On a personal note, I wouldn’t call it the most well-conceived business plan I’ve ever heard of. Quite frankly, I have no idea how Psystar thought Apple wouldn’t come after them with guns blazing or (even more baffling) that a court would let them get away with it. I guess they were hoping fortune would favor the brave.