Judge In Apple/Epic Suit Calls Epic "Not Honest," Suggests Jury Trial Next Summer

Jason Winter
By Jason Winter, News Editor

Buckle up and settle in because the fight between Epic and Apple will be going on for a while. The two companies had their day in (virtual) court yesterday, with a judge saying that the case should be heard before a jury next July.

CNet is reporting that California Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers "seemed less than impressed with the arguments put forward by Epic's legal team," telling Epic that willfully circumventing the 30% fee imposed by the App Store was "not honest." Rogers also countered Epic's claim of "irreparable harm" by saying that "There's no case law that says that my billion-dollar company is losing some millions and so therefore that's irreparable harm."

Epic obviously disagreed, with its attorney saying that "you don't lie down in the street and die" when taking on "the biggest company in the world." "You plan very carefully on how you're going to respond and you try very hard to keep your head above water."

Judge Rogers suggested a compromise: that Fortnite be allowed back on the App Store, with its money owed to Apple kept in an escrow account for the duration of the trial. Apple's representation said it would need to talk it over, while Epic's counsel flatly refused, calling the measure "unlawful provisions by monopolists." Rogers replied by saying, "I didn't buy that argument before I'm not particularly impressed with it now."

The judge understands and admits her small role in this entire affair, calling herself a "stepping stone" and saying that "Whoever loses is going to take it up and say everything I did was wrong -- that's what litigators do." That means that, regardless of how the initial ruling does come down next summer, this is likely going to drag on for a long time. If you own an iPhone and want to play Fortnite, it's time to look into alternatives.

UPDATE, Sept. 30: Epic and Apple can at least agree on one thing: neither wants a jury trial. Macrumors reports that both companies "agree that Epic's claims and Apple's counterclaims should be tried by the Court, and not by a jury." Apple originally requested a trial by jury, but withdrew the request after learning that the judge didn't want to handle two trials, one each for the claims and the counterclaims.

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In this article: Fortnite, Epic Games, Apple.

About the Author

Jason Winter
Jason Winter, News Editor
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.

Discussion (4)

Brandon 2 years ago
Personally I Hope Apple Loses because I Agree with Epic they are monopolists. Seriously If your a company that is making BILLIONS of Dollars per year LIKE Apple is Doing then there is no need for them to want 30% of your money for something they are not themselves selling but allowing you to list on there site for sale. If Epic was truly making BILLIONS like Apple thinks they are it surely is NOT off of the Video Games they Create and sell they surely are not making that much off the licensing of there products such as the unreal engine. Apple on the other hand makes 1k per laptop USED. So yeah Billion Dollar Company they are not. Apple Now thats a Billion Dollar Monopolist Company if I ever seen 1. Hell Epic is GIVING away FREE GAMES is Apple doing that? Nope they want you to PAY for them so they can get 30% off the sale.

Jen 2 years ago
the vast majority of the public are aware that legally perhaps they dont really have a strong case, but the real issue is about future of tech/software and how it it progresses. If you're even remotely tech savvy...its common knowledge apple do in fact participate in these activities and i personally think the reason why so many people feel so strongly about this case is due to this fact.

i truly believe the future is cross platform/open platform, the way apple does this ends up slow things down significantly and just driving prices up. if you actually take the time to read into the apple store policies and not just the headlines, it will become extremely obvious.
(dictating/influences prices on and off the platform, it even influences design and functionality of apps...forcing developers to not include things like FAQ, offsite support/references, integrating cross platform features like accounts and e currency etc....)

HunterH 2 years ago
Honestly, all of this by Epic Games just seems like a farce.

Epic Games in order to get their game on the store, agreed either by contract or Terms of Service/some other from of agreement, to abide by specific rules. Epic Games then broke the terms, by trying to do something the agreement disallowed *and* they did it on two fronts.. and got the same punishment on both the Microsoft & Apple stores. To my recollection, they then were allowed back onto the Microsoft store even though they broke said terms, and both Microsoft and Epic targets Apple over it all?
Personally I want Epic to get slapped hard by a Judge or Jury for these shenanigans. They agreed to the terms, then ignored the agreement to try to profit more. I understand wanting to avoid the 30% cut from the store, but breaking the agreement and trying to spew hot air is just.. it's just a poor idea all in all.

Theoretically, I believe even if they won it'd just set a precedent that'll be exploited by those with greed anyway. Which will completely break the current terms that Google & Apple use, and make it need to be even more strict with allowing things onto their stores.

TreadHead 2 years ago
This case seems like a bad idea from Epic from the very beginning. Apple doesn't have anything like a monopoly, anyone who thinks they do should look at Sony, Microsoft and Nintendos consoles. You must also go through them to publish on their consoles but nobody would say any single on of them has a monopoly on the game industry.

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