Epic Games vs. Apple preliminary injunction hearing took place this morning (Pacific Time) before Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in the Northern District of California.[…]
Towards the end of the hearing, Judge Gonzalez Rogers strongly recommended asking the actual questions here (and she also categorized the market definition as a factual question) to a jury, given that appeals courts – in her observation – could not afford the district court to judge much respect for their actual decisions.
Patrick McGee, a reporter for the Financial Times, tweeted yesterday̵7;s hearing for the Epic v. Apple case in a long thread that is well worth reading if you are interested in the case.
Highlights have been drawn elsewhere, including from Kyle Orland at Ars Technica, but the result seems to be that while solid arguments were made on both sides, Epic definitely took the weight of the referee’s attention yesterday.
There’s a video here. Transcripts are here.
James Vincent (Hacker News):
Judge [Rogers] expressed skepticism about Epic’s arguments, especially the claim that it did not pose a security threat to Apple because it is a well-established company and partner.
“You did something, you lied about it by omission, by not being present. That’s the security issue. That’s the security issue! ”
Epic certainly puzzled Apple, but what’s the security issue? It has been known since the beginning of the App Store that the review process cannot capture feature flags. That’s the real security issue. But Epic has no reason to use them to harm their own customers.
According to CNN, Judge Rogers said she was “not very convinced” by Epic’s argument that Apple has put the App Store and in-app payment system together in violation of the antitrust law. The judge also said that she did not necessarily agree with Epic that Apple has damaged the ability to distribute Fortnite through its control of the App Store.
She seems to take the angle I’ve been taking all along: Apple is running iOS as an app console, and it’s no water for Epic to claim that the Xbox, PlayStation and Switch gaming platforms are fine, but Apple’s app platform is not. .
Apple and Epic Games do not want to have a jury trial in their ongoing legal dispute over Fortnite and Apple’s App Store policies, according to a submission sent to the Northern California court that is handling the case today.
It is very speculative why this surprising choice was made. While Apple’s in-house legal department has vastly more experience with high-stakes commercial disputes than Epic, outsiders agree on both sides. It’s just a gut feeling, but this looks like one of those cases where both parties believe very strongly that they are going to win – not the kind of cases where a plaintiff has the strong faith, but the defendant tries a long shot and stall, or where plaintiff seeks a crapshoot (which often happens in patent cases).
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