The latest in the Apple vs. Epic Games legal saga is that both companies have agreed not to proceed to a jury trial. As per the filing to the Northern California court, the companies have requested a bench trial at a date decided by the court. It was also mentioned that the companies reached the decision after mutual deliberation.
Apple and Epic Games had a bitter falling out after the developer released an update with a new direct payment method on the Fortnite iOS app. Since then, the two companies have entangled in retaliatory actions and legal battles. Unfortunately for the players, the Fortnite app got banned from the App Store, and Epic neither did remove the controversial update, it also didn’t release the new Fortnite season on iOS.
Apple and Epic seek a Bench Trial
This decision comes after the preliminary injunction hearing at United States District Court for the Northern District of California in the federal judge, Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers’ courtroom. In her concluding remarks, judge Rogers hinted at a trial by jury in July 2021.
A day after the hearing, the companies have mutually agreed that the claims and counterclaims should be tried by a bench trial at a date determined by the court. The filing reads,
“Epic and Apple have met and conferred, and the parties agree that Epic’s claims and Apple’s counterclaims should be tried by the Court, and not by a jury. Therefore, with Epic’s consent, Apple hereby withdraws its demand for a jury trial pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 38(d). The parties respectfully request that the case (including any claims and counterclaims) proceed to a bench trial on a schedule determined by the Court.”
This is the first time in the past two months, that Epic has agreed with Apple on something. Maybe the companies later decide to resolve the issue amicably which was initial recommended by judge Rogers at the August preliminary hearing for the betterment of the industry.
At the September 28 injunction hearing, the judge was yet again not convinced by Epic’s arguments to support accusations of anti-competitive behavior and monopoly of the App Store by Apple. She reiterated that Epic acted dishonestly and deliberately violated its contract.
After being the target of a social media campaign by Epic and accused of creating a monopoly by Facebook for its App Store policies, Apple updated its website, apple.com/app-store/, with detailed information on all the services and benefits the digital marketplace offers to the consumers and developers.