A California judge has recently denied Epic Games’ request for a preliminary injunction that would have required Apple to allow Fortnite back into the App Store, which means the app will continue to remain unavailable on Apple’s iOS platform for the duration of the legal battle between the two companies.
The decision made by the court echo a previous ruling made during a request for a temporary restraining order, where the judge made the same determinations and allowed Apple to ban the Fortnite app but prevented the Cupertino tech giant from blocking the Unreal Engine.
Epic Games’ preliminary injunction against Apple denied
In a decision on Friday, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers affirmed that Fortnite would stay restricted from the iOS App Store for the duration of Epic Games’ claim against Apple, but the court would grant protections against Epic Games designer accounts and the Unreal Engine:
“In sum, the Court finds that based upon the record before it, the Winter factors weigh against granting a preliminary injunction based on Epic Games’ requests as to Fortnite and other games and in favor of granting a preliminary injunction order as the Epic Affiliates effected developer tools, including as to Unreal Engine.”
Epic has asserted that it should be given injunctive alleviation because it should not have to comply with an anti-competitive App Store contract, yet the court has dismissed this contention on numerous occasions since Epic Games purposely breached its agreement with Apple and prompted Fortnite to be banned
“Epic Games cannot simply exclaim “monopoly” to rewrite agreements giving itself unilateral benefit. Its other identified bases: damage to its reputation and the Fortnite gaming community cannot constitute irreparable harm where such harm flows from Epic Games’ own actions and its strategic decision to breach its agreements with Apple. While consumers are feeling the impact of this litigation, the fact remains: these are business disputes.”
Unless both companies to an agreement or an official verdict is decided by the courts, the ruling means that Fortnite and other games by Epic will continue to be unavailable on the App Store for the duration of the trial. The trial is currently scheduled to begin on Monday, May 3rd, 2021.