Epic Games and Apple both ask to have their case be heard by the judge, not a jury

    
19
Epic Games and Apple both ask to have their case be heard by the judge, not a jury

It appears that both Apple and Epic Games have finally found at least one piece of common ground. Earlier in the week, we reported on a three hour hearing where Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers ruled to have the case moved to a jury trial at some point in the middle of 2021. Now, it appears that will not be the case, as a recent court filing confirms that both sides have agreed to a trial by a judge and not a jury:

“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 would, presumably, be the last legal move before a trial date is set between the two. Unless, of course, there ends up being another few rounds of hissing and spitting at one another via legal documents. The trial itself could be set as early as July of 2021.

source: MacRumors via Gamasutra

No posts to display

19
LEAVE A COMMENT

Please Login to comment
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Reader
McGuffn

Sweeney better put up a cute animated video comparing his company’s self inflicted situation to slavery or something and aim it directly at the judge. And do it fast!

Reader
Schmidt.Capela

Only tangentially related, but in the EU this fight might be moot soon-ish.

The European Commission is looking into introducing a new set of rules targeting “gatekeepers”, companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, etc, which have the power to decide who is allowed to enter markets such as selling apps for a specific phone. Among the proposed rules:

– Gatekeepers would be forced to allow competing app stores and side-loading apps, and apps obtained that way would be allowed to use whichever payment processor they wanted. This, at the very least, would allow Epic to use the same solution they have for Android on iOS.

– Gatekeepers would be banned from blocking companies offering their products to customers outside of the gatekeeper’s platform or services, something I believe would make exclusivity contracts — like those used by the Epic store — illegal in the EU.

The finalized proposal is expected no later than December, though it might take considerably longer for it to be implemented.

Source: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2020/09/draft-eu-data-rules-target-apple-google-facebook-amazon/

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Patreon Donor
Loyal Patron
Ashfyn Ninegold

Epic: Oops
Everybody else: Hahaha, two-edged sword.

Reader
Schmidt.Capela

The EU has warned time and time again that either those companies fix their act or the EU will impose rules to do it for them.

BTW, now the EU is saying similar things about tackling fake news in services like Facebook. And I suspect Facebook et all will really hate it if the EU takes matters into their own hands.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Patreon Donor
Loyal Patron
Ashfyn Ninegold

Good for the EU. Facebook has failed to recognize their responsibility and allowed rot to fester in its bowels.

Reader
Bruno Brito

I wonder what would happen if these companies just shrugged and left the EU altogether.

Reader
Arktouros

It would be a pretty big shrug. EU in 2018 was still 19.7% of Apple’s operating profits. It would have to be an immense cut to just stop doing business there entirely.

Then again if they have to allow side loading of apps and basically abandon their walled garden approach within the EU then the operating profits could end up annihilated and it would simply not be worth doing business there at all. The operating profit margin there is already the lowest of all the regions in which they do business. The same likely would end up causing issues for other walled garden technology approaches such as gaming consoles. Most console manufacturers sell their hardware at a loss because they make up for it on the revenue cut later, imagine if EU people end up having to pay twice the price for newer consoles and games to make up for all this.

Over all it’s a relatively dangerous to play chicken with tech companies. Reducing the operating profits there to the point it’s not sustainable ends up creating a scenario where the EU is basically legislating themselves out of tax revenue or most likely increasing prices on the people to compensate for the loss of revenue.

Reader
Bruno Brito

Basically. Companies tend to be extremely tolerant ( to the point of cowardice ) of bad hands dealt to them as long as the bottom line is kept profitable, but everything has a limit.

Maybe this is Apple’s limit. I don’t know.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Patreon Donor
Loyal Patron
Ashfyn Ninegold

This case will be heard in the Northern District of California, which means it almost certainly will be heard in San Francisco, probably one of the most tech-satuated jurisdictions in the U.S. Of twelve random people on the street, six are likely to have a tie of some sort to the tech industry and the other six are likely to be pissed at the tech industry for various reasons. Hard to get an impartial jury.

I don’t know the rules for the Northern District, whether Judge Rogers will continue with the case or whether it will be assigned to another judge (I assume by a random draw), but whoever hears the trial is likely to be sophisticated in both the tech industry and contract law, as Judge Rogers has already shown in her comments, and will therefore allow for complex legal theory without having to spend time (and money) laying it all out to a jury.

Reader
Arktouros

Not really surprising. Judge has ruled semi favorably for both sides. Epic threw away Fortnite on iOS but the judge has shown favor towards keeping Unreal Engine going on the platform. Meanwhile Apple similarly saw the judge rip into Epic for starting this whole mess in a shady way and tends to see Apple as no different than Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo and otherwise.

You throw all this to a jury and you have no idea what’s going to happen.

Reader
Utakata

…so they want to eat their cake too.

Reader
laelgon

Can’t say I blame them, having sat on a jury for a weeks long civil case myself. Absolutely none of the jurors want to be there, and are pretty thoroughly pissed off at both sides for costing them weeks of paid work. Plus you’re relying on your average person to understand complex subject matter. Those aren’t dice I’d want to roll.

Reader
Bruno Brito

Would be a great punishment for two companies who decided to use the law as a prop to profit.

Reader
Roger Christie

There’s only one company doing that in this case.

Reader
Bruno Brito

Sure, but fuck Apple.

Reader
Bryan Turner

Probably because no jury on earth would want to side with either of these douche bag companies.

MilitiaMasterV
Reader
MilitiaMasterV

Hear Hear!

Reader
Adam Russell

I suggest that it may be better to follow the law rather than choosing which side you like or dislike more.

Reader
Bryan Turner

I agree, however I was merely attempting to crack a joke.