Apple Retains Gibson Dunn Lawyers From Samsung Case to Combat Epic Games

Apple will use lawyers from Gibson Dunn, the same firm that spearheaded the second Apple v. Samsung action, in its bid to fend off a private antitrust suit leveled by Epic Games, according to software patent and litigation expert Florian Mueller at FOSS Patents.

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Last week, Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store after ‌Epic Games‌ introduced a direct payment option in the app, defying ‌App Store‌ rules. In what appears to have been an orchestrated move, ‌Epic Games‌ promptly filed a lawsuit against Apple, accusing the company of anti-competitive actions. Gibson Dunn has been selected to stand as counsel for Apple before the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in the case.

The firm has represented Apple in high-profile litigation cases in the past, such as the second Apple v. Samsung case. Apple filed a lawsuit in February 2012 claiming that Samsung had violated five Apple patents. Samsung responded with a counterclaim, stating that two patents had been infringed on by Apple. Apple was awarded $539 million in damages as a result.

Interestingly, Gibson Dunn has also counseled against Apple in the Apple v. Qualcomm antitrust and contract litigation in the Southern District of California. The case saw Gibson Dunn attorneys counsel Apple's contract manufacturer when Apple refused to pay royalties on Qualcomm's intellectual property.

"The court is almost certainly going to ask why Epic can't just live and comply with the same app developer agreement it had been honoring for years, gladly making a billion-dollar amount, while this litigation is ongoing," Mueller speculated.

The first ‌Epic Games‌ v. Apple encounter in court is scheduled to take place on Monday in the form of a Zoom videoconference. ‌Epic Games‌ now faces the threat of its Apple Developer Program account being terminated on August 28 unless it resolves violations of Apple's Developer Program License Agreement.

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Top Rated Comments

mielie Avatar
50 months ago

All the people rooting for Apple here - are any of you actually developers that sell apps or In-App Purchases?

I can’t imagine anyone that has put in the thousands of hours of work to make an app, then thinks it’s cool that Apple does virtually nothing but receives a 30% cut.

What Apple does here is rent seeking, plain and simple. They’re a leach providing nothing of value. They’re a middle man to an actual payment processor which would charge less than 3% (and Apple has likely negotiated for a much lower rate than the 3% an independent developer would pay.) Apple charges 10x while adding absolutely nothing, just because they can.

The practice is without a doubt immoral, and I expect that at least some courts in the world will find it illegal.
If you are a developer, you've probably not been one for long. When I started, we had to spend large sums of money on development tool-kits, IDE's, compilers, access to resources like API documentation, etc. You then needed to spend a small fortune on marketing your products, finding vendors and distributors, providing support mechanisms, handling returns, etc.

IMHO developers have never had it this good. Not only are almost all the tools now provided as part of the developer subscription (in fact, you don't even need the subscription for Xcode, which is still my favourite IDE), but Apple have created a marketplace that has global reach, on a platform that is secure, reliable and easy to develop for. Apple manages all aspects of distribution, ensuring my products can be purchased and distributed in just about any country in the world. I don't even need to worry about different currencies!

Just my two cents worth, I certainly wouldn't want things to go back to how they were before, and I'm happy to pay Apple a percentage on my sales for this totally awesome ecosystem.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cocky jeremy Avatar
50 months ago

All the people rooting for Apple here - are any of you actually developers that sell apps or In-App Purchases?

I can’t imagine anyone that has put in the thousands of hours of work to make an app, then thinks it’s cool that Apple does virtually nothing but receives a 30% cut.

What Apple does here is rent seeking, plain and simple. They’re a leach providing nothing of value. They’re a middle man to an actual payment processor which would charge less than 3% (and Apple has likely negotiated for a much lower rate than the 3% an independent developer would pay.) Apple charges 10x while adding absolutely nothing, just because they can.

The practice is without a doubt immoral, and I expect that at least some courts in the world will find it illegal.
LOL. This is hilarious. Provide nothing of value? These devs would be making 0% of $0 without Apple.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
grjj Avatar
50 months ago

All the people rooting for Apple here - are any of you actually developers that sell apps or In-App Purchases?

I can’t imagine anyone that has put in the thousands of hours of work to make an app, then thinks it’s cool that Apple does virtually nothing but receives a 30% cut.

What Apple does here is rent seeking, plain and simple. They’re a leach providing nothing of value. They’re a middle man to an actual payment processor which would charge less than 3% (and Apple has likely negotiated for a much lower rate than the 3% an independent developer would pay.) Apple charges 10x while adding absolutely nothing, just because they can.

The practice is without a doubt immoral, and I expect that at least some courts in the world will find it illegal.
So if Apple took away their app store, just for sake of argument, you'd have the resources to reliably host your app for download, market it, collect payment and provide the security and support services to deal with refund requests and make sure no-one is tampering with your app before customers download it? You'd have a way to do all that for free? Power, space, Internet connection, etc? I pretty much guarantee that isn't the case. Amortize those costs out for personal hosting vs your sales for most developers and I'd bet it's comes out much higher than 30%.

Yea, Apple make running the app store look easy to the developers and world at large. Have you seen any of the stories about the data centers they run to keep those services running? Do you think all that hardware, power and admin is free?
I can't argue that it's worth 30% in total but I know it's not free, and it's certainly more than the 3% you cite for processing fees.
This is a lot like the argument on drug prices: the second pull costs $1, the first one costs millions to billions. The app store process is only "free" when you ignore all the capital investment to set it up and support resources to maintain it in an operational state 24/7.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kaledatheone Avatar
50 months ago

All the people rooting for Apple here - are any of you actually developers that sell apps or In-App Purchases?

I can’t imagine anyone that has put in the thousands of hours of work to make an app, then thinks it’s cool that Apple does virtually nothing but receives a 30% cut.

What Apple does here is rent seeking, plain and simple. They’re a leach providing nothing of value. They’re a middle man to an actual payment processor which would charge less than 3% (and Apple has likely negotiated for a much lower rate than the 3% an independent developer would pay.) Apple charges 10x while adding absolutely nothing, just because they can.

The practice is without a doubt immoral, and I expect that at least some courts in the world will find it illegal.
And you think the Apple Developer tools like Xcode and the curation work, all the servers etc that Apple has to upkeep is nothing? Get real. Apple's 30% goes for all this infrastructure support and tools development. And then there are all those free apps for which Apple charges nothing!
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gnasher729 Avatar
50 months ago

All the people rooting for Apple here - are any of you actually developers that sell apps or In-App Purchases?

I can’t imagine anyone that has put in the thousands of hours of work to make an app, then thinks it’s cool that Apple does virtually nothing but receives a 30% cut.
I have an app (mostly produced because it does something that I wanted, plus something that I can show in a job interview), and it's on the store as a paid app (not because it makes any reasonable amount of money, but because I decided that if you can't even pay $0.99 then you don't deserve to have it). Guess what: I have paid downloads from countries all over the world, South East Asia, Africa, lots of countries that I could never, ever have sold to because of all the tax rules etc. for all these countries.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
szw-mapple fan Avatar
50 months ago
Law firms must love these companies bickering with each other. They get paid no matter which side they are on.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)