Federal Judge Tosses Apple's Theft Claims in Ongoing Epic Games Legal Fight

A California federal judge on Tuesday dismissed some of Apple's counterclaims against Epic Games in its ongoing antitrust battle over Apple's App Store fees (via Bloomberg).

fortnite apple logo 2
Apple and Epic have been in a legal fight since August, when Apple removed Fortnite from the ‌App Store‌ after ‌Epic Games‌ introduced a direct payment option in the app, defying the ‌App Store‌ rules. ‌Epic Games‌ promptly filed a lawsuit against Apple, accusing the company of anti-competitive actions.

In September, Apple filed a counter suit to stop the game maker from using its own payment system for Fortnite. Apple also accused Epic of theft and sought extra monetary damages beyond breach of contract.

In October, Epic filed a motion ahead of Tuesday's hearing seeking the dismissal of Apple's counterclaims of intentional interference with prospective economic advantage and conversion, along with its punitive damages bid.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers granted ‌Epic Games‌' motion for judgement, throwing out Apple's two claims for lost ‌App Store‌ fees and other monetary damages.

"This is a high-stakes breach of contract case and an antitrust case and that's all in my view," Gonzalez told Apple's lawyers, according to Bloomberg. "You can't just say it's independently wrongful. You actually have to have facts," the judge said, adding that the rest of the breach-of-contract case moves forward.

Apple told Bloomberg that it disagreed with the judge's decision, adding that it was clear that Epic breached its contract with the company. Epic in October had a preliminary injunction dismissed by the same judge, meaning Fortnite will remain unavailable on the ‌App Store‌ for the duration of the lawsuit, assuming that the app remains in violation of the ‌App Store‌ Review Guidelines. The case continues.

Top Rated Comments

Brian Y Avatar
15 weeks ago
Wait, Apple were actually suing over lost app store revenue?! They're showing their true colours here.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
4jasontv Avatar
15 weeks ago

Perhaps someone can explain subscription software scheme.
Sure.

Subscription software is a scam where developers try to convince customers to continuously pay for software in order to trick them into thinking they don't own said software. It relies heavily on the idea that the user is paying for access to the software and that the investment they retain is the experience they had with it and not the product itself. By ensuring the developer does not have to compete with a secondary market it can develop the software at any pace it wants, leaving bugs and promised features for as long as necessary while continuing to charge customers. Not owning the software makes right to repair nearly impossible, and some developers even introduce 'anti-cheat' measure that permanently brick the software if the customer attempts to fix it on their own. Meanwhile, the customer is left in a stressful state where they rely entirely on the developer seeing value in their own software else it is shut down and the software is disabled for the customer.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WiseAJ Avatar
15 weeks ago

Apple could have ended this yesterday.

Instead, I’m worried that they’ll bring their same draconian restrictions to the new ARM Macs.

On a related note of the inability to run software Apple hasn’t approved, it was super disappointing that they chose to revive the PC character but it wasn’t to reassure people that the ARM Macs could boot into Windows 10.
Epic can end this anytime their CEO wants to stop being a child.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TVreporter Avatar
15 weeks ago
I should have become a lawyer. The only true winners in this saga.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iBluetooth Avatar
15 weeks ago

Apple could have ended this yesterday.

Instead, I’m worried that they’ll bring their same draconian restrictions to the new ARM Macs.

On a related note of the inability to run software Apple hasn’t approved, it was super disappointing that they chose to revive the PC character but it wasn’t to reassure people that the ARM Macs could boot into Windows 10.
You know Apple has always offered Epic to come back to the Appstore if they follow the contract. Epic could end this tomorrow.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
az431 Avatar
15 weeks ago

Epic suit is about a “ rent” Apple have built into users’ hardware products that they own which use its OSS Darwin and proprietary API’s that Apple rightfully charges third party developers a fee to sell on Apple’s AppStore.

Users buy Apple products. They own them. Users buy software that they own for a one-time fee. In that fee is Apple’s “rent”. SO the onus will be upon Apple to prove that the developer fee is not sufficient to actually develop third party software it is free to sell. Who owns the developer work product?. IF Apple insists that 30% transaction fee is owned by its license to use its API’s, then the court must address limitations in its third party license that effectively promote use of its AppStore. THUS forced “rent” and maybe trigger of monopoly statutes. That’s my understanding...

Perhaps someone can explain subscription software scheme.
Yeah your “understanding” doesn’t square at all with contract or antitrust law, or the facts or logic for that matter.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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