Fortnight lawsuit; Epic may be asked why it can no longer adhere to guidelines it benefitted from for years

Apple hired the law firm that led it to victory in the case against Samsung.

Engadget JP (Translation)
Engadget JP (Translation) , @Engadget_MT
2020年08月21日, 午後 02:24 in egmt
Epic Games

This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.

In the case of the popular game Fortnite, which was removed from the App Store for attempting to avoid fees, the developer Epic Games first filed a lawsuit against Apple for antitrust violations. In response, Apple threatened to terminate Epic's developer account, and Epic sought an injunction in federal district court.

It is reported that Apple has retained a law firm with a proven track record of leading the company to victory in the past, and it is expected to ask two tough questions of Epic.

According to Foss Patent, a blog that covers software and mobile device patents, Apple has appointed the law firm of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher to handle the litigation. The company once took on a lawsuit alleging that Samsung's Galaxy series infringed Apple's intellectual property rights and won approximately $539 million in damages.

The firm also represented Qualcomm in the antitrust litigation between Apple and Qualcomm, a major U.S. semiconductor company. That case was settled, but Apple was made to pay $5 to $6 billion in damages, and the firm essentially won the case.

In this lawsuit, Epic is seeking an injunction against the removal of Fortnite from the App Store, but the Foss Patent has stated that this is unlikely to be granted. That's because the arguments of Apple's lawyers are expected to lead to two tough questions being posed to Epic by the judge.

The first is why Epic can't now adhere to the same app developer contracts that have earned it huge profits over the years. And even if Epic's claim is accepted, the Foss Patent says it will probably only get monetary damages.

The basis for this is the convention that U.S. courts generally do not grant injunctions if it is deemed that damages can be recovered at a later stage through compensation.

In fact, Apple has suggested that Epic could revoke the removal simply by undoing the part of the game that led to the violation of developer guidelines.

In other words, it's possible that Epic could re-publish the old version of the game that withdrew the payment system change, while letting the lawsuit go ahead and, if the court later rules in Epic's favor, Apple could be ordered to return the fees it took too much of between the filing of the lawsuit and the judgment.

Another point the Foss Patent makes is why Epic is not asserting a similar claim to Fortnite's revocation of removal from the App Store in its suit against Google in the same federal district court. That one only seeks to rectify the app store monopoly, and does not specifically seek to injure the removal of the app.

Indeed, if the focus of the issue is that the 30% fee on the App Store is too high, then re-releasing Fortnite on the App Store with the payment system back in place and getting damages separately should be enough for Epic. Epic may find itself in a difficult position in the lawsuit.

Source: Foss Patent

Via: 9to5Mac

This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.

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