Judge suggests Apple vs Epic should go to jury, trial expected in July 2021


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During Monday’s hearing for Epic and Apple’s legal battle over the App Store and “Fortnite,” the judge suggested that the public’s opinion is important, with the matter otherwise penciled-in for a July bench trial.

Towards the end of a virtual hearing on Monday morning at the US District Court for the Northern District of California, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers told the legal teams of Epic and Apple that it would be worth considering having the trial with a jury to weigh in on the “Fortnite” saga“Fortnite” saga.

While a trial such as this could be handled by a judge or a group of judges, Rogers proposes it may be suitable for regular people to weigh in on the matter as a jury.

“They are important cases on the frontier of anti-trust law,” said Rogers, pointing out how major the case could be. However, Rogers also suggests the opinions of a federal judge may not necessarily be as useful as the public, especially in such important matters.

“It is important enough to understand what real people think,” the Judge added. “Do these security issues concern people, or not?”

Early indications indicate that Epic may not want to use a jury, with lawyers pushing for a bench trial instead. Legal teams have until Tuesday to declare whether a trial by jury is demanded.

As for the rest of the schedule, there’s a deadline of January 6 for the filing of data for the trial, while the trial itself will be sometime in July.

The hearing also gave a preview of what the potential trial between Epic and Apple could look like. Based on discussions in the hearing, it seems that it won’t be an easy ride for Epic.

The conversation in the two-hour hearing largely concerned arguments raised in earlier filings by both sides, including reports from experts. However on key points, Epic was seemingly admonished by Rogers.

The judge repeatedly highlighted that the matter was of Epic’s own doing, at times when Epic’s lawyers urged there was harm. Epic forced Apple’s hand in the matter, and it also has the opportunity to agree to Apple’s rules for “Fortnite” to be readmitted to the App Store.

There was also some pushback on Epic’s repeated declarations that Apple was a monopolist, as well as Epic’s…