FortniteSource: Epic Games

What you need to know

  • Apple's trial against Epic Games officially has a date.
  • It all kicks off on May 3 next year.
  • The trial is expected to take a number of months, and a likely appeals process may take years.

A California court has confirmed that Epic Games' huge antitrust case against Apple will call for trial on May 3, 2021.

In a filing Tuesday, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers stated:

The Court hereby sets a bench trial date in this action including related pretrial deadlines. These dates have been set considering myriad factors, including the parties' submissions; the efficiencies achieved by discovery having been conducted in the related matters, In re Apple iPhone Antitrust, 4:11-cv-06714-YGR (N.D. Cal.), and Donald R. Cameron, et. al. v. Apple Inc., 4:19-cv-03074-YGR (N.D. Cal.) (collectively, the "Related Matters"); the parties' decision to request a bench trial; and the Court's anticipated jury trial schedule in the summer of 2021 given the backlog created by the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Apple and Epic Games both have deadlines to follow with regards to obtaining evidence they both wish to call upon during the trial, as well as expert witnesses who they would like to speak on their behalf or pose questions to.

As previously reported, the trial will take place before Judge Gonzalez Rogers, rather than a jury. The first day of trial is currently set for Monday, May 3, 2021.

A recent joint filing from Epic Games and Apple had proposed a compromised eight-month trial schedule. Epic Games had initially asked for a snappy, six-month schedule with a trial kicking off as early as March, whilst Apple had pushed for a ten-month schedule with a trial beginning in August.

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A case management conference will call on October 19, in just a few days time, to confirm what legal issues are at stake, and as to whether parties agree on anything so that it doesn't need to be discussed during the trial itself.

Judge Gonzales Rogers is yet to issue a ruling on Epic Games' request for a preliminary injunction against Apple, where it asked for Fortnite to be restored to the App Store citing irreparable harm that a ban on the app was causing.