Epic wants the emails of Steve Jobs and Tim Cook as part of its spat with Apple

Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs (Image credit: Rene Ritchie/iMore)

What you need to know

  • Epic and Apple continue their legal spat that will likely run for around a year.
  • Epic accuses Apple of providing a "facially deficient" custodian list.
  • The maker of Fortnite says it wants the emails of Steve Jobs and Tim Cook to add to the 3.6 million documents it already has.

Apple and Epic continue their legal spat over Fortnite and App Store policy and the pettiness has now managed to extend to discovery. Specifically, Epic wants to see the emails of former Apple CEO Steve Jobs and current CEO, Tim Cook.

The latest farce comes following yesterday's joint case management statement, as noted by Foss Patents. Perhaps predictably, the pair are blaming each other for being uncooperative.

The document indicates a blame game, with Epic insinuating that Apple is stalling and Apple pointing a finger at Epic for lack of cooperation. And in this context, the names of the founders and CEOs of both companies come up:

Epic has already made 16,000 pages of CEO Tim Sweeney's files available to Apple, with the App Store owner saying that those pages were cherry-picked for obvious reasons. Epic says they weren't.

Epic says it's already "already made an initial production of more than 16,000 pages from the files of Timothy Sweeney, Epic's CEO." But Apple argues those documents may have been "cherry-picked and omit a significant amount of relevant materials" (which Epic obviously denies).

But this goes both ways. Epic says that Apple's list of custodians – the people who may hold information that is important to the case – is "facially deficient". Basically, it's accusing Apple of holding back documents of its own.

Epic wants the emails of former CEO Steve Jobs and current CEO, Tim Cook, to add to the 3.6 million documents that are already in play.

Apple's list of six custodians is also facially deficient, as it does not include individuals on whom Apple repeatedly relied during the temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction motions, such as Steve Jobs, Apple's former CEO, or Tim Cook, Apple's current CEO.

It goes on. Apple in turn says that everything Epic needs is already freely available – on the internet, no less – should it bother to look.

Epic[] alleges that Apple's proposed custodian list is 'facially deficient' because it includes neither Steve Jobs nor Tim Cook, 'whom Apple repeatedly relied on during the temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction motions.' Epic's statement mischaracterizes the facts. Apple's temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction briefs cite exactly two references with respect to its current and former CEO—Tim Cook's Statement before the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, and an AppleInsider article quoting Steve Jobs. Both are publicly available to Epic, and neither supports the need for a custodial collection from Apple's highest executives. To the contrary, Apple's proposed custodian list includes all fact witnesses who submitted declarations in support of Apple's temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction briefs—including Philip Schiller, current Apple Fellow and former Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, who is the executive most likely to have information relevant to this case.

Judge Gonzalez Rogers will hold a case management conference next Monday – that should be an interesting one to say the least!

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.