Judge extends Apple's response time to Epic Games' motion as heavyweight counsel enters the fray

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iPhone event (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple has enlisted its counsel for the fight against Epic.
  • It will be represented by Gibson Dunn, who also defended Apple against Samsung and Qualcomm.
  • The first order of business was seeking more time to respond to a recent Epic motion.

Apple has enlisted the help of Gibson Dunn, the lawyers that represented it during its cases against Samsung and Qualcomm, in its legal battle royale against Epic Games.

As reported by software patent and litigation expert Florian Mueller at Foss Patents:

Approximately 20 hours before the deadline Judge Edward Chen gave Apple to respond to Epic Games' motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO) with respect to Epic Games' access to the App Store and Apple's developer tools, two high-profile L.A.-based antitrust lawyers just appeared (electronically) before the United States District Court for the Northern District of California as counsel for Apple.

Lawyers Daniel G. Swanson, Richard J Doren, and Jay P. Srinivasan appeared for Apple by way of a video conference, confirming they will act as counsel for Apple in the upcoming case. As Mueller notes:

Gibson Dunn frequently represents Apple as well as parties whose interests are aligned with Apple's. The two most important cases of this kind that I've followed are the second Apple v. Samsung case in the Northern District of California and the Apple v. Qualcomm antitrust and contract litigation in the Southern District of California. In the latter case, Gibson Dunn worked for Apple's contract manufacturers (Foxconn/Hon Hai, Pegatron, Compal, and Wistron)--and squared off with the very firm on the other side that filed Epic Games' complaints against Apple and Google: Cravath, Swaine & Moore of New York City.

This week also saw the first developments in the legal case between Apple and Epic Games. Epic recently filed a motion against Apple, seeking to prevent Apple from terminating its developer accounts because of its breach of App Store guidelines. According to Mueller, Apple's original deadline for responding to said motion was set for Wednesday, August 19. A judge has now extended this to Friday, August 21. A clerk's notice states:

"Per the Court's discussion with the parties, Defendant shall have until Friday, August 21, 2020, to file an opposition to [17] Plaintiff's motion for a temporary restraining order. The hearing on the motion is temporarily vacated. Should the instant case be transferred to Judge Gonzalez-Rogers, briefing and/or hearing dates may be subject to change."

Mueller notes that the case may be transferred to Oakland from San Francisco, which could result in even more time being granted to Apple for a response. Currently, Apple has until Friday to respond to the motion. Commenting on the urgency expressed by Epic, Mueller writes:

I've previously expressed doubts over whether this motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO) was truly as urgent as Epic's lawyers claimed.

You can read the full report here.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9