While the Apple v. Epic case has arguably grabbed a lot of attention, it’s not the only front in the battle over Fortnite on mobile devices. Shortly after Apple booted Fortnite from the App Store, Google did the exact same thing by kicking it off the Google Play Store. And, just as with Apple, Epic Games filed suit against Google. Now, the judge overseeing that particular case has made it clear that he’s not in the mood for any delays.
Judge James Donato rejected a recommendation from Google for a trial start of October 2022. The litigants have been trying to hammer out a schedule for discovery and pre-trial motions since mid-October. The last known docket entry relating to scheduling had Epic suggesting a start date of late February 2022, and Google vaguely hinting beyond September 2022. Unlike the Apple v. Epic case, the suit between Google and Epic is complicated by the existence of several other cases which Judge Donato has ordered to be reassigned to him on the basis of similarity or related issues.
However, a report from Esports Observer indicates that a hearing last Thursday had Judge Donato telling both parties to “get moving.”
Food For Thought
With all of the related cases being brought together by Judge Donato, it seems that Google v. Epic will end up being a class action suit, or something very close to it. Epic’s point about the February 2022 date being inside an 18 month window stipulated by the Court as necessary for a speedy trial is well taken, and the schedule laid out by Epic seems to be one which is about as fast as humanly possible. Google’s position that having different discovery dates between Epic on the one hand and the other litigants whose cases are now related potentially causing difficulty for all parties involved is not unreasonable on its face. However, Google seems to regard the window for a speedy trial stipulated by the Court not as a standing order (as Epic asserts) but a vague suggestion.