Court puts temporary restraining order on Apple, does not blame it for Fortnite situation

In the latest update to the ongoing legal battle between Apple and Epic Games, the court has put a temporary restraining order on the former in order to protect Unreal Engine. While this can be considered a small win for Epic, it is important to note that the judge has not favored the company with respect to the Fortnite situation.

As reported by The Verge, the temporary restraining order prevents Apple from blocking Epic's developer accounts or restricting Unreal Engine across its platform. Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers, who is handling the case, states that Apple acted "severely" in retaliation to Epic and impacted a third-party developer ecosystem as well.

That said, Rogers has also noted that Fortnite being banned from the App Store appears to be a predicament of Epic's own making, saying that:

The Court finds that with respect to Epic Games’ motion as to its games, including Fortnite, Epic Games has not yet demonstrated irreparable harm. The current predicament appears of its own making.

[...] Epic Games admits that the technology exists to “fix” the problem easily by deactivating the “hotfix.” That Epic Games would prefer to litigate in that context does not mean that “irreparable harm” exists.

[...] Thus, in focusing on the status quo, the Court observes that Epic Games strategically chose to breach its agreements with Apple which changed the status quo.

The restraining order on Apple is effective immediately but it is important to note that it is meant only to preserve the status quo while the court hears arguments in a preliminary injunction about whether Apple can take action against Fortnite, Unreal Engine, or other Epic products throughout the duration of the trial.

Apple and Epic Games have been asked to submit their arguments over the next few weeks, with a full hearing scheduled on Zoom on September 28, 2020.

Source: The Verge | Gavel image via Brian Turner / Flickr

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