Apple asks court to toss Epic Games lawsuit in Australia

Posted:
in General Discussion
Apple wants a "Fortnite" court case in Australia thrown out because Epic Games had promised to settle disputes exclusively in the U.S.

Credit: Epic Games
Credit: Epic Games


Back in November, Epic Games filed a claim in the Australian Federal Court's NSW registry that accused Apple of using its alleged App Store monopoly to breach antitrust regulations.

During the case's first hearing on Tuesday, Apple argued that Epic Games had contractually promised to settle any disputes or litigation with the Cupertino tech giant in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. As such, it asked for the case to be tossed out, the Australian Associated Press reported.

Epic, for its part, argued that its case concerned "great competition harm" involving specific breaches of Australia law.

The two companies are currently embroiled in a legal dispute in the U.S. after the "Fortnite" maker baited Apple into removing the popular battle royale game from the App Store. Epic immediately filed a prepared lawsuit against Apple shortly after.

In October, a U.S. District Court judge refused to order Apple to reinstate "Fortnite" to the App Store, but did issue an order preventing Apple from taking action against Epic Games' Unreal Engine.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,976member
    Epic Games had contractually promised to settle any disputes or litigation with the Cupertino tech giant in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. As such, it asked for the case to be tossed out, the Australian Associated Press reported.


    Oh sure... because we all know how Epic likes to honor contracts right?
    williamlondonItsDeCiaBeatsuraharaDetnatorwatto_cobraols
  • Reply 2 of 12
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,115member
    Apple argued that Epic Games had contractually promised to settle any disputes or litigation with the Cupertino tech giant in the U.S.

    Epic, for its part, argued that its case concerned "great competition harm" involving specific breaches of Australia law

    So Epic responded to Apple’s argument by saying something utterly unrelated? Whether the issue involves “harm” and “breaches of Australian Law”, is not the point of Apple’s argument. Epic is contractually bound to settle this in the US. Anything else is just smoke. 
    Detnatorwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 12
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,236member
    DAalseth said:
    Apple argued that Epic Games had contractually promised to settle any disputes or litigation with the Cupertino tech giant in the U.S.

    Epic, for its part, argued that its case concerned "great competition harm" involving specific breaches of Australia law

    So Epic responded to Apple’s argument by saying something utterly unrelated? Whether the issue involves “harm” and “breaches of Australian Law”, is not the point of Apple’s argument. Epic is contractually bound to settle this in the US. Anything else is just smoke. 
    I'm not sure that Epic's contractual obligation would be of any interest to the Australian court if it's specific Australian law that has been breached, just as a breach of Australian law wouldn't be of any interest to a US court, even if there's a contractual obligation to litigate in the US.  You can't contractually oblige yourself out of having to abide by a nation's laws.

    I'm not on Epic's side (and I don't actually know if any Australian law has been broken), but I think in this particular regard they probably have it right.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 4 of 12
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 930member
    crowley said:
    DAalseth said:
    Apple argued that Epic Games had contractually promised to settle any disputes or litigation with the Cupertino tech giant in the U.S.

    Epic, for its part, argued that its case concerned "great competition harm" involving specific breaches of Australia law

    So Epic responded to Apple’s argument by saying something utterly unrelated? Whether the issue involves “harm” and “breaches of Australian Law”, is not the point of Apple’s argument. Epic is contractually bound to settle this in the US. Anything else is just smoke. 
    I'm not sure that Epic's contractual obligation would be of any interest to the Australian court if it's specific Australian law that has been breached, just as a breach of Australian law wouldn't be of any interest to a US court, even if there's a contractual obligation to litigate in the US.  You can't contractually oblige yourself out of having to abide by a nation's laws.

    I'm not on Epic's side (and I don't actually know if any Australian law has been broken), but I think in this particular regard they probably have it right.
    There are both international treaties and the doctrine of Comity which will apply. What standing would Epic have in Australia? They're an American company suing an American company and there is an alleged contract under American law. 

    Why would the Australian courts want to inject itself and sink its resources in dealing with these combatants fighting over the interpretation of American Law? Once the American courts have decided, then Australian courts might have jurisdiction on deciding how to deal with foreign laws. 
    Detnatorwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 12
    This looks a lot like clutching at straws to me.

    People can argue "Apple antitrust" all they like but investigations don't mean anyone's breaking any laws.  Even Tim Cook admits that Apple and other large tech companies should get some scrutiny and he more or less welcomes it.  

    But when the rubber hits the road, Epic's legal case and even moral arguments have so many inconsistencies and holes. Tim Sweeney is not only an arrogant, self-obsessed a**h*** but a complete idiot as well.

    I'd love to know how this guy hasn't been thrown out by the board.  I haven't checked. How much of Epic does he own?
    edited December 2020 watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 12
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,236member
    larryjw said:
    crowley said:
    DAalseth said:
    Apple argued that Epic Games had contractually promised to settle any disputes or litigation with the Cupertino tech giant in the U.S.

    Epic, for its part, argued that its case concerned "great competition harm" involving specific breaches of Australia law

    So Epic responded to Apple’s argument by saying something utterly unrelated? Whether the issue involves “harm” and “breaches of Australian Law”, is not the point of Apple’s argument. Epic is contractually bound to settle this in the US. Anything else is just smoke. 
    I'm not sure that Epic's contractual obligation would be of any interest to the Australian court if it's specific Australian law that has been breached, just as a breach of Australian law wouldn't be of any interest to a US court, even if there's a contractual obligation to litigate in the US.  You can't contractually oblige yourself out of having to abide by a nation's laws.

    I'm not on Epic's side (and I don't actually know if any Australian law has been broken), but I think in this particular regard they probably have it right.
    There are both international treaties and the doctrine of Comity which will apply. What standing would Epic have in Australia? They're an American company suing an American company and there is an alleged contract under American law. 

    Why would the Australian courts want to inject itself and sink its resources in dealing with these combatants fighting over the interpretation of American Law? Once the American courts have decided, then Australian courts might have jurisdiction on deciding how to deal with foreign laws. 
    Epic are claiming that it is Australian law that has been broken, not American law.
    s.metcalfmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 7 of 12
    @crowley is right.

    For the others who replied above: so long as Apple and Epic do business in Australia--which they do--they are bound by the relevant local trade and other laws that apply here.  If Epic wishes to argue for a breach of those laws that affects their business in Australia they have every right to have their case heard.

    If Apple feels aggrieved or that Epic has broken their contract in the US, that's not very relevant here; if at all.  They should file a claim against Epic in the US where the agreement was made.  It's a completely separate issue.  To suggest otherwise is to argue that individual countries/markets have no sovereignty over their local laws, which is plainly false.
    edited December 2020 muthuk_vanalingambeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 8 of 12
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 930member
    crowley said:
    larryjw said:
    crowley said:
    DAalseth said:
    Apple argued that Epic Games had contractually promised to settle any disputes or litigation with the Cupertino tech giant in the U.S.

    Epic, for its part, argued that its case concerned "great competition harm" involving specific breaches of Australia law

    So Epic responded to Apple’s argument by saying something utterly unrelated? Whether the issue involves “harm” and “breaches of Australian Law”, is not the point of Apple’s argument. Epic is contractually bound to settle this in the US. Anything else is just smoke. 
    I'm not sure that Epic's contractual obligation would be of any interest to the Australian court if it's specific Australian law that has been breached, just as a breach of Australian law wouldn't be of any interest to a US court, even if there's a contractual obligation to litigate in the US.  You can't contractually oblige yourself out of having to abide by a nation's laws.

    I'm not on Epic's side (and I don't actually know if any Australian law has been broken), but I think in this particular regard they probably have it right.
    There are both international treaties and the doctrine of Comity which will apply. What standing would Epic have in Australia? They're an American company suing an American company and there is an alleged contract under American law. 

    Why would the Australian courts want to inject itself and sink its resources in dealing with these combatants fighting over the interpretation of American Law? Once the American courts have decided, then Australian courts might have jurisdiction on deciding how to deal with foreign laws. 
    Epic are claiming that it is Australian law that has been broken, not American law.
    Of course they are making the claim based on Australian law. But, the key issue raised here was an allege contract between Apple and Epic to keep in issues in American courts for this period, until the basic claims are adjudicated. 

    Courts in general don't like forum shopping. It's abuse of judicial systems, whether it remains in one country or spreads internationally. Regardless of whose laws, the factual basis would be duplicated, discovery duplicated, documents duplicated, costs duplicated. As it is, corporate ligation is a drag on the judicial systems -- the costs charged by the courts for litigation no where covers the costs -- taxpayers foot 90% of the bill, whether in the US or Australia. 

    The litigants can always come back to Australia after the litigation is complete in the US with US court findings of fact and law, which then makes it easy to adjudicate in foreign courts if they so choose. 

    Epic's suit is nothing more than judicial harassment. 
    Detnatorwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 12
    crowley said:
    larryjw said:
    crowley said:
    DAalseth said:
    Apple argued that Epic Games had contractually promised to settle any disputes or litigation with the Cupertino tech giant in the U.S.

    Epic, for its part, argued that its case concerned "great competition harm" involving specific breaches of Australia law

    So Epic responded to Apple’s argument by saying something utterly unrelated? Whether the issue involves “harm” and “breaches of Australian Law”, is not the point of Apple’s argument. Epic is contractually bound to settle this in the US. Anything else is just smoke. 
    I'm not sure that Epic's contractual obligation would be of any interest to the Australian court if it's specific Australian law that has been breached, just as a breach of Australian law wouldn't be of any interest to a US court, even if there's a contractual obligation to litigate in the US.  You can't contractually oblige yourself out of having to abide by a nation's laws.

    I'm not on Epic's side (and I don't actually know if any Australian law has been broken), but I think in this particular regard they probably have it right.
    There are both international treaties and the doctrine of Comity which will apply. What standing would Epic have in Australia? They're an American company suing an American company and there is an alleged contract under American law. 

    Why would the Australian courts want to inject itself and sink its resources in dealing with these combatants fighting over the interpretation of American Law? Once the American courts have decided, then Australian courts might have jurisdiction on deciding how to deal with foreign laws. 
    Epic are claiming that it is Australian law that has been broken, not American law.
    Yes, but Epic is the one who initiated the lawsuit in Australia despite them contractually agreeing not to. They aren’t faulting Australian law or the Australian courts. They’re faulting Epic for once again flouting agreements in order to grandstand. 
    Detnatorwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 12
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,236member
    crowley said:
    larryjw said:
    crowley said:
    DAalseth said:
    Apple argued that Epic Games had contractually promised to settle any disputes or litigation with the Cupertino tech giant in the U.S.

    Epic, for its part, argued that its case concerned "great competition harm" involving specific breaches of Australia law

    So Epic responded to Apple’s argument by saying something utterly unrelated? Whether the issue involves “harm” and “breaches of Australian Law”, is not the point of Apple’s argument. Epic is contractually bound to settle this in the US. Anything else is just smoke. 
    I'm not sure that Epic's contractual obligation would be of any interest to the Australian court if it's specific Australian law that has been breached, just as a breach of Australian law wouldn't be of any interest to a US court, even if there's a contractual obligation to litigate in the US.  You can't contractually oblige yourself out of having to abide by a nation's laws.

    I'm not on Epic's side (and I don't actually know if any Australian law has been broken), but I think in this particular regard they probably have it right.
    There are both international treaties and the doctrine of Comity which will apply. What standing would Epic have in Australia? They're an American company suing an American company and there is an alleged contract under American law. 

    Why would the Australian courts want to inject itself and sink its resources in dealing with these combatants fighting over the interpretation of American Law? Once the American courts have decided, then Australian courts might have jurisdiction on deciding how to deal with foreign laws. 
    Epic are claiming that it is Australian law that has been broken, not American law.
    Yes, but Epic is the one who initiated the lawsuit in Australia despite them contractually agreeing not to. They aren’t faulting Australian law or the Australian courts. They’re faulting Epic for once again flouting agreements in order to grandstand. 
    That contractual clause doesn't sound like it would stand up in court because of this very reason, and even if it did that's still a breach of contract issue in the USA which would have no bearing on whether something illegal has taken place in Australia.
    Beatsbeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 11 of 12
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,507member
    It will actually be a difficult political situation in Australia. China is currently targeting Australia (no doubt as a little fish proxy for a US fish still too big to swallow) with a series of import bans and tariffs, and nasty tic tok pictures, apparently because Australia had the temerity to suggest that the origins of COVID-19 should be properly investigated.
    To not hear the case brought by a company with a large Chinese ownership might add fuel to that fire.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 12
    I just find it really absurd that this lawsuit is still going on. Can you imagine if I walked into a store with my products, tell the owner that he will now be selling my products, and when he asks for something in return, I sue him. That's what Epic is doing to Apple.... taking it to Australia was just a random dirty attack.... :)
    Detnatorwatto_cobra
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