As Appleâ€™s legal battle with Epic Games continues, a judge in the case has made a pair of decisions unfriendly to Apple. First off, Apple CEO Tim Cook has been ordered to sit for a 7-hour deposition in the case. The judge has also rejected Appleâ€™s attempt to subpoena Samsung as part of the case.
As reported by Gizmodo, the court documents reveal that Epic Games had originally wanted to depose Cook for eight hours. Apple then cited the apex doctrine, which can prevent high-level executives from being deposed at all, before conceding to four hours.
The judge in the case, however, has decided that Cook can be deposed by Epic Games for seven hours:
According to Judge Thomas S. Hixon, however, â€œthis dispute is less than meets the eye.â€� Hixon writes that the apex doctrine â€œlimits the length of a deposition, rather than barring it altogether,â€� and that given the circumstances, the dispute is a question of whether Cook should be deposed for â€œfour hours, eight hours, or some length of time in between.â€� Hence, Hixonâ€™s ruling that Cook should be deposed for seven hours.
As for where Hixon got seven hours from, the judge writes itâ€™s the default rule for â€œhow long a witness must suffer being deposed.â€� Hixon also argues that the apex doctrine focuses on whether a witness has a â€œunique, non-repetitive knowledge of the facts of the case.â€� When it comes to Appleâ€™s app store policiesâ€”which are at the center of this seemingly never-ending case against Epicâ€”Hixon writes â€œthere is really no one like Appleâ€™s CEO who can testify about how Apple views competition in these various markets that are core to its business model.â€�
Secondly, Judge Hixon has denied Appleâ€™s request to subpoena internal documents from Samsung. Apple had pushed to subpoena Samsungâ€™s internal communications to help prove that App Store policies are similar to other companiesâ€™ policies, but Hixon referred to this as â€œa quirky deep diveâ€� into Samsung and Epicâ€™s relationship.
For more context, the relationship between Epic and Samsung has blossomed amid Epicâ€™s disputes with Apple and Google. Epic has often touted that while you can no longer get Fortnite from the App Store or Play Store, it remains available on the Galaxy Store.
As a refresher, Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store because Epic Games implemented its own payment process system for in-app purchases that evaded Appleâ€™s In-App Purchase system. The two companies are currently engaged in a legal battle, with a trial set for later this year in the United States.
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