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Epic Games vs Apple trial set to start in May, could be an in-person trial

After months of waiting, we finally know when the Epic Games vs Apple trial will begin. The beginning of May. Now the judge is weighing the importance of the case and any COVID-19 precautions that might need to be made.

That’s according to a report today from FOSS Patents. The first lawsuit filed against Apple by Epic Games in the United States is now heading to trial, with things to kick off on May 3. The judge in charge of the case, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, is now determining several different factors. Namely, whether or not the trial should be an in-person situation or not.

Judge Gonzalez Rogers says that this case is “very significant”, so “the judiciary should give it the best it has to offer”. From there, the judge says that an in-person trial would be the best bet in that regard. However, the “infection numbers” regarding the ongoing coronavirus pandemic may impact that expectation before the trial even starts.

As a result, the legal battle between Epic Games and Apple may see part, or all, of its runtime take place over videoconferencing.

But, when it comes to witnesses, the rules will still be very stringent when selection begins:

The judge won’t take it lightly if someone who’s a “COVID denier” on Facebook or goes on extensive travel for other purposes asks to be excused from showing up in person for the trial. She expects counsel for the parties to “investigate” the witnesses in that regard.

For now the plan is that witnesses won’t have to wear masks when testifying. Judge Gonzalez Rogers mentioned that the court has plexiglass shields.

This is not the first time that Judge Gonzalez Rogers has weighed the severity and importance of this case between the two giant companies. Back in September of last year, we reported that the judge suggested that the public’s opinion matters, and what “real people” think of both Epic’s and Apple’s decisions.

In related news, Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, has been ordered by another judge to sit for a 7-hour deposition regarding the case.

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