Apple says Epic Games’ trademark lawsuit against it is a PR stunt to “to both revive and create a new hype cycle for its wildly popular multiplayer video game Fortnite”
In a bizarre story this week, game developers Epic Games revealed that they’ve filed a lawsuit against Apple over a trademark they believe Apple is infringing on with the use of “Fortnite” in their products. We’ve known about the lawsuit for several days, but now Apple is firing back in the form of an open letter by CEO Tim Cook.
In the letter, Cook writes about Apple’s desire to “foster a vibrant ecosystem” and defend their trademarks, saying that they cannot “ever want to exclude anyone from use of Apple’s brand and mark.”
They further write that they are very concerned about and embarrassed by how Epic and its legal teams are using Apple’s infringement “to stoke mass confusion and to both revive and create a new hype cycle for its wildly popular multiplayer video game Fortnite.” Cook continues that they consider Epic’s case a “privileged confidential matter for the parties” and they have “no desire to respond in detail on what details may be confidential.”
However, they do say that they “are not aware of any similarity between the marks Epic and Apple, both of which are clearly descriptive and, in the vast majority of cases, unambiguous.” They go on to write that they feel “outraged that Epic will place our goodwill and brand at risk by filing this action.”
Epic has already taken a “unique tack in modern game law, never before seen in a video game case” with regards to their lawsuit against Apple, with EA’s case two years ago also becoming a good case in point.
Cook also says that “by attacking our trademark, Epic seeks to control the use of a brand that millions of people across the world deeply care about.”
Cook goes on to write that “we are a company that always puts our customers first” and we are “committed to never surrendering our intellectual property rights, whether it’s for our products or for our marks.”
“This is what we have done all along and this is what we will continue to do,” Cook concludes, admitting that they are “greatly disappointed” by Epic’s “indifference” towards their values.
Apple’s lawyers released a blogpost on Tuesday, responding to Epic’s claims, which you can read in full here.