Apple wins small legal victory vs. Google

One provision in Apple’s App Store sales agreements prevents app developers from encouraging users to upgrade to the next version of their apps. (Illustration: Wildcraft Mashups by Jake Davies, AP Images)

Apple on Monday won a narrow victory in its legal battle against Alphabet’s Google, a day after its court testimony led to the abrupt departure of Apple’s Chief Financial Officer.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago sent back the company’s lawsuit against Google over whether the Android software giant violated contracts that ban developers from encouraging users to download the next version of their applications.

Apple’s lawsuit centers on a 2011 contract with an affiliate of Wired and Fast Company magazine. The affiliate, Optimus Mobile, had developed an app called Smart Battery Case and was promoting it for iOS.

The company claimed that starting in 2015, Apple forced Optimus Mobile to change how it advertised and sold the product in order to keep the app’s promotion.

Another provision of the agreement barred Optimus Mobile from letting users upgrade to the next version of the application, according to court papers.

It was not immediately clear Monday evening if Apple has chosen to revise the app restrictions. A copy of the appeals court’s decision can be found here.

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