Link: Apple Plans to Close Stores in Eastern District of Texas in Fight Against Patent Trolls ☍

Shared on February 22, 2019

Joe Rossignol for MacRumors:

Apple plans to close both of its retail stores within the Eastern District of Texas in a few months from now in an effort to protect itself from patent trolls, according to five sources familiar with the matter.

Apple Willow Bend in Plano, Texas and Apple Stonebriar in Frisco, Texas, both located in the northern suburbs of Dallas, are expected to permanently close in mid April. One source said each store’s final day of business will be Friday, April 12. Employees were briefed about the plans earlier this week.

To continue to serve the region, Apple plans to open a new store at the Galleria Dallas shopping mall in Dallas, just south of the Eastern District of Texas border. One source said the store will open Saturday, April 13.

The plans are significant, as U.S. law states that patent infringement lawsuits may be filed “where the defendant has committed acts of infringement and has a regular and established place of business.” By closing its stores in Eastern Texas, Apple is ending its established place of business in the district.

This is certainly an odd story to end the week on, but this location has been troublesome for a lot of companies and Apple is effectively packing up and going home. Although I think our patent law needs reform anyway, it makes business sense for Apple to look out for its interests and avoid patent trolls (unfortunate for the employees that may need to relocate or find new work and those who visit the current stores). Due to the environment in the Eastern District of Texas, I wouldn’t be surprised if other companies follow a similar path.

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