Apple Plans to Close Stores in Eastern District of Texas in Fight Against Patent Trolls [Updated]

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 22, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2001
    #1
    [​IMG]


    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.

    [​IMG]

    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 outside the Eastern District of Texas border. One source said the store will open Saturday, April 13.

    [​IMG]
    A rough visualization of Apple's retail stores in the Eastern District of Texas and its upcoming Galleria Dallas store

    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.

    Residency is also a factor in determining the applicable venue of a patent infringement lawsuit, but in May 2017, the Supreme Court shifted precedent by ruling that a U.S. corporation resides only in its state of incorporation. Apple is incorporated in California, not Texas, satisfying this clause.

    The Eastern District of Texas has been a hotbed for patent litigation over the past few decades due to well-established rules for patent infringement cases, experienced judges, lower probability of cases being transferred to another district, and quicker jury verdicts, according to a SMU Dedman School of Law paper.

    Patent infringement lawsuits against Apple will likely shift to U.S. district courts in Northern California and Delaware.

    Fortunately, we're hearing that the plans, while inconvenient, are not too detrimental for employees. One source said Apple has offered employees opportunities to transfer to other stores, work from home for AppleCare, or severance to those who are not interested in working at another Apple location.

    Apple has yet to publicly announce the plans. We reached out to Apple for comment late Thursday but have yet to hear back.

    Update: Apple has confirmed the impending store closures in a statement issued to TechCrunch:
    Apple did not provide a specific reason for the store closures beyond consolidation.

    Article Link: Apple Plans to Close Stores in Eastern District of Texas in Fight Against Patent Trolls [Updated]
     
  2. rek89 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2015
    #2
    Well that is inconvenient... Apple Stonebriar is my Apple Store.
     
  3. StellarVixen macrumors 68000

    StellarVixen

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2018
    Location:
    Earth
    #3
    That Apple store looks so nice and clean...lovely. :)
     
  4. Winter Charm macrumors 6502a

    Winter Charm

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    #4
    Well, the eastern district of texas gets their just desserts for making it so easy for patent trolls to file there... GG.
     
  5. JetTester macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2014
  6. oneMadRssn macrumors 601

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    New England
    #6
    In terms of filing, the rules in EDTX are the same as every single other district in this country.
     
  7. aggie99 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2016
    #7
    Well that sucks. Willow Bend and Stonebriar were the two stores I always go to. Northpark and Knox areas are always ridiculously crowded and inconvenient. Same with the Galleria.
     
  8. G4DPII macrumors regular

    G4DPII

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2015
    #8
    Talk about spitting your dummy out. Is that how pathetic Apple really have become?
     
  9. cmaier macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    California
  10. ozarkcanoer macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2012
    #10
    Bravo Apple. Why does that district have such a leaning against defendants?
     
  11. Plutonius macrumors 604

    Plutonius

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2003
    Location:
    New Hampshire, USA
    #11
    It's a pain for the customers but I understand why Apple had to do it.
     
  12. bflowers macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    #12
    It isn't the rules, it is the judicial environment. They'll still get sued, but in districts where the outcome isn't heavily favoring the trolls. It is like home field advantage for the trolls. If you want supporting evidence of biased judicial environment, just look up Madison County IL. It has repeatedly earned the title of Judicial Hellhole, mostly due to asbestos cases.
     
  13. SoN1NjA macrumors 68000

    SoN1NjA

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2016
    Location:
    the pool
    #13
    That's what the residents get ― maybe next time don't allow such craziness to happen. Sad!
     
  14. cmaier macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #14
    I'll never forget the one time I was in Marshall to argue a patent case and samsung had bought out the square in front of the court house to set up a public ice rink for the kiddies.
     
  15. LordVic macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    #15
    I'm curious why? does having a store in that region open themselves up to lawsuits/patent suits that they wouldn't necessarily be open to elsewhere?

    if Company X owned Patent Y, couldn't they still sue apple in east texas even if there's no stores there? or is this just Apple throwing a hissy fit at East texas and taking their ball and going home in effort to change social opinion?

    nvm, saw above properly. reading fail

    I really don't see the point. Patent holders are going to sue, troll or not, because they own tha patent. Same thing Apple has done with several of their non-used patents (See RockStar consortium which Apple is a founder on)
     
  16. CWallace macrumors 603

    CWallace

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #16
    It's more how pathetic patent law has become in the US that Apple has to take this step to protect themselves.
     
  17. Somian macrumors regular

    Somian

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2011
    Location:
    Santa Clara, CA
    #17
    At first I thought, this was an April fool's joke, but then checked the Calendar.

    This is one of the most ridiculous things I've heard in a while.
     
  18. jona2125 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    #18
    Coming from the company that buys other companies outright to maintain technological exclusivity
     
  19. oneMadRssn macrumors 601

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    New England
    #19
    I know, but look at the comment I was replying to. He/she said EDTX made "it so easy for patent trolls to file there." Filing has nothing to do with it.

    As to the latter part, how favorable they are to "trolls" is debatable. There are reports from Lexology, which meticulously tracks patent case statistics, which say that final outcomes in EDTX aren't that different from the average of the rest of the country. But EDTX judges are reluctant to transfer cases, are reluctant to grant summary judgment, and have a very liberal view of discovery - all things that make the process of litigation plaintiff-friendly. But as I said at first, does any of that matter if final outcomes are still on par with other districts?
     
  20. Chief Oddball macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Location:
    DFW
    #20
    Welp, there go my two closest Apple stores. Looking at close to an hour's trip and significant toll fees to get to one now. Awesome.
     
  21. CWallace macrumors 603

    CWallace

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #21
    It's outlined in the opening post - because Apple has stores in the Eastern District of Texas, they can be sued there under US law. Once they leave the Eastern District by closing the stores, they can no longer be sued there.


    No they cannot, because Apple will no longer have a presence in the Eastern District.


    The Eastern District of Texas is perceived to favor patent holders in cases. That is why patent holders prefer to file in that district whenever they can. By closing the stores and (legally) leaving the District, those patent holders can no longer benefit from this (perceived) bias. And that might very well preclude some of them from filing patent suits because they may face a higher burden of proof that makes the attempt not worth the effort.
     
  22. LordVic macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    #22
    While I agree that the patent laws in the US have gotten ridiculous and cannot handle modern tech, the flip side of this is Apple could also do their diligence and ensure that they're not violating others patents. and if they do, instead of running headlong and ignoring the patent till they're sued, they could do a few things before hand

    1. Establish a license deal with the patent holder
    2. Fight the patent if it shouldn't be valid.
    3. Buy the company / patent

    What Apple currently does.

    1. Violate the patent and hope they're not sued, and if sued, try and drag lawsuit out indefinitely to cost as much to the suer as possible.

    this whole thing stinks and having a broken patent system doesn't also excuse Apple's own abuses of it, while calling out the same abuses other also use. it's a level of hypocrisy that the top brass seem to have regarding patents. "touch ours and we'll sue you to non-existence" while at the same time "we don't have to honour your patents!"

    Can't have it both ways.
     
  23. bbeagle macrumors 68040

    bbeagle

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2010
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    #23
    Say you had 20 convenience stores. 18 are doing fine. 2 of them in Downtown Detroit keep getting robbed, you're losing money there. Is it pathetic for you to stop serving Downtown Detroit?
     
  24. now i see it macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2002
    #24
    Once again, trying to skirt the law.
    Although the "patent trolls" hammer  for every infringement it makes on other's IP, the fact is  is frequently stealing other's IP. Verified by the number of patent cases won against them.
    Bottom line:  steals IP and doesn't want to pay for it. Enhancing people's lives... Theirs.
     

Share This Page

230 February 22, 2019