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

genovelle

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May 8, 2008
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Yeah, not that the fanboys will see sense. Irrespective of who it is filing the claim, if Apple is found to have infringed the patent(s) then a judge is simply applying the law. If the suit is frivolous, Apple should be recovering costs from the claimant if the judge finds in their favour.

Apple is using their commercial might to try and influence legal proceedings in the district. This is a disgrace, and way beyond the big babies running the company simply deciding to take their ball home because they don't like the rules. They know exactly what they are doing.

You can bet your bottom dollar if this was Google, Samsung or even the Trump Organisation rather than Apple doing this, the responses in this forum would be very different.
If there wasn’t some since of bias these companies would file in their own districts. Why go to Texas of all places. Either they hate companies like Apple or they are easily rewarded for having the right idea.
 

RogerWilco

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Well, SCOTUS ruled that physical nexus isn’t necessary to collect sales taxes, any online sales are equivalent. So is Apple going to cancel all consumer sales and support in the disputed territories? :rolleyes:
 
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oneMadRssn

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It’s their status as a troll haven that is at issue.
Yea, I don't really blame Apple for doing this. But let's not overlook the fact that those two stores are probably not generating a whole lot of revenue for Apple or else they wouldn't do this.

Defending a case against a true patent troll costs ~$500k - $2M for Apple, per case. Apple was sued 6 times in EDTX in 2018. Let's take the upper bound AND round up and say Apple needs to spend $20M defending patent cases in EDTX. That's not that much for a company with a $60B income that has its hands in nearly every single economic cookie jar. Indeed, I was surprised to see only 6 suits in EDTX in 2018.

This tells me those stores are earning materially less than 20M towards it's bottom line. In other words, they're probably bad stores anyway. For example, if SDNY was as plaintiff-friendly as EDTX, Apple would not be closing it's Manhattan stores.
 

genovelle

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[According to Google there are 94 Federal Judicial Districts (at least one on each state, and some with more.)]

Moving away from the Eastern District of Texas, the plaintiff trolls will just relocate to the next "friendly" judicial venue, where Apple has presence commercially.

They will just pick the next one on the queue.
Rinse and repeat.
That’s just it. There is clearly something odd about this district. Why has every troll case for the last 10+ years been there?
[doublepost=1550855887][/doublepost]I think it great!
 

Timemaster

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All of this because of 1 small down 25 west of the Louisiana boarder. The most patent friendly court in the country. Before the supreme court ruling banning patent troll from court hunting 95% of all patent troll cases where in east Texas court and of that 25% in one small town.....

I hate how this is the solution. I would of loved to see them just shrink those courts area of influences as this hurts the DFW area.
 

Juan007

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Jun 14, 2010
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Nice to see Apple hitting East Texas in the pocket book. I also am boycotting East Texas. I will not travel there and I will not do business with companies located there. If you want Apple stores, stop harboring patent trolls. It's that simple.

Sorry that some people have to go 300 miles to buy an iPhone now...
 

apolloa

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Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
Funny what’s considered a patent troll these days, but basically I see this as Apple claiming they can’t win as they are violating these patents, so they’ll move districts to avoid any court cases being raised against them. Unless they are the patent troll raising them..
You go Apple with your round corners on a black or white oblong..
 
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genovelle

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Yea, I don't really blame Apple for doing this. But let's not overlook the fact that those two stores are probably not generating a whole lot of revenue for Apple or else they wouldn't do this.

Defending a case against a true patent troll costs ~$500k - $2M for Apple, per case. Apple was sued 6 times in EDTX in 2018. Let's take the upper bound AND round up and say Apple needs to spend $20M defending patent cases in EDTX. That's not that much for a company with a $60B income that has its hands in nearly every single economic cookie jar. Indeed, I was surprised to see only 6 suits in EDTX in 2018.

This tells me those stores are earning materially less than 20M towards it's bottom line. In other words, they're probably bad stores anyway. For example, if SDNY was as plaintiff-friendly as EDTX, Apple would not be closing it's Manhattan stores.
The last case alone is $439 Million so that is significant by any measure.
 

apolloa

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Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
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.
Yeap, basically this, Apple are the hypocrites of the patent troll world.
 

NovemberWhiskey

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Well, SCOTUS ruled that physical nexus isn’t necessary to collect sales taxes, any online sales are equivalent. So is Apple going to cancel all consumer sales and support in the disputed territories? :rolleyes:
Stop. You are making too much sense. SCOTUS won't like that.
 

Arbuthnott

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Jul 4, 2008
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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.


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.

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

Article Link: Apple Plans to Close Stores in Eastern District of Texas in Fight Against Patent Trolls
Sorry, there is something I don't understand in this story. Since the change in the law in 2017, cases would naturally shift to California, where Apple is incorporated. In that case, surely it would make no difference whatsoever where Apple does business. And therefore these closures are not explained by what you have said in this story.

Could you clarify, please?
 

oneMadRssn

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The last case alone is $439 Million so that is significant by any measure.
1. VirnetX is not a patent troll.
2. The patents that VirtnetX used to get the $439 jury verdict were found to be invalid by the PTAB and affirmed by CAFC, so Apple probably won't ever actually pay that amount.
3. That case goes way further back than 2018.
 
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Arbuthnott

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A lot of apple fans seem to justify Apple stealing by arguing that those other companies aren't currently using their property (the patent). That is a weak argument.
You don't seem to understand what a Patent Troll is. For example they would set out some spurious and generally poorly defined claim that they had invented a device to plug into a mains AC electricity socket, and then charge the batteries in an electronic device with a cable. This is not invention, and certainly does not need to be protected in any sense. Very wealthy and highly lawyered-up Patent Trolls then mire companies in court action which the victims find easier to settle than to fight. This results in higher costs to the manufacturers, which are then passed on to us the consumers. Those Patent Trolls are more or less directly stealing from us.

In case of genuine patents, there are established industry standards for paying. In case of Trolls, F*&c% them!
 
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NovemberWhiskey

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You can't label all patent lawsuits as bring brought forth by "patent trolls."

Funny what’s considered a patent troll these days, but basically I see this as Apple claiming they can’t win as they are violating these patents, so they’ll move districts to avoid any court cases being raised against them. Unless they are the patent troll raising them..
You gin apple with your black or white round corners on an oblong..
People who have never invented anything, and don't own intellectual property, think all patent owners are trolls.

For those who don't know, the "troll" term is supposed to only be used for those that only create/acquire patents to file lawsuits to collect money damages, AND, do not use the technology themselves.

And you are probably wondering why we allow this to happen in the first place. Well, for those that have never tried to start their own company, it is INCREDIBLY difficult to do so, especially in the tech industry. Financing is crucial, and often times, you run out, your company goes under, and property (including IP) gets liquidated.

It's not as simple as "patent owners bad," which is the popular opinion these days.

No one likes IP, until they create it. I see people complaining about artist rights all the time when it comes to some song, painting, etc. But when it comes to inventions and patents, screw em all.
 

oneMadRssn

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Sorry, there is something I don't understand in this story. Since the change in the law in 2017, cases would naturally shift to California, where Apple is incorporated. In that case, surely it would make no difference whatsoever where Apple does business. And therefore these closures are not explained by what you have said in this story.

Could you clarify, please?
Since 2017, you can file a case anywhere Apple resides (California) or anywhere they infringed and have a permanent place of business (almost everywhere because their stores count as permanent places of business).
 

apolloa

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Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
You can't label all patent lawsuits as bring brought forth by "patent trolls."



People who have never invented anything, and don't own intellectual property, think all patent owners are trolls.

For those who don't know, the "troll" term is supposed to only be used for those that only create/acquire patents to file lawsuits to collect money damages, AND, do not use the technology themselves.

And you are probably wondering why we allow this to happen in the first place. Well, for those that have never tried to start their own company, it is INCREDIBLY difficult to do so, especially in the tech industry. Financing is crucial, and often times, you run out, your company goes under, and property (including IP) gets liquidated.

It's not as simple as "patent owners bad," which is the popular opinion these days.

No one likes IP, until they create it. I see people complaining about artist rights all the time when it comes to some song, painting, etc. But when it comes to inventions and patents, screw em all.
Your description of a Ptent troll describes Apple almost, considering the thousand of parents they have and never use..
 

oneMadRssn

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You can't label all patent lawsuits as bring brought forth by "patent trolls."



People who have never invented anything, and don't own intellectual property, think all patent owners are trolls.

For those who don't know, the "troll" term is supposed to only be used for those that only create/acquire patents to file lawsuits to collect money damages, AND, do not use the technology themselves.

And you are probably wondering why we allow this to happen in the first place. Well, for those that have never tried to start their own company, it is INCREDIBLY difficult to do so, especially in the tech industry. Financing is crucial, and often times, you run out, your company goes under, and property (including IP) gets liquidated.

It's not as simple as "patent owners bad," which is the popular opinion these days.

No one likes IP, until they create it. I see people complaining about artist rights all the time when it comes to some song, painting, etc. But when it comes to inventions and patents, screw em all.
I'd go even narrower than that. Trolls are entities that buy low-value IP on the cheap and assert it to get cost-of-litigation or nuisance settlements.

According to your definition, research universities and grant-giving organizations would be "trolls," but they aren't. Also, I think investors that do their due diligence, properly value the patents, and only assert the high quality stuff seeking to get get legitimate licensing revenue are not trolls.
 

NovemberWhiskey

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2. The patents that VirtnetX used to get the $439 jury verdict were found to be invalid by the PTAB and affirmed by CAFC, so Apple probably won't ever actually pay that amount.
You don't seem to understand what a Patent Troll is. For example they would set out some spurious and generally poorly defined claim that they had invented a device to plug into a mains AC electricity socket, and then charge the batteries in an electronic device with a cable. This is not invention, and certainly does not need to be protected in any sense. Very wealthy and highly lawyered-up Patent Trolls then mire companies in court action which the victims find easier to settle than to fight. This results in higher costs to the manufacturers, which are then passed on to us the consumers. Those Patent Trolls are more or less directly stealing from us.

In case of genuine patents, there are established industry standards for paying. In case of Trolls, F*&c% them!
No, you don't seem to understand what a troll is. And your example is incredibly ignorant. The USPTO has a very specific guidelines for what is patentable, and what is not.

Your description of the situation is overly simplified to support your conclusion. It's a straw man argument.

Does it sometimes happen? Yes, it sometimes happens. But that is not always the case.

No, they are not stealing directly from you. And no, patent trolls are not always very wealthy and highly lawyered up. You are mixing them up with huge multinationals like Apple, MSFT, Google. Those are the most wealthy and powerful entities in these cases. That is the reason why we award patents in the first place: to protect yourselves from those Goliaths.