Apple plans to close its two stores in the Eastern District of Texas to avoid patent litigation, according to a new report from MacRumors .
As MacRumors notes, East District Texas is known for its patent cases (an SMU Dedman School of Law procedure backs up the claim) and, according to US law, patent cases can be filed in places where defendant "has a common and established place of business." By closing its two stores in the district, Apple hopes to shield itself from these suits.
The Apple Willow Bend store in Plano and the Apple Stonebriar store in Frisco Both are expected to close the store on April 1
It is a seemingly drastic move on Apple's part to shield itself from litigation, but considering that these lawsuits can carry over half a billion dollars for the company, it's easy to see why Apple would be willing to do so all it can to avoid them.
Updated February 22 at 4:15 pm: Apple has confirmed TechCrunch that it will close the stores in the future, and that the company will be offered new jobs within the Company to employees affected by these changes, although have not yet commented rationally behind the conclusion or when they will happen.