When Apple continues to handle patent control on all fronts, the company recently decided to take matters into its own hands. As confirmed by TechCrunch Apple recently decided to close two of its stores in the Eastern District of Texas, long a favored jurisdiction among patent roles.
With the stores set to close on April 12, Apple would no longer have an established business location in the area, and therefore potentially prevent patron control who prefers to add suits to the district because judges and juries tend to be overwhelmingly sympathetic to Plaintiffs. Interestingly, a few years ago, a study found that a lot of 40% of all patent applications in the United States were filed in the East District of Texas.
Although Apple did not officially comment on the reason behind the store, it gave the following statement to TechCrunch .
We make a big investment in our stores in Texas, including significant upgrades to NorthPark Center, Southlake and Knox Street. With a new Dallas store coming to the Dallas Galleria in April, we have made the decision to consolidate stores and close Apple Stonebriar and Apple Willow Bend. All employees from these stores will be offered positions in the new Dallas store or other Apple locations.
With Apple sitting on billions of billions of dollars in cash, it's not surprising that the Cupertino-based company has long been a favored target for patent trolls. As an illustrative point, Apple has been hit with hundreds of patent litigation lawsuits over the past few years looking to make a quick and easy money record.
It's probably easy to scoop patent trolls, but the reality is that the consequences for Apple are significant. For example, last year, Apple was ordered to pay $ 440 million to a company called VirnetX over patents related to FaceTime and iMessage technologies.
A few years ago, Apple CEO Tim Cook referred to the growing problem of patent roles and said that the patent system needs to be reworked.
"The US court system is currently structured so it is currently difficult to get the protection a technology company needs, because the cycle is very long," Cook said. "For us, our intellectual property is so important to our company. I would like to see the system strengthened to protect it."