Apple plans to close both of its retail stores within the Eastern District of Texas — Apple Willow Bend in Plano and Apple Stonebriar in Frisco — in an effort to protect itself from “patent trolls,” according to five sources familiar with the matter. according to MacRumors, quoting five unnamed sources.
A “patent troll” is an individual or an organization that purchases and holds patents for unscrupulous purposes such as stifling competition or launching patent infringement suits. In legal terms, a patent troll is a type of non-practicing entity: someone who holds a patent but is not involved in the design or manufacture of any product or process associated with that patent.
MacRumors says Apple will open a new store at the Galleria Dallas shopping mall in Dallas, just south of the Eastern District of Texas border. By closing its stores in Eastern Texas, Apple is ending its established place of business in the district. As MacRumors notes, this is important because, according to U.S. law, patent infringement lawsuits may be filed “where the defendant has committed acts of infringement and has a regular and established place of business.”
The Eastern District Court of Texas is known to be lawsuit friendly. Very friendly. It’s the court that has seen many claims and rulings of Apple patent infringement pile up against the tech giant.