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Apple has confirmed its plans to close retail stores in the Eastern District of Texas – a move that will allow the company to better protect itself from patent infringement lawsuits, according to the Apple news site MacRumors which broke the news of the stores’ closures. Apple says that the impacted retail employees will be offered new jobs with the company as a result of these changes.
The company will shut down its Apple Willow Bend store in Plano, Texas as well as its Apple Stonebriar store in Frisco, Texas, MacRumors reported, and Apple confirmed. These stores will permanently close up shop on Friday, April 12. Customers in the region will instead be served by a new Apple store located at the Galleria Dallas Shopping Mall, which is expected to open April 13.
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Apple did not comment on the stores’ dates of closure or the new store’s opening.
However, it’s common for Apple to leave little downtown during retail stores transitions – though most closures are related to renovations or other reasons that aren’t about trying to escape patent lawsuits.
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The Eastern District of Texas had become a popular place for patent trolls to file their lawsuits, though a more recent Supreme Court ruling has attempted to crack down on the practice. The court ruled that patent holders could no longer choose where to file.
Apple has had to make big payouts to patent trolls in recent years: $625.6 million to patent holding firm VirnetX in 2016 over protocol patents; VirnetX won...
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