Tech & Science: Apple has a clever plan to fight off patent trolls - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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Tech & ScienceApple has a clever plan to fight off patent trolls

03:25  25 february  2019
03:25  25 february  2019 Source:   bgr.com

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

In international law and business, patent trolling or patent hoarding is a categorical or pejorative term applied to a person or company that attempts to enforce patent rights against accused infringers far beyond the patent 's actual value or contribution to the prior art, often through hardball legal tactics

Apple has a clever plan to fight off patent trolls © Provided by Penske Media Corporation apple store at night

As Apple continues to deal with patent trolls on all fronts, the company recently decided to take matters into its own hands. As confirmed via TechCrunch, Apple recently decided to close two of its stores located in the Eastern District of Texas, long a favored jurisdiction among patent trolls.

With the stores set to close on April 12, Apple will no longer have an established place of business in the area and, consequently, will potentially hinder patent trolls who prefer to file suits in the district because judges and juries there tend to be overwhelmingly sympathetic to plaintiffs. Interestingly enough, a study a few years ago found that a whopping 40% of all patent lawsuits in the United States were filed in the Eastern District of Texas.

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A federal jury in Texas has ordered Apple to pay out 2.6 million to VirtnetX Holding Corp., the kind of company often referred to as a patent troll , in the VirnetX claimed that Apple ’s FaceTime, VPN on Demand and iMessage features infringe four patents related to secure communications, claims that

A spokesperson for Apple confirmed that it plans to appeal this final judgment, according to VirnetX had a patent on the direct client to client technology and wouldn't license it to Apple - not Also, as previously noted, Apple was part of a consortium that created a notorious patent troll called Rockstar.

Though Apple didn’t officially comment on the reason behind the store closings, it did offer up the following statement to TechCrunch.

We’re making a major 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 this April, we’ve made the decision to consolidate stores and close Apple Stonebriar and Apple Willow Bend. All employees from those stores will be offered positions at the new Dallas store or other Apple locations.

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With Apple sitting on billions upon billions of dollars in cash, it’s no surprise that the Cupertino-based company has long been a favored target for patent trolls. As an illustrative point, Apple over the past few years has been hit with hundreds of lawsuits from patent trolls looking to make a quick and easy buck.

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Apple will close its stores in the Eastern District of Texas, an area known as a hotspot of patent The decision was made so that patent infringement filings cannot be made against Apple in the The staff has been given the option to transfer, work from home for AppleCare, or receive a severance package.

Apple has taken much criticism over the years for its patent litigation efforts, for going after Samsung, Motorola and other companies for Apple also takes a shot at infamous patent troll Lodsys in the amicus brief. For those unfamiliar with Lodsys, it began going after small-time developers a few years

It’s certainly easy to scoff at patent trolls, but the reality is that the repercussions for Apple are significant. Last year for example, Apple was ordered to pay $440 million to a company called VirnetX over patents pertaining to FaceTime and iMessage technologies.

A few years ago, Apple CEO Tim Cook alluded to the growing problem of patent trolls and said that the patent system needs to be reworked.

“The U.S. court system is currently structured in such a way that it’s currently difficult to get the protections 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 love to see the system strengthened to protect it.”


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