Red Hat hit by a patent suit
Software Tree has filed a lawsuit against Red Hat claiming the Linux distribution and open source middleware manufacturer has infringed upon one of its patents. The patent at the heart of the case is 6,163,776, System and method for exchanging data and commands between an object oriented system and a relation system. Software Tree claim that the patent, awarded in December 2000, is being infringed by JBoss Hibernate, part of the JBoss platform, which Red Hat acquired in 2006. The suit also names Hewlett-Packard, Genuitec and Dell as defendants because they have distributed the JBoss software.
According to the court filing by Software Tree, the patent has previously been re-examined by the patent office and was granted a re-examination certificate in April 2008. The filing states that Software Tree wishes the court to award unspecified damages to them for infringement and lost profit and to permanently injunct Red Hat from distributing Hibernate, while it infringes the patent.
Microsoft, Borland, IBM and Sun are Software Tree partners. The company, founded in 1997, produces it's own JDX and NJDX object relational mapping tools for Java and .Net developers.