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05 October 2010, 11:19

Red Hat settles with Software Tree

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Red Hat has confirmed that it has reached a settlement with Software Tree LLC who had sued the company alleging infringements of patent 6,163,776. The patent is held by Software Tree which is a subsidiary of Acacia Research, an intellectual property licensing company, and covered "a system for exchanging data and commands between an object oriented system and a relational system", more commonly described as an ORM (Object Relational Manager). Red Hat acquired the Java based Hibernate ORM when it bought JBoss. The litigation had been brought in the Texas East District courts; a regular venue for patent litigators.

Neither Red Hat or Software Tree have disclosed the terms of the settlement. When asked for comment Red Hat would only say "Red Hat routinely addresses attempts to impede the innovative forces of open source via allegations of patent infringement" and confirmed they had settled the case. Whether the settlement includes a resolution for users of the open source Hibernate library is therefore unclear. Previously, Red Hat has settled cases and acquired a "licence" for users of its open source projects; without doing this, the settlements effect would be limited to Red Hat.

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