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Patents Red Hat Software Linux

Red Hat Settles Patent Case 76

Posted by Soulskill
from the making-it-go-away dept.
darthcamaro writes "Red Hat has settled another patent case with patent holding firm Acacia. This time the patent is US Patent #6,163,776, 'System and method for exchanging data and commands between an object oriented system and relational system.' While it's great that Red Hat has ended this particular patent threat, it's not yet clear how they've settled this case. The last time Red Hat tangled with Acacia they won in an Texas jury trial. 'Red Hat routinely addresses attempts to impede the innovative forces of open source via allegations of patent infringement,' Red Hat said in a statement. 'We can confirm that Red Hat, Inc and Software Tree LLC have settled patent litigation that was pending in federal court in the Eastern District of Texas.'"
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Red Hat Settles Patent Case

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  • Re:Settlements (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sponge Bath (413667) on Monday October 04, 2010 @06:10PM (#33789348)
    Probably Red Hat gets a perpetual free license and Acacia does not get their patent tested so they can pursue targets with fewer resources to protect themselves.
  • by mysidia (191772) on Monday October 04, 2010 @06:46PM (#33789710)

    that was pending in federal court in the Eastern District of Texas.'"

    Enough is enough, with their cochamany legal antics and patent trolls.

    I want to add a clause to the GPL forbidding use of software in the State of Texas, until they clear this up, and boycott the state -- with all software products, so Texas will not benefit from the software or technology until they clean up their act, and stop allowing 21st-century robbers to loot the treasuries of successful technlogy firms. Who's with me???

  • by hweimer (709734) on Monday October 04, 2010 @08:39PM (#33790550) Homepage

    Red Hat lost. They caved and paid for their own license, and everybody else has to negotiate separately.

    Are you sure about that? JBoss is LGPL2.1, which contains a "liberty-or-death" clause regarding software patents. If someone got sued over distributing JBoss because of this patent, they could trivially go after Red Hat. I somehow doubt that this is the case here.

  • by Bruce Perens (3872) <bruce@perens.com> on Monday October 04, 2010 @09:36PM (#33790926) Homepage Journal

    Well, they're the guys making the money. That's the main reason why.

    Much as Red Hat has sponsored employees who make copious code contributions, they are not by any means more than a fractional developer of the system they vend. Even in the case of the kernel, one of the projects in which they participate most, they are only about a 15% contributor (11.8% for 2.6.35, similar numbers for each kernel version). It is very clear that Red Hat mostly benefits from outside developers.

    The community, unfortunately, would find it a lot harder to fund the lobbies and publicity efforts that Red Hat could handle without trouble with a portion of the money it makes from the community's work.

  • by arth1 (260657) on Monday October 04, 2010 @10:07PM (#33791132) Homepage Journal

    The Eastern District of Texas is not the most patentee-favorable district in the country. Recent research by Mark Lemley found that it had the 6th highest patentee win rate of districts with a significant number of patent infringement cases. The Northern District of Texas, Middle District of Florida, District of Nevada, District of Delaware, and District of Oregon are all more favorable to the patentee.

    That fails to take into account the selection bias. The filers aren't random, but get to select where to go, so the statistics are comparing apples to oranges.

    Easter Texas attracts trolls, many of which will fail. The failure rate is higher in Eastern Texas than in, say, Oregon, because the failure risk for each individual case is lower, which attracts more trolls, many of which will fail.

    Or, to put it another way, if you know you'll win the case no matter what court you go to, you don't gain anything by going to Eastern Texas. If you're unsure, and want to maximize your chances, you do. That doesn't make it a certainty that you'll win in Eastern Texas, just more likely than if filing elsewhere. Take the same case to, say, Oregon, and the risk of losing that case is lower, despite the overall statistics is higher there. Cause the Oregon statistics isn't for patent trolls, but people who feel confident enough that they'll win even in Oregon because they actually have a case.

  • by Bruce Perens (3872) <bruce@perens.com> on Tuesday October 05, 2010 @02:43AM (#33792166) Homepage Journal
    The proprietary computer software development companies (yes, we need to treat them as partners). The large software customer companies (they are already our users, but through intermediaries like Red Hat so they don't know us). The press (because they help spread the message). The technically savvy electorate. Politicians. Judges.

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