Open source is all about transparency, but that doesn’t always apply to all aspects of the open source ecosystem.
Red Hat has settled an alleged patent infringement case with IP firm Acacia Research Corporation around U.S. Patent #6,163,776. That particular case was pending in the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of Texas, Civil Action No: 6:09-cv-00097-LED.
As far as I could tell from the legal filing, the action was in reference to alleged intellectual property infringement in Red Hat’s open source JBoss middleware software filed in March of 2009 by Acacia’s Software Tree LLC division.The patent in question is titled,”System and method for exchanging data and commands between an object oriented system and relational system.”
As to how Red Hat has settled the alleged IP infringement, that’s where the transparency (or lack thereof) is my concern. When I asked Red Hat about the patent settlement with Acacia I got the following statement:
“Red Hat routinely addresses attempts to impede the innovative forces of open source via allegations of patent infringement. 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 (Civil Action No. 6:09-cv-00097-LED).”