Patents

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
patents, settlements, software

Companies:
acacia, red hat



Red Hat Settles Patent Case With Acacia... But Won't Share The Details

from the too-bad dept

Of the software companies out there, Red Hat has been the most aggressive in fighting against software patents. It's stood up on principle, and earlier this year even won a lawsuit from one of Acacia's many, many shell companies (and it won in East Texas too, making it that much more impressive). However, Slashdot points us to the news that, in another lawsuit involving another Acacia shell company (this time, called Software Tree) it looks like Red Hat has settled -- and, unfortunately, it's keeping pretty quiet about what happened. I'm sure that's part of the terms that Acacia negotiated (patent hoarders never want the details of settlements released), but it's unfortunate, because it leaves everyone else in the dark, and lets Acacia continue to shake down others with this patent. The patent in question (6,163,776) covers "System and method for exchanging data and commands between an object oriented system and a relational system," because, you know, without patents, no one would have ever figured that out.

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  1. identicon
    Bruce Burdick, 13 Oct 2010 @ 8:32pm

    Masnik is not a tool, Masnik is just wrong

    Mike, equating a patent title to a patent claim in order to imply a valid patent is obvious. Red Hat paid because they could not bust the patent and infringed. Simple as that. Acacia by buying the patent gave the inventor or patent owner a reward and promotes the progress of the useful arts. That encourages that inventor and other inventors to invent and that promotes progress. You can't deny the patented subject matter was useful as Red Hat was apparently using it and had to settle. Good patent. Good outcome.

    I disagree that open source is a pyramid scheme were only a few benefit. All those many who use the software for free to do great things benefit and those they benefit by their work also benefit. For example I have used openoffice.org for several years and see no reason to use MS Office any longer. I benefit, my clients benefit.

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