The lawsuit was launched by Firestar Software and DataTern in 2006. Firestar has a platform called EdgeNode that automates distributed processes such as supply chain integration, trading networks and payment transactions. DataTern makes software designed to speed up application development and reduce testing time.
In a statement Red Hat said the settlement protects it, its customers and the open source community, "whose considerable efforts benefit our business." The settlement covers all Red Hat brands. According to Red Hat:
The settlement also protects derivative works of, or combination products using, the covered products from any patent claim based in any respect on the covered products. Essentially, all that have innovated to create, or that will innovate with, software distributed under Red Hat brands are protected, as are Red Hat customers.
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The lawsuit was originally filed by Firestar Software, Inc. ("Firestar") in 2006 in federal court in the Eastern District of Texas (Civil Action No. 2-06CV-258). It alleged violation of U.S. Patent No. 6,101,502 ("'502 patent"), which relates to a method for interfacing an object-oriented software application with a relational database to facilitate access to the relational database. Firestar contended that Hibernate, a JBoss product, infringed the '502 patent. Red Hat denied that allegation and vigorously contested the claim.