FireStar Files Patent Suit Against Red Hat - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
News
News
7/7/2006
11:28 AM
50%
50%

FireStar Files Patent Suit Against Red Hat

One IP attorney says the suit, which relates to JBoss' Hibernate 3.0 object mapping technology, could have serious ramifications for the Linux company and other software developers.

FireStar Software's patent infringement suit against Red Hat is expected to take center stage on the legal front as SCO's copyright claims against IBM fade, according to one attorney.

Tom Carey, an IP attorney and partner at Bromberg & Sunstein, Boston, said FireStar's patent case against Red Hat over JBoss' Hibernate 3.0's object mapping technology—filed in late June in a Texas court—could have serious ramifications for the Linux company and other software developers. "It's potentially more significant than the SCO [copyright] case because it's about a patent that covers a basic concept or idea, not an expression of an idea, which copyright covers," Carey said. "It's a more powerful case. That's why RIM [Research In Motion] ended up settling [with NTP] for so much."

One JBoss partner said Acton, Mass.-based FireStar's claims are baseless since many software vendors are mapping object-oriented code against relational databases in similar fashion.

"This is a patent that, as any developer will tell you, should not have been issued in the first place. Ninety percent of the software companies in the world today are likely violating this patent," said Navin Nagiah, CEO of Cignex, Santa Clara, Calif. "If that is the case, why is FireStar going after Red Hat? Why not [go after] Microsoft, IBM, Accenture or Oracle?"

As that patent case was filed, a Utah court in late June dealt Darl McBride, CEO of SCO, a blow by dismissing 182 of SCO's copyright claims against IBM. But Carey claims the SCO IP case has become irrelevant. "Its effect on open source is nil. It's dead," he said.

One SCO partner, for his part, said neither SCO's legal claims against IBM nor its Unix business is dead. "They do have a good case for pieces of code they know have been used by IBM in AIX and Linux," said Stephen Pirolli, principal at Ask Technologies, Bala Cynwyd, Pa.

"But will SCO be around in three years? From an operating-system standpoint, I can't imagine it'll ever stop. SCO's Unix is too good of an OS," Pirolli said.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
2017 State of IT Report
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Top IT Trends for 2018
As we enter a new year of technology planning, find out about the hot technologies organizations are using to advance their businesses and where the experts say IT is heading.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll