The firm served as lead counsel on behalf of Red Hat, an open-source software company, in a patent infringement suit brought by Firestar related to database technology—in particular, object-relational mapping. This suit is believed to be the first patent infringement suit involving open-source software. Red Hat recently settled this suit and another recently-filed suit with the same plaintiff. The settlement was structured to be compatible with all versions of the GPL (General Public License), the open-source license under which many Red Hat products are developed and distributed, and provides licenses to the patents for all of Red Hat's products. In addition, the license extends not only to Red Hat and its customers, but also to members of the open-source community who contribute to the development of Red Hat's products.
Firestar Software, Inc. v. Red Hat, et al., No. 06-00258 (E.D. Tex. filed June 26, 2006). (Judge Ward).