Software company FireStar has filed suit against open source seller Red Hat, alleging patent infringement. The suit, filed in the Eastern District of Texas, asserts infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,101,502 that is directed to a method of interfacing an object oriented software application with a relational database. Red Hat recently purched JBoss maker of the specific accused product Hibernate 3.0.
Claim 1 of the ‘502 patent reads:
1. A method for interfacing an object oriented software application with a relational database, comprising the steps of:
- selecting an object model;
- generating a map of at least some relationships between schema in the database and the selected object model;
- employing the map to create at least one interface object associated with an object corresponding to a class associated with the object oriented software application; and
- utilizing a runtime engine which invokes said at least one interface object with the object oriented application to access data from the relational database.
Red Hat has its own patent policy “that software patents generally impede innovation in software development and that software patents are inconsistent with open source/free software.”