Use Hibernate, OpenJPA, TopLink, EclipseLink, Spring or other product that use ORM technologies? Then heads up: you might be exposing yourself or your company to possible patent infringement litigation.

How do we know? Last week we announced that Genuitec had settled a lawsuit brought against us by Software Tree, LLC, a subsidiary of Acacia Research Corporation (Nasdaq: ACTG). The now-settled dispute revolved around the use of object-relational mapping technologies commonly utilized in products like Hibernate, Spring, EclipseLink, TopLink, Open JPA and others.

The no-fault resolution includes an agreement between the two companies that Genuitec products are immune from possible patent infringements on their ORM technology distributions. This license extends to Genuitec customers, allowing the legal use for design and run-time technologies, and covers any ORM libraries shipped with Genuitec products including Hibernate, Spring, EclipseLink, TopLink, and Open JPA. Enterprises utilizing any of these technologies without Genuitec products can potentially run the risk of exposure to future litigation.

ORM technologies are so pervasive, it’s difficult to imagine enterprises of any significant size that do not utilize them in some form. Considering this global pervasiveness, Genuitec chose to act decisively to protect customers from possible patent litigation.

So, Genuitec customers now not only get leading development tooling, but also peace of mind from a legal point of view on this issue. Please contact us with any questions.

The lawsuit brought by the patent holder, Software Tree, LLC, is still currently in litigation proceedings with HP, Dell and Red Hat, Inc.

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Posted on Jan 18th 2010