RALEIGH, N.C. - —
Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world's leading provider of open source solutions, has continued its efforts to improve the U.S. patent system and to challenge poor quality software patents. Red Hat joined a large group of companies in an amicus brief to the Supreme Court which explained that the burden of proof applied to invalidate patents impedes innovation and should be changed.
The amicus brief was filed in the case of Microsoft v. i4i Limited Partnership. Red Hat joined the brief with Google, Verizon, Consumer Electronics Association, Comcast, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, HTC, Intuit, L-3 Communications, LinkedIn, Lockheed Martin, Mastercard, The New York Times, Rackspace, Shutterfly, Software & Information Industry Association, Time Warner, Wal-Mart, and Zynga.
This case concerns whether the party attempting to show that a patent should never have been granted must establish invalidity by clear-and-convincing evidence. The amicus parties argue that this standard favors holders of bad patents, and should be replaced by the standard of preponderance of the evidence. The amicus brief explains that the existing burden rule is bad law that should be corrected by the Supreme Court. The brief further explains how large numbers of bad patents are issued based on minimal review, and how those bad patents hinder innovation. Even when there is strong evidence of invalidity, that evidence is often technical, and it may be difficult for a jury without a technical background to conclude that the evidence is clear.
"Burdens of proof sound technical, but they make an enormous practical difference in how lawsuits come out," said Rob Tiller, Assistant General Counsel for IP at Red Hat. "As things now stand, the clear-and-convincing burden prevents invalidation of lots of patents that should never have been granted. A decision from the Court which corrects that would be great for software innovation."
Red Hat has filed amicus briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court in the past, including a brief submitted in December 2010 seeking reversal of a lower court decision that threatens to expand patent litigation. Red Hat also addressed the Court on the issue of patentability for abstract subject matter in an amicus brief submitted in October 2009 in the Bilski case.
To read the full amicus brief, please visit: /f/pdf/amicus-brief-2011-02-02.pdf. For more information, please visit opensource.com or press.redhat.com.
About Red Hat, Inc.
Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source solutions and a component of the S&P 500, is headquartered in Raleigh, NC with over 65 offices spanning the globe. CIOs ranked Red Hat as one of the top vendors delivering value in Enterprise Software for seven consecutive years in the CIO Insight Magazine Vendor Value survey. Red Hat provides high-quality, affordable technology with its operating system platform, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, together with virtualization, applications, management and Services Oriented Architecture (SOA) solutions, including Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization and JBoss Enterprise Middleware. Red Hat also offers support, training and consulting services to its customers worldwide. Learn more: http://www.redhat.com.
Certain statements contained in this press release may constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements provide current expectations of future events based on certain assumptions and include any statement that does not directly relate to any historical or current fact. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including: risks related to delays or reductions in information technology spending, the effects of industry consolidation, uncertainty and adverse results in litigation and related settlements, the integration of acquisitions and the ability to market successfully acquired technologies and products; the ability of the Company to effectively compete; the inability to adequately protect Company intellectual property and the potential for infringement or breach of license claims of or relating to third party intellectual property; the ability to deliver and stimulate demand for new products and technological innovations on a timely basis; risks related to data and information security vulnerabilities; ineffective management of, and control over, the Company's growth and international operations; fluctuations in exchange rates; and changes in and a dependence on key personnel, as well as other factors contained in our most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q (copies of which may be accessed through the Securities and Exchange Commission's website at http://www.sec.gov), including those found therein under the captions "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations". In addition to these factors, actual future performance, outcomes, and results may differ materially because of more general factors including (without limitation) general industry and market conditions and growth rates, economic conditions, and governmental and public policy changes. The forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company's views as of the date of this press release and these views could change. However, while the Company may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company's views as of any date subsequent to the date of the press release.
Red Hat and JBoss are trademarks of Red Hat, Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Linux® is the registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the U.S. and other countries