Red Hat wins Texas showdown

May 1, 2010 

Red Hat has won a legal fight with a small Texas company that claimed the Raleigh-based software maker infringed on its patents.

IP Innovation sued Red Hat and another software company, Novell, over technology that involves sharing icons across computer workstations. But on Friday, a jury in federal court in Marshall, Texas, agreed with Red Hat and Novell that the patents were invalid. Both companies sell the Linux computer operating software, a cheaper competitor to Microsoft's Windows.

IP Innovation sought royalties on all sales of Linux-based products. Red Hat reported last month that its 2009 revenue totaled $748.2 million, up 15 percent from a year earlier.

"The jury knocked out three invalid patents that were masquerading as new and important inventions, when they were not," Michael Cunningham, Red Hat's executive vice president, said in a prepared statement.

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