Linux vendor, Red Hat, today announced it has settled a patent infringement case brought against it by Firestar Software and DataTern. The lawsuit, filed two years ago, centered on a patent for linking an object-oriented software application with relational databases, which the JBoss Hibernate 3.0 object-relational mapping tool for Java allegedly infringed. The disputed patent was later assigned by Firestar to DataTern, who then became involved in the lawsuit.

Financial terms of the settlements were not disclosed, but Red Hat said in a statement that it has secured extensive protections for its customers and, interestingly enough, the larger open source community – meaning even competitors that have created derivative works will benefit from this regardless of whether they signed a patent agreement with Red Hat or not.

The company is still defending itself against a third patent complaint filed in October 2007 by IP Innovation. The lawsuit accuses Red Hat of infringing three patents, all of which appear to have originally been assigned to Xerox and describe methods for displaying icons and windows on computer screens.