Monday, August 14, 2006

Blackboard sues Desire2Learn in ED Texas

Blackboard, an American maker of internet education systems, took the academic community by surprise in July 2006 when it announced it had been granted a broad patent in the US covering 44 claims related to learning management systems. Blackboard became the largest company in this market when it merged with Canadian-based WebCTin late 2005.

On the same day that it publicly disclosed its patent, Blackboard started a patent infringement suit in a Texas court against Desire2Learn.

The No Education Patents wiki ( purports to provide a plain-language explanation of all 44 claims contained in the Blackboard patent and it invites the community to submit specific examples of prior art.

IPBiz notes that, when big patent issues come up, those concerned respond without the need for "peer to patent." Generally, if a patent arises which includes claims anticipated by the prior art, it should be painfully easy to show this without invoking cumbersome bureaucracy.

[IPBiz post 1870]


Blogger Lawrence B. Ebert said...

On Feb. 1, Blackboard made a pledge which commits Blackboard not to assert U.S. Patent No. 6,988,138 and many other pending patent applications against the development, use or distribution of open source software or home-grown course management systems anywhere in the world, to the extent that such systems are not bundled with proprietary software.

5:45 AM  

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