Monday, August 14, 2006
It's a Blackboard Jungle Out There! Will Desire2Learn Have to Walk the Chalk Line?
Blackboard, Inc., a Washington D.C. company which appears to believe
that it has patented "learning stuff over the Internet," has sued its
Canadian rival Desire2Learn amid howls from the online learning
community. Blackboard, which brought its action in the
ever-popular Eastern District of Texas [this place never seems to get old!] the day it annouced its 44 claim patent on learning management systems, appears, by all accounts to be looking to leverage this dominance world-wide. Hiring high-powered McDermott, Will & Emery, Blackboard appears to be in this for high-stakes.
The online learning community -- especially the open source folks
-- are counterattacking, however, establishing a site [No
Education Patents!] designed to accumulate prior art to defeat the
Blackboard patent before it "clearcuts" the rest of the industry.