Blackboard wins e-learning patent, sues competitor

A patent infringement fight is on as Blackboard won a very broad patent on e-learning technology including “core technology relating to certain systems and methods involved in offering online education, including course management systems and enterprise e-Learning systems.” The company then immediately sued competitor Desire2Learn, a learning management system developer.

In addition, another player, the Sakai Foundation has retained open source attorney Eben Moglen and his Software Freedom Law Center to fight the patent. In a press release, the foundation said:

“The recent announcement by Blackboard that it is attempting to assert patent rights over simple and longstanding online technologies as applied to the area of course management systems and e-learning technologies, and its subsequent litigation against a smaller commercial competitor constitutes a threat to the effective and open development of software for higher education and the values underlying such open activities.”

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