Sakai, Moodle, and ATutor Challenge Blackboard Patents


A patent dispute pitting open source advocates for online learning technologies against Blackboard, the industry giant, became more bitter Thursday with the announcement that a formal request had been filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to revoke 44 of Blackboard’s patent claims.

Throughout the dispute, certain Blackboard actions have led open source advocates and others in higher education to mistrust the company, and that trend may continue with the collapse of the compromise negotiations. Concern about the Blackboard patents has grown in the last year, especially after Blackboard cited the patent to sue another company in the course management business, Desire2Learn. If Blackboard was willing to go after a competitor, what would prevent it from going after educators trying to do course management themselves? some academics wondered.

source: Inside Higher Ed, via Kairosnews

One comment

  1. Ben says:

    I’ve never enjoyed any experiences I’ve had with Blackboard, and the latest developments don’t surprise me in the least. It’s a commercial company with a rather luckluster product when compared to all of the other commercial and open source alternatives available. It figures they would try to start attacking other corporations on the validity of their copyrights rather than innovate further, and academics would be wise to mistrust them for taking such actions.