E-learning Gets Legal Lessons in Battle Over Patents

Sarah Schmidt, Enl@ce Revista Venezolana de Información, Tecnología y Conocimiento, Sept 15, 2006
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Cute (though inaccurate) headline. In this article (printed in the Ottawa Citizen, the Hamilton Star, the Windsor Spectator, and the Edmonton Journal (among others, probably) the Blackboard patent is held up for examination and found wanting. WebCT developer Murray Goldberg makes some good points. "I think the reason there is such a fury (at universities) is they perceive Blackboard is patenting something that largely came out of academic institutions, or was significantly molded out of research at academic institutions," Goldberg says. "I thought that this area was mature enough that nobody would frankly attempt to patent it, and go and sue an existing competitor." So did I, but apparently there remains some immaturity in the field.
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