Google has launched a new patent search tool and of course the first thing everybody in our field has done is to look up learning. Here's a patent for roles-based access control from 1997 - this is one of the things Blackboard claimed in its patent. And 'learning'? A search reveals 1147 patents - and a lot of work for someone, I guess. I think we need to get a handle on this, though I must confess, I preferred my earlier strategy - ignoring the U.S. Patent Office as irrelevant.