IT Trends :: Thursday, November 2, 2006

Opinion

Patently Offensive

By Terry Calhoun

Could there be any clearer evidence that the United States patent system is dysfunctional, than the patent awarded to Blackboard? Well, yeah, if you look at the filings, they can get pretty absurd. And now there are whole companies that have never done anything and they’re buying up old patents and finding new ways to clobber people with them.

But this one hits close to home, so we in higher education don’t have to look any further. We know about the history of course management systems: It is our own history. And now Blackboard thinks that it owns it. (But we don’t have to worry because it likes universities and nonprofits. Whew!)...

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