Teaching and Learning in a Net-Centric World

Evil Blackboard legally extorts $3,000,000

I don’t know if I am more disappointed in Blackboard Inc., the jury or the US Patent system, but I am dismayed to read the note from Desire2Learn CEO John Baker. He writes this afternoon:

“Earlier today the jury handed down its verdict that the patent is valid and that Blackboard should be awarded damages of approximately $3 million……

With your support and that of the entire educational community, we were able to present a strong case. While we are disappointed that the jury did not agree with our position, we will continue to challenge the patent’s validity and Blackboard’s charges of infringement. We are currently evaluating our next steps. “

Others have written at length about the injustice and reprehensive usurping of the commons undertaken by Blackboard so I won’t repeat the arguments here.

However, I hope this action further alienates users from Blackboard and it accelerates the exodus of fair minded educators from the ranks of Blackboard customers. I also hope that John has the resources to continue the fight with an appeal and wish him success if he does.

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