An Open Letter to Online Educational Companies

I’ll keep this brief and simple, so as not to confuse anyone. Especially CEOs. Patenting online educational ideas is bad for the educational community. At best, you will sound foolish like Blackboard, and try to patent ideas that were already in existence years before you claim to have come up with them. Worst case scenario: you will lose a lot of money.

And lets not forget how they will stifle innovation in the education market.

Don’t believe me? How about an article in the NY Times today?

“‘Today, over all, patents don’t work; for the information technology industry especially, they don’t work,’ said James Bessen, who became a lecturer at Boston University’s law school after a career in business.”

The amount of money that you spend to protect the patent will eat up most of your profit.

Did I mention that it will stifle innovation in the education market?

For more information, see

Matt Crosslin

Matt is currently the Learning Innovation Coordinator with the UT Arlington LINK Research Lab. His research focuses on Learning Theory, Innovation, and learner empowerment. Matt holds a Ph.D. in Learning Technologies from the University of North Texas, a Master of Education in Educational Technology from UT Brownsville, and a Bachelors of Science in Education from Baylor University. His research interests include instructional design, learning pathways, sociocultural theory, heutagogy, virtual reality, and open networked learning. He has a background in instructional design and teaching at both the secondary and university levels and has been an active blogger and conference presenter. He also enjoys networking and collaborative efforts involving faculty, students, administration, and anyone involved in the education process.

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