Reality Check For Blackboard

Seems like Blackboard’s legal battle to enforce one of its patents is finally over.  Patent No. 6,988,138 basically made the claim that Blackboard invented the idea that a single course-management software user could have multiple roles in multiple classes. The patent was initially granted but soon overturned.  Blackboard vowed to fight.

But so did the educational community.  Petitions were signed and multiple instances of prior art were cataloged.  Ultimately, I think it was the outcry and effort of millions of people around the world that brought about this final development.

I am no legal expert, but surely Blackboard can’t keep the $3 million-plus dollars it got in the original lawsuit once the patent is finally gone, right?

Anyway, this is hopefully a big reality check for Blackboard – don’t claim to invent something that you didn’t and then use that false claim to throw your weight around the educational community.  Hopefully, we will see a new, more humble Blackboard come out of this.

Yeah, I’m not holding my breath, either.

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