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[school-discuss] Re: [IIEP] Blackboard's LMS patent

Claude Martin wrote:
Hi Rob, and FLOSS LMSs friends,

you are right to mention "On the downside there is a lot of concern about Blackboard's LMS patent." in your message below. In fact as I said earlier this is one of the important points to be discussed here. I made a review of the case this is the result:

I don't personally believe Blackboard's patent is valid but I'm not the judge. Microsoft did not think Eolas's patents were valid either. RIM (Blackberry) did not believe NTP's patents were valid. Both firms ended up out 100s of millions of dollars.

As Paul Bacsich has pointed out if the patent is held up it is going to be quite difficult to work around.

The steady expansion of "intellectual property" and associated issues (such as DRM) concerns me.

There's quite a bit of information on Stephen Downes site (http://www.downes.ca/blackboard_patent.htm) on the patent.

One useful site is the Public Patent Foundation on the general issues of patents and the public interest: http://www.pubpat.org/

-- Robert G. Rittenhouse * Computer Science Dept, McMurry University * rob@xxxxxxxxxxx Abilene TX 79697-0968 * http://cs1.mcm.edu/~rob/