Blackboard said the US patent office has issued it a patent for technology used for Internet based education support systems and methods.
Blackboard has already taken legal action against another online learning comany, Desire2Learn Inc, alleging it has breached patent number 6,988,138 - "Internet Based Education Support System and Methods". That patent was granted on the 17th of January this year.
The granting of the patent has drawn concern and ire from a number of sources. A filing at this web site said the Blackboard patent could become "a defining moment for learning technologies". Academic Commons says here that the patent threatens open source initiatives like Moodle and Sakai, and also schools using blogs or wikis for courses.
Blackboard said its patent has been granted in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, and pending in the European Union, China, Japan, Canada, India, Israel, Mexico, South Korea, Hong Kong and Brazil.
The firm's CEO Michael Chasen said his firm has been a "thought leader" in the e-learning industry.
Legal case against Desire2Learn
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