Blackboard Patents the LMS

August 7, 2006

I’m surprised there hasn’t been more uproar about this yet. The ever-brilliant US Patent and Trademark Office has apparently granted Blackboard a patent for…well…pretty much anything remotely related to learning management systems. As I read it, Blackboard basically owns the patent on any sort of groupware at all that is used for teaching purposes. This could have very serious consequences for both proprietary and Open Source competitors–and I define “competitors” as loosely as possible. (You could probably slam Drupal with this under the right circumstances, for example.)

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