Education

Blackboard Inc.'s Patents Invalidated

July 30, 2009 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Blackboard Inc. has been in the news lately for its growing dominance in providing learning-management systems, particularly with its acquisition of ANGEL Learning earlier this year. But the Washington-based company received a blow this week when a federal appeals court invalidated more than three dozen of its patents on online learning-management systems. You can find news and blog coverage here.

The company has been in litigation over its patents since 2006, when it sued Canadian rival Desire2Learn for patent infringement. It is unclear how this decision might affect an earlier $3 million judgment for Blackboard in that case.

Here’s some background from the Washington Business Journal.

A statement from Desire2Learn said the company is “pleased” with the decision.

“This decision has affirmed what we believed to be the case all along. It is a true victory for Desire2Learn and all of education,” President and CEO John Baker said in the statement. “Despite the challenges along the way, we have the educational community to thank for supporting us through this lengthy process. We have always been, and will continue to be, about meeting the needs of our clients in their pursuit of advancing teaching and learning.”

Blackboard’s chief business officer, Matt Small, said Blackboard is disappointed with the decision and will seek further judicial review.

“The Federal Circuit’s decision does not affect Blackboard’s other patents or other efforts currently open in our effort to resolve the intellectual property disagreement we have with Desire2Learn,” his statement says. “While we continue to pursue a resolution through the available channels, we remain focused on helping to engage learners and advance student achievement. In that regard, we continue to stand by our Patent Pledge, the legally-binding, worldwide commitment we made not to assert the patents listed in the Pledge against the use, development, or support of open source or home-grown course management systems that are not bundled with proprietary software.”

A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.

Events

Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: November 17, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Nearly a Million Kids Vaccinated in Week 1, White House Says
Experts say there are signs that it will be difficult to sustain the initial momentum.
4 min read
Leo Hahn, 11, gets the first shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. Last week, U.S. health officials gave the final signoff to Pfizer's kid-size COVID-19 shot, a milestone that opened a major expansion of the nation's vaccination campaign to children as young as 5. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Education How Schools Are Getting Kids the COVID Shot, and Why Some Aren’t
Some district leaders say offering vaccine clinics, with the involvement of trusted school staff, is key to helping overcome hesitancy.
5 min read
A girl walks outside of a mobile vaccine unit after getting the first dose of her COVID-19 vaccine, outside P.S. 277, Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, in the Bronx borough of New York. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)
Education Biden Administration Urges Schools to Provide COVID-19 Shots, Information for Kids
The Biden administration is encouraging local school districts to host vaccine clinics for kids and information on benefits of the shots.
2 min read
President Joe Biden, and first lady Jill Biden walk to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. Biden is spending the weekend at his home in Rehoboth Beach, Del. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)