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ERIC Number: EJ788935
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb-22
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Colleges Await High-Stakes Court Verdict in Patent Case
Mangan, Katherine
Chronicle of Higher Education, v54 n24 pA1 Feb 2008
The long-awaited showdown between Blackboard Inc. and Desire2Learn Inc. began this month in a federal courtroom here as lawyers described the humble beginnings of two of the fiercest competitors in the classroom-software industry. The presidents of both companies, flanked by teams of lawyers, listened intently as their lawyers described how young men in their early to mid-20s had helped start companies that are locked in a bitter patent battle a decade later. The outcome of the trial, which is expected to take several weeks, could influence how course-management systems are used by colleges across the country. And decisions already made by the judge have narrowed the focus from Blackboard's original broad claims. In the lawsuit, filed in 2006, Blackboard accuses its rival of infringing the patent, granted that year by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ("The Chronicle", Aug. 2, 2006). By infringing Blackboard's patent, Mr. Fay E. Morisseau, Blackboard's lead counsel, argued in court, Desire2Learn had taken away customers that should rightfully be Blackboard's. Blackboard had filed for the patent, which covers its e-learning software, in 1999. Critics say the patent is too broad. If it is upheld, they worry, colleges that create their own course-management systems could be vulnerable to similar lawsuits by Blackboard.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A