Sakai statement on 2nd Bb-D2L patent suit

The Sakai Foundation today issued the following official statement on the new Bb-D2L lawsuit:

As you may have already read, Blackboard has filed a new lawsuit against Desire2Learn for patent infringement. This recent lawsuit is based on a patent that Blackboard was awarded in February (#7,493,396). This new patent is actually a revised version of the patent originally at issue (#6,988,138). The revision was a result of the patent re-examination process undertaken by the USPTO that was initiated by requests from the Software Freedom Law Center (on behalf of Sakai, Moodle and ATutor) and, separately, from Desire2Learn.

Blackboard has added the new patent to its patent pledge—their promise that they will not enforce these patents against open source software, including Sakai. They did this without any request from the Sakai Foundation and we appreciate the pro-active addition. However, as we stated in February 2007, the pledge does not go as far as we would have liked and the addition of the new patent does not change those misgivings.

The Sakai Foundation’s position on the legal action and the patent itself remains the same. We are concerned that this very broad patent, especially when litigated repeatedly, could stifle innovation in educational software. At a time when there is tremendous public pressure on the cost of education, we are also distressed to see another multi-million dollar installment of this patent distraction. We would like the higher education community to be able to make a choice of collaboration and learning software without fearing that their right to use such software will be terminated through the courts. We again urge the parties involved to find a definitive end to this distraction that has been harmful to the free expression of ideas and the development of tools for education.

Michael Korcuska
on behalf of the Sakai Foundation and its Board of Directors

Related Links:

Blackboard Patent Pledge
Desire2Learn Patent Blog
February 2007 Sakai statement on Patent Pledge


One Response

  1. […] , ATutor is designed for easy accessibility and adaptability. Claroline Designed with a shipshape Sakai statement on 2nd Bb-D2L patent suit – 04/10/2009 The Sakai Foundation today issued the following official […]

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