The Blackboard patent

It’s interesting to see the Slashdot take on what’s been a contentious issue in the e-learning community in recent days. The consensus seems to be that the likes of Moodle and Sakai are better anyway – and a certain amount of anti-Blackboard bile has been drawn from the student members.

The patent – essentially on the concept of a VLE itself – has drawn serious amounts of ire from the learning community, which is probably deserved in my opinion. I’m not a big fan of software patents anyway, and in a field like education it seems counterintuitive to try and stifle competition and innovation.

Still, I don’t think most educational software projects need to worry. Most are not ‘substantially equivalent’, and – although obviously this doesn’t constitute legal advice – I wouldn’t let this scare you. Unless you’ve cloned Blackboard, that is.

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