Just as the US Patent Office has agreed to review Blackboard's e-learning patents, the company has announced that it won't try to enforce its patents (current and future) against open source e-learning software providers or against universities who build their own, in-house, solutions. Instead, they'll simply focus on for-profit competitors. While that's a relief to those open source groups and universities, it's unfortunate that those same groups have "endorsed" the move. These organizations shouldn't need permission to innovate or promises that some company won't enforce their broad and obvious patents. Instead, they need a system that lets them continue to innovate without having to worry about these sorts of legal issues or beg a company to give them a pass. They should be pointing out how much needless trouble this process put them through. Even though the end result may have worked out for them, this shouldn't be an issue that they had to face at all.
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