Open source people have been talking for years what might happen when software companies start to use patents against each other and against open source developers. It seems that now we are there.
Last week Blackboard published a press release that US Patent and Trademark Office has awarded them a patent on e-learning technology. Michael Feldstein has copyed most important parts of the patent to his blog. It seems that the patent really covers everything that is related to learning management systems. Blackboard says that similar patents have been issued in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore and are pending in the European Union, China, Japan, Canada, India, Israel, Mexico, South Korea, Hong Kong and Brazil.
At the same day they published a press release about the patent they started to use it against their competitors. Blackboard sued Desire2Learn for patent infringement. What happens next?