Since 2006 I have been following with interest the patent infringement case of Blackboard v Desire2Learn. Blackboard is a provider of educational software and virtual learning environments, which owns U.S. Patent 6,988,138 protecting “Internet-based education support system and methods”. In 2006 they sued VLE provider Desire2Learn for infringement of aforementioned monopoly right. No points for guessing in which jurisdiction was the complaint filed, let’s just say that it is a large state that borders Mexico, and it is not California. The case made it to trial, and the jury awarded Blackboard $2.5 million USD (about 44 million WoW gold) for lost profits and $630,000 USD in royalties.
At this point I should probably offer a rant about the evils of software patents, but I think that the facts speak for themselves. A company is using its patent in order to eliminate competitors from the market. Surely, this is not what the patent system is all about, is it?