Blackboard, Desire2Learn to end patent war

Blackboard and Desire2Learn have agreed to end their battle over patents for web-based college course management systems, Bloomberg reports. The companies said Dec. 15 that they will license each other’s patents and drop all litigation. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. A settlement "is in the best interests of both of our organizations, our respective clients and the broader education community," Blackboard chief executive Michael Chasen said in a statement issued by the companies. Washington, D.C.-based Blackboard has been accusing Desire2Learn of patent infringement since 2006. One case ended with a $3.13 million verdict won by Blackboard that was reversed on appeal. Blackboard’s software allows instructors to post course materials, conduct discussions, and make assignments online. Desire2Learn, based in Kitchener, Ontario, is Blackboard’s biggest competitor.

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