Thursday, March 13, 2008

Desire2Learn to revise flagship software

D2L's hometown newspaper, The Record (Kitchener/Waterloo, ON), reported today about D2L's strategy for bringing its U.S. customers into a non-infringing status. D2L wants to get as many self-hosted U.S. customers into the soon-to-be-released Learning Environment 8.3.

The tricky part is ensuring that 8.3 is not infringing on Blackboard's controversial patent. D2L sounds confident that its redesigned code will be blessed by all parties. D2L CEO John Baker was quoted:
"We're very confident that 8.3 will be a good workaround," he said. "We're just waiting on the final legal stamp of approval."
The "final legal stamp of approval" is the key point. Blackboard will be allowed to review the new code, and ultimately it would seem that Judge Ron Cook has to find the software to be non-infringing.

The eventual challenge will be for campus technologists to implement a plan that not only complies with the vendor's wishes, but more importantly, ensures for its thousands of faculty and student users a smooth transition to a new version of the software, whenever a transition happens.

Baker, and the rest of us, are still anxiously awaiting developments on a review of the original patent:
"The patent should never have been issued in the first place. We're going to push the courts to recognize that."

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