You could call it, simply, "Round One" for Blackboard Inc.

At least, that's the term that people in the Kitchener, Ontario, offices of Desire2Learn Inc. (D2L) were using after a federal district-court jury in Texas hit their small Canadian company with a $3.1 million judgment for infringing the patent rights of Blackboard, a much larger American company that dominates the commercial market for course-management software.

D2L President and CEO John Baker told reporters he was shocked by the jury's decision.

In a related matter, District Court Judge Ron Clark, who presided at the trial, ruled against a D2L claim that Blackboard's patent could...

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