If you ever needed proof the patent system was broken, the recent win of Blackboard over Desire2Learn should serve admirably. For those not familiar both programs provide an online classroom type of experience. In 2006 Blackboard was issued a patent (wait for it) on the idea that a student in one class might be a teacher in another class. This is occasionally called a 'graduate assistant', and the patent office apparently hadn't heard of it before, so they gave Blackboard a patent on it. Now pretty much every classroom software is in danger of being sued out of existence.