Pearson wrote to us with the following:
“Pearson follows the highest standards in maintaining and respecting intellectual property rights. At this point of time, the matter is sub-judice and we would not like to comment on it. We have appealed against the temporary injunction. We have complete faith in the judicial system.”
Earlier: The Bangalore City Court has restrained Pearson’s Indian arm from using or referring to any outputs from Kaleido, a patent pending student assessment and analytics platform by Bangalore based education startup New Rubric, reports ET. Pearson has been restrained from infringing on New Rubric’s intellectual property ‘in any way’.
New Rubric had approached the court in June alleging that Pearson had plagiarised the analysis generated by Kaleido, with evidence from a YouTube video, where a Pearson director was presenting content copied verbatim from Kaleido last October. The company did not seek monetary compensation, however, the case can be appealed in the High Court.
Lawsuit against Pearson for incomplete software
Pearson has been no stranger to controversy and lawsuits. In April, it was sued, along with Apple, by the Los Angeles School District (for the $1.3 billion program) to pay for software which Pearson created and was supposed to be implemented on Apple’s iPads. However, reports claim that Pearson’s software was not ready before the project started and it had only supplied samples for the same. According to a HuffPost report, Pearson was also seen advertising test scores on Craigslist.
Despite the roadblocks, Pearson is selling off its media assets to focus on the education sector. Last month, it sold the Financial Times Group to the Japanese media firm Nikkei for £844 million in cash, while today, it sold its 50% stake in the Economist for for £469 million.
DDoS attacks on Pearson’s testing platform
According to The Journal’s report, the US Department of Education temporarily suspended Minnesota’s comprehensive assessments twice when students had problems logging into Pearson’s testing system earlier this week. The testing platform was apparently disrupted through DDoS attacks and Pearson was made to slice $1 million in fees from the contract, as well as provide $4.69 million worth of additional services and supports for schools and districts at no cost to the state.
Texas Education Agency ends Pearson contract
In May, Pearson Education laid off over 200 of its Texas employees after losing its exclusive standardised testing vendor badge to a US based company called Educational Testing Services. Pearson had held the contract for over 30 years before this. More info on Pearson’s past problems here and here.
In January, the company told Business Standard that it was planning to up its school management from the then 28 to 100 in the next two years. Pearson would provide services which would let the school manage all its activities. It also said that publishing accounted for over 50% of its revenues.
Pearson’s Zaya funding
In India, Pearson funded school educational services start-up Zaya Learning Labs in May last year. Pearson Affordable Learning Fund (PALF) was set up by Pearson in 2012 to make minority equity investments in for-profit companies operating in affordable education services in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Zaya was PALF’s fifth investment globally, and first in India.
IBM-Pearson tie up
In March last year, IBM entered into a 5 year agreement with Pearson India for its program to offer e-learning solutions to more than 22,000 classrooms across India. As part of the agreement, Pearson India would create digital classrooms for K2 students, while IBM would supply, install and maintain of the IT infrastructure in these classrooms. Most recently, the Pearson acquired Tutorvista received FIPB approval to merge several direct and indirect wholly owned subsidiaries of Pearson (Singapore) PTE Limited.
Image Credit: Flickr user Rosemary Stanley