Jeff Longland

Relax, don't worry – have a home brew!

Blackboard Alleges Desire2Learn Patent Infringement

By way of Ezra, I just discovered that last week Blackboard filed suit against Desire2Learn, alleging patent infringement.  Wow!  More surprisingly, here’s the abstract for the patent:

A system and methods for implementing education online by providing institutions with the means for allowing the creation of courses to be taken by students online, the courses including assignments, announcements, course materials, chat and whiteboard facilities, and the like, all of which are available to the students over a network such as the Internet. Various levels of functionality are provided through a three-tiered licensing program that suits the needs of the institution offering the program. In addition, an open platform system is provided such that anyone with access to the Internet can create, manage, and offer a course to anyone else with access to the Internet without the need for an affiliation with an institution, thus enabling the virtual classroom to extend worldwide. Courtesy USPTO 6,988,138

Prior art is being collected over at Fortnightly Mailing.  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, just search Slashdot for patent. I’m floored by so many aspects of this…   maybe the lack of sleep and free schwag at the conference had me thinking of Blackboard in a nicer light…  the patent is so broad…  and recent….   Wow.  They receive the patent on July 26th and immediately go after Desire2Learn.


Written by jlongland

August 1, 2006 at 5:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. Thanks for the credit, Jeff!

    Actually Blackboard filed for it in 2000 and received the patent January 17, 2006. They did file the suit last week.


    August 1, 2006 at 8:55 pm

  2. Ah, I like this Wikipedia topic:

    The patent application was filed in 1999, though the last piece of the application mentioned at the USPTO was 2000. My reference to the Jan 17, 2006 date is from the one at the top right of the patent link you posted.

    I believe the Jul 26th date for the patent is really the date of the press release. So they sat on it for 6 months. Which might be understandable?


    August 1, 2006 at 9:06 pm

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