Blackboard Wins Patent Lawsuit Over Desire2Learn

Of course, this is no big surprise. And it really means nothing. The Lawsuit was filed in Lufkin, TX – a known rocket docket circuit that almost always finds in favor of the patent holder. No matter how insanely wrong the patent is.

Which really means absolutely nothing, unless you are Desire2Learn or the next company that Blackboard goes after. The rest of the world knows that a victory in Lufkin means that the patent is almost guaranteed to be bogus. But Blackboard will probably continue to stand by their patent, and continue to use creepy language to insult the rest of us (“I am so embarrassed by the reaction of the academic world” – really? Are we infants that you should be “embarrassed” by us? Are we so stupid and you so smart that we embarrass you? Please…).

I’ve read the Blackboard patent. It’s not that hard to understand (most patents aren’t). I don’t know why the CEO of Blackboard has to make it sound like patent law is that hard to interpret – unless he really does find it hard to understand. I’ve read both sides’ interpretation of the patent, also. I don’t see how they can claim to have created something in 1997 that I was writing college papers about in 1995. Or how a judge could ignore the massive amount of prior art in this case and say that the patent was actually valid. That’s Lufkin, Texas for ya.

Thanks to Desire2Learn for fighting against this. Keep up the good work, and maybe someday sanity (and justice) will prevail….

Matt Crosslin
Matt is currently the Learning Innovation Coordinator with the UT Arlington LINK Research Lab. His research focuses on Learning Theory, Innovation, and learner empowerment. Matt holds a Ph.D. in Learning Technologies from the University of North Texas, a Master of Education in Educational Technology from UT Brownsville, and a Bachelors of Science in Education from Baylor University. His research interests include instructional design, learning pathways, sociocultural theory, heutagogy, virtual reality, and open networked learning. He has a background in instructional design and teaching at both the secondary and university levels and has been an active blogger and conference presenter. He also enjoys networking and collaborative efforts involving faculty, students, administration, and anyone involved in the education process.

6 thoughts on “Blackboard Wins Patent Lawsuit Over Desire2Learn

  1. Erin Jennings

    Hi Matt,

    Sakai was one of the vendors represented at the ITC E-Learning conference I attended a couple of weeks ago. They gave out shirts that said ‘Sakai: Supporting innovation — not suing it.’

    I think Desire2Learn was there, too, but I didn’t see anyone from Moodle.

  2. Matt Crosslin

    Awesome! I am assuming that you grabbed an XL-sized one for your favorite EduGeek blogger right? :)

    Just kidding, but I am going to try and track down one to wear oat TxDLA!

    You usually don’t see Moodle at these conferences because they don’t have a sales department. Even Sakai has enough funding to have sales people out there, but Moodle doesn’t. Maybe some day – but it is up to people to present on Moodle to get the word out :)

  3. Erin Jennings

    Yes, that’s the one — although the text was really more of an EduGeek green than the yellowish color in the photo.

    Sorry, Matt! I unfortunately didn’t get to spend any time in the vendor area, so I wasn’t able to.

    I saw people with another shirt, as well: ‘First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they sue you, then you win.’

  4. Matt Crosslin

    Yeah, I read on that blog post that they were gone quick. Maybe they will sell them in the future. But you know which booth I am going to hit the moment I arrive at TxDLA :)

    I wonder, though – was there also a Blackboard booth? That would have been hilarious to put them next to each other….

  5. Harriet Watkins

    In the latest development in the patent war between Blackboard and Desire2Learn, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has rejected Blackboard

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