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 is currently an Instructional Designer II at Orbis Education and a Part-Time Instructor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Previously he worked as a Learning Innovation Researcher with the UT Arlington LINK Research Lab. His work focuses on learning theory, Heutagogy, and learner agency. 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.