Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Teachable Moment

I am an eager and willing student. I want to learn. I am totally serious.

I have been reviewing Blackboard's current patent application in Canada. It was apparently filed for on August 13, 2004, several years after they filed for the patent in the U.S. Here is the 4 page complaint against D2L and the 59 page patent granted in the U.S.

In the Canadian application, the following people are listed as inventors:

  • OERTER, LARA (United States)
  • FINNEFROCK, JESSICA (United States)
  • CHI, TIMOTHY ROTAU (United States)
  • CHASEN, MICHAEL LEWIS (United States)
  • EVERHART, DEBORAH (United States)
  • CANE, DANIEL (United States)

I'm sure that they are all upstanding and very fine people. So, good people of the Blackboard invention team, please educate me. WHAT EXACTLY DID EACH OF YOU INVENT? This is NOT a rhetorical question, I would really like an answer.

Maybe even more important to the current litigation, here is the list of inventors on the June 2000 patent filing in the U.S. by Blackboard:

  • ALCORN, ROBERT (United States)
  • CANE, DANIEL (United States)
  • CHASEN, MICHAEL LEWIS (United States)
  • CHI, TIMOTHY ROTAU (United States)
  • GILFUS, STEPHEN (United States)
  • PERIAN, SCOTT (United States)
  • PITINSKY, MATTHEW (United States)

Notice the lack of gender balance back in 2000, my how they advanced as a company. So, my question to all of you great inventors of things that already existed prior to the existence of Blackboard, can you please educate me? Please tell me exactly what you invented and in particular what you invented that was subsequently stolen from you by Desire2Learn?

Good luck with that!!

Dictionary.com - Invent: To produce or contrive (something previously unknown) by the use of ingenuity or imagination.
Dictionary.com - Invention: A new device, method, or process developed from study and experimentation.

Interestingly: the second definition of invent is "To make up; fabricate," and the third definition of invention is: "A mental fabrication, especially a falsehood." Apparently, those are the definitions that the U.S. Patent Office is working off of.

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