Sunday, February 04, 2007

Desire2Learn Serves Blackboard

Recently, Desire2Learn served on Blackboard its Preliminary Invalidity Contentions, which is an analysis of D2L's view about why the Blackboard patent was invalidly issued by the USPTO.

This is a 70 page PDF that contains a detailed and lengthy analysis of prior art at the time of the Blackboard patent filing. They specifically refer to 60 pieces of evidence of prior art (pages 3-7) that "anticipate and/or render obvious the asserted claims of the ’138 patent." Some of the included prior art include:

  • 1. Educom/NLII Instructional Management Systems Specifications Document, Ver. 0.5 (April 29, 1998)
  • 2. IMS Prototype, first public use and/or sale occurred on or before April 29, 1998
  • 3. Janison Solutions, Web Training Toolbox Management Guide (May 1999)
  • 13. Ceilidh Version 2.7, first public use and/or sale occurred on or before January 1997; http://www.cs.nott.ac.uk/~ceilidh/papers.html
  • 14. Fred T. Hofstetter, Serf User Guide Version 1.0, University Of Delaware (Jan. 1998)
  • 21. TopClass Version 2.0.0 Administrator’s Guide, (March 1998)
  • 24. D. F. Ferraiolo and D. R. Kuhn, “Role Based Access Control” (1992)
  • 39. ClassNet, first public use and/or sale occurred on or before September 1, 1996; http://www.iastate.edu/Inside/1996/0906/classnet.html
  • 41. Daedalus® Integrated Writing Environment for Windows Computers Version 5.3x, Administrator’s Guide with Installation Guide (November 30, 1997)
  • 46. FirstClass Intranet Server, first public use and/or sale occurred on or before 1997
  • 56. WebCT, first public use and/or sale occurred on or before September 15, 1997; Alan Levine, WebCT @ PC, The Labyrinth, (Fall 1997, Vol. 6 Issue 1)
Of course Blackboard will argue that none of those things are "the same" as what they are claiming to have invented. It reminds me of when I was traveling in China and trying to determine whether goods for sale were knock-offs or the real McCoy. Salespeople would often say: "Same, same ... but different!"

This document and many more related to the Blackboard lawsuit and other fun things related to the U.S. Patent & Trademark office can be found here at the D2L website.

1 comment:

Mike said...

Curious, ain't it.

In the mid 90s, I used as student, taught with, tested, or administered:
Daedalus
Ceilidh
FirstClass
TopClass

and of course, WebCT.

I seem to recall, too, something like Web Tools in a box, which was later bought up by soemthing like "MadDuck" - which may be one of the products referenced in the SFLC's ex parte re-examination request.

As to "Same ... Same" - vis-a-vis patenting methods and processes - it seems to me that more than anything else, execution matters.