Thursday, March 06, 2008


I just got off the phone with John Baker (far left on photo) and Diane Lank (not pictured), attorney for Desire2Learn. We talked for about 30 minutes about the trial, the verdict, next steps, etc.

In about an hour (noon central), D2L will post some new information on their Patent Blog that should be very interesting. Suffice it to say that a recent Blackboard filing (for an injunction, I believe) was made "under seal," most likely so they would not face the ire of the education community for the tactics employed in their legal maneuverings (my opinion). The juicy part should come on the D2L Blog when they release the official response which will NOT BE UNDER SEAL and will of course address the points made by Blackboard under seal. That should be great fun for those us watching from the sidelines. (Update - it has now been posted as of 2:32 PM central.) Also see new post above or click here for info about D2L's response.

There may be some interesting info in that posting regarding BB's real intentions with regard to Sakai and other open source products that they believe infringe on their patent.

I only have a few minutes to post something right now, so I'll just make a few points from my conversation with John and Diane.

  • Blackboard was actually seeking over $50 million in damages by seeking treble damages for D2L being willful in their infringement. The jury never saw Blackbeard's actual request and only heard that BB was seeking 17.1 million, which they reduced to 3.1 million.
  • I need to do some research on Blackboard's "American Heritage" award in 2000 from the Simthsonian for their CourseInfo2 product. Apparently this was produced several times as evidence of their invention, even though it has nothing to do with the invention.
  • A work-around is almost finished that should keep D2L from infringing (if you believe that they are infringing) - but Blackboard may be maneuvering to try to stop D2L from NOT infringing - which should be interesting. BB would like to restrict D2L's access to new clients by not allowing them to implement a work-around. The bonus of this work-around is that D2L believes that it will actually improve their product. The downside is the question about who will actually decide whether they are no longer infringing - if BB gets to decide that important piece then you can expect their train of lies to continue (my opinion, again). BB desires 2 keep D2L infringing on their patent - how idiotic (and unjust) is that?
More coming a bit later.


Anonymous said...

Blackbeard made a request? No wonder he lied; he's a pirate!

Barry Dahl said...

Yes, indeed Blackboard is the new Blackbeard - raping and pillaging their way through the educational community. Only when the community stands strong together against the pirates will they be sent out to sea without a port to land in.