Monday, April 28, 2008

Mini-Bites about D2L Lawsuit

These are just a few things I've heard about over the past few days. I'm not going to attribute any of these to anyone since I've been asked not to on some of them and on others I just can't remember. These definitely need a grain of salt - rock salt, at that.

1) Blackbeard will declare that the D2L work-around in Version 8.3 is no work-around at all and that the product still infringes. (I heard someone else say this but I've been saying it all along.)

2) Blackbeard will take their sweet time before publicly declaring that they believe the (supposed) work-around is infringing. They want to stretch this out as long as possible. (Once again, I heard this recently, but Ive said much the same since the original ruling was handed down.)

3) Blackbeard's legal counsel Matthew Small has been calling D2L clients to convince them that they need to jump ship (over to Blackbeard) or else be forced to walk the plank. (attribution to D2L Blog on this one) I wish he'd call me.

4) Although optimism can be a good thing (I wouldn't know much about that), some D2L clients believe that the company higher-ups have been way too optimistic all along about a positive outcome to all of this and have failed to properly take mitigating steps on behalf of their clients and have therefore put their clients at risk of having their D2L installation shut down by the judge. That seems too extreme to actually happen, but more and more people are beginning to think it could happen.

5) Some D2L clients are shifting into high gear for crisis planning by trying to line up alternative VLE platforms in case D2L gets shut down in some form on May 11 or soon thereafter. Again, this sounds way too bizarre to actually happen, but stranger things have probably happened in U.S. court proceedings.

Just thinking out loud here. Do you think that there is any chance that the USPTO might act more quickly on the re-exam if they know that there are huge educational implications of letting this re-exam hang in the air for too long? Would they care that hundreds of thousands of students could have their learning disrupted by their inaction? It seems to me that they should care. What about Judge Clark, does he care? Would an extended stay be a grave miscarriage of justice - or should an inflexible legal decision be allowed to wreak havoc among people trying to earn an education? If a tree falls in the forest and there is no patent pending, does .... uhhh, never mind.

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