Monday, November 13, 2006

More on BlackBoard v. Desire2Learn

ComputerWorld reports the latest action in the BlackBoard v. Desire2Learn tangle in ED Texas:

The latest legal move occurred last Monday [Nov. 6] when US federal District Court Judge Ron Clark, in the Eastern District of Texas, ruled that a Desire2Learn counterclaim could stand. D2L claims "intentional misconduct" by Blackboard officials for failing to notify the Patent Office of prior art" -- of ideas and inventions by others that could undermine the patent claims.

The next move is scheduled for early December when the two sides meet for a pretrial scheduling conference. A tentative trail date of February 2008 has been set.

[IPBiz note: inequitable conduct.]

ComputerWorld also noted:

Passions on both sides were fueled in October, when the board of directors of EDUCAUSE, perhaps the leading nonprofit group promoting IT in higher education, voted unanimously to weigh in. "Our community feels these actions [the patent and the lawsuit] go beyond competition to challenging the core values and interests of higher education," wrote EDUCAUSE President Brian Hawkins, in a letter hand-delivered to Blackboard CEO Michael Chasen at last month's annual EDUCAUSE conference.

ComputerWorld noted a contrary view:

"If I was the CEO of Blackboard and I didn't protect the company's intellectual property, the shareholders should ask me to step down," says Mitch Davis, CIO of Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, and a Blackboard customer. "I don't understand what EDUCAUSE is doing or why Brian and the board decided to get involved."


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