I am writing to update you on the current status of the Blackboard v. Desire2Learn Patent Infringement lawsuit. Earlier today the jury handed down its verdict that the patent is valid and that Blackboard should be awarded damages of approximately $3 million.
As you know, Blackboard filed a patent infringement suit against Desire2Learn on July 26, 2006. Blackboard claimed that Desire2Learn was infringing all 44 claims of patent number 6,988,138. Last summer, the Court eliminated the first 35 claims of the suit.
From the time we were first served with the suit we committed to you, our valued clients, as well as to the educational community at large, that we would defend ourselves vigorously in this matter. From the outset of this case we knew that we had an obligation to stand up against Blackboard and that our actions in doing so would be in the best interest of the entire educational community.
For the past two weeks, we have been in Lufkin, Texas, heavily engaged in the trial at the Lufkin Federal Courthouse. The case concluded yesterday with closing arguments. The jury deliberated for a number of hours before returning its verdict today.
There is no immediate threat to you our clients. We will work with you to ensure there are no future issues. We are financially sound and are confident of our ability to work through this matter.
With your support and that of the entire educational community, we were able to present a strong case. While we are disappointed that the jury did not agree with our position, we will continue to challenge the patent’s validity and Blackboard’s charges of infringement. We are currently evaluating our next steps.
The United States Patent and Trademark office has committed to reviewing the patent. As these activities take place we will provide you updates through our patent blog at www.Desire2Learn.com\Patentinfo.
We promise to communicate as much as possible as more information becomes available. In the meantime I would like to thank you once again for your incredible support through all of this. We look forward to continue working with you to advance teaching and learning worldwide.
President and CEO