There are two pieces of news here. First, Blackboard has apparently been granted a new patent and has filed suit for infringement against Desire2Learn in the East District of Texas—again. I have not read and will not read the new patent filing because to do so would put my employer in legal jeopardy, thanks to the weirdness that is U.S. patent law. I’m told that this is a “continuation patent”, meaning that it is a refinement of the original patent that Blackboard asserted against D2L and which has received a preliminary judgment of invalidation from the USPTO. (Does that make sense to you? No? Well, what did you expect? Like I said, it’s patent law.)
Second, Desire2Learn has made a clever proposal to Blackboard in response:
- Blackboard drop its recently-filed suit in a timely manner.
- In return, Desire2Learn will donate $1,000,000 to non-profit schools and educational organizations.
- Blackboard is invited to join us with its own donation.
- Up to 50% of the Desire2Learn donation will be directed toward schools in need in and around Washington, D.C., the home of Blackboard.