Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Blackboard software patent litigation, round...whatever

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuits ruled on Monday that part of Blackboard’s U.S. Patent No. 6,988,138 (“the ’138 patent”), which claims an Internet-based educational support system and related methods, is invalid, and reversed the lower court decision that imposed damages of U$S 3,300,000 to Desire2Learn for infringing that patent. The later company has always argued that Blackboard course management patents are overly broad and were issued improperly, which, as noted by the Court, would run against the principles established in Atmel Corp. v. Information Storage Devices, Inc., 198 F.3d 1374, 1380 (Fed. Cir. 1999) (“consideration of the understanding of one skilled in the art in no way relieves the patentee of adequately disclosing sufficient structure in the specification”). The ruling still leaves some of Blackboard’s claims standing, which, in addition to the already announced appeal, promises to lead to yet more litigation on the matter…

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