The online learning community has responded to the Blackboard patent by organizing a claim-by-claim community-based analysis of the patent, and organizing a history of virtual learning environments on Wikipedia to provide a resource for prior-art defenses.
The following is a listing of the 44 claims in Blackboard’s U.S. patent #6,988,138, along with an interpretation of each claim. The initial text interpretation of each of the 44 claims were written by Michael Feldstein, who is not a lawyer. This information does not constitute legal advice.
A summary of the claim:
English Translation: “We, Blackboard, invented a system that allows students to interact online with instructors in a course setting. We also invented a method that tracks for each user which data files they are able to read and write, how the data files are transmitted across the network from and to a user’s personal computer via an intermediate server, and finally the means by which course data files are presented and organized for each user.”