Blogging the blackboard patent explanation – part 1

I’m listening to Matt Small right now talking about the blackboard patent in a webex seminar. It’s the first of three such talks. the links to the conversations are on the right hand side of this conversation

He’s started by describing what a patent is, and explaining the difference between dependent and independant claims. He’s saying that unless you fall under one of the indedpendent claims you don’t need to worry about a patent. And that blackboard isn’t patenting white boards etc…

Is this patent any good? Involves a number of different things. prior art etc.

People are saying that blackboard is claiming to have invented chatrooms etc… and that they have seen other things with chatrooms, therefore there is prior art.
“We did alot of due diligence. (blackboard did) we are not aware of any prior art ”

“single user can have multiple roles across multiple courses. before us, each course was an island onto itself. although there was some central databasing that pulled it together… for the most part, if you were in two classes, you had a different logon different calendar for each class. You needed to replicate for each class.”
“we took a gamble, to change our architecture to allow members to change their roles from student to instructor, from class to class, under the same login”

Blackboards intent

“this is an isolated lawsuit between two competitors. We are not focusing on universities, professors, students, open source etc…”

My question “is it possible to get a legal guarantee protecting OS software?”

we’d need to sit down with the OS community, and it might be worse for them if we did that. We might entertain this as a solution. (not direct quote) “I’m not saying that there isn’t a potential”
“it is difficult for a patent holder that is in litigation that “i will not do X with my patent” because it would devalue the worth of the patent.”

Author: dave

I run this site... among other things.

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