It will take weeks, if not months, to sort out the fallout from the jury ruling yesterday in the Blackboard Inc. v. Desire2learn Inc. case. Although all is not lost, this is a crushing blow to Desire2Learn, one of the few remaining commercial competitors to Blackboard in the higher education LMS market.
The jury found Desire2Learn guilty of patent infringement. Although Blackboard sought $17 million in damages, the jury awarded $3.1 million ($2.5 million for "lost profits" and $630,000 for "royalties").
Blackboard can press the case further by requesting an injunction against further infringement, requiring Desire2Learn to stop selling its product entirely in the US. The Judge in the case could also award Blackboard additional fees because the case is "exceptional".
It's not clear yet whether Judge Clark made a ruling on Desire2Learn's charge of inequitable conduct. The article in the TheRecord.com, a local Canadian newspaper, implies that the inequitable conduct charge against Blackboard was rejected: "In a separate procedure, Clark rejected Desire2Learn's claim that the patent is unenforceable due to information Blackboard withheld from the U.S. patent office."