Here are my plain English interpretations of the 44 Blackboard patent claims. From what I can tell, the following Learning Management Systems have most or all of the features listed in the claims and therefore may infringe on the patent:
- eCollege AU+
- IBM Workplace Collaborate Learning
- Saba Learning Suite
- SumTotal Enterprise Suite
I am certain that this is a non-exhaustive list (to say the least).
What we need to do is find either existing LMS’s that were publicly known or articles that were published describing systems (real or hypothetical) with most or (preferably) all of the features in 1999. That would be a strong case for prior art. Showing that each of the features listed in the claims existed separately in products isn’t sufficient; we need to show that that a system with these features was either already in existence or close enough to be obvious at the time.