As you may know, patents can be invalidated if one can demonstrate that the claimed invention was in public use or described in a published document prior to the date of the patent filing. This evidence is called "prior art." A few of us decided that we should begin documenting prior art--not just on the Blackboard patent, but on educational technologies in general. We debated a bit about where to house the effort. I ended up creating a one-sentence stub in wikipedia on Sunday (two days ago). A couple of people mentioned it on a couple of listservs, but we didn't advertise it widely. And yet, lo and behold, two days later we have a pretty good document that was generated by a variety of people. This morning, a colleague whom I had not spoken to about the page emailed me to point me to it and suggested that I contribute. And tonight, Stephen posted about it, which means the cat is out of the bag for sure.
The internet is a wonderful thing.
At any rate, if you have any important data to add to the page about the history of VLE development, please do so. I imagine we will eventually spawn a family of pages about related technologies (whiteboards, LCMS's, etc.). This would be a Good Thing To Do even if the Blackboard patent fight didn't exist.