I forgot to mention in all the Harry Potter related excitement this wonderful piece of news:
“On Friday, 20th June 2003, the death knell sounds for US patent number 4,558,302. Having benefitted its owner, the Unisys Corporation for 20 years, the contents of the patent are entered into the Public Domain and may be used absolutely freely by anyone.
Officially titled “High speed data compression and decompression apparatus and method”, it is more commonly known as the LZW patent or Unisys’s GIF tax.”
“One down, seven to go:
So the US patent has expired. What does this leave?
* The European patent EP0,129,439 covers Germany, France, Britain and Italy and expires on the 18th June 2004.
* The Canadian patent CA1,223,965 expires on the 6th June 2004.
* The Japanese patents 2,123,602 and 2,610,084 expire on the 20th June 2004. “