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GIF Patents Has Gone into History

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The software patents for GIF picture format has gone into history on 1 October 2006. The patent was first applied in 1999 by Unisys, and was then taken over by IBM in 2004.

From GNU.org:
We were able to search the patent databases of the USA, Canada, Japan, and the European Union. The Unisys patent expired on 20 June 2003 in the USA, in Europe it expired on 18 June 2004, in Japan the patent expired on 20 June 2004 and in Canada it expired on 7 July 2004. The U.S. IBM patent expired 11 August 2006, The Software Freedom Law Center says that after 1 October 2006, there will be no significant patent claims interfering with employment of the GIF format.

Farther reading:
http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/gif.html

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