June 21, 2003

GIF Patent Expires

US Patent 4,558,302, which describes the LZW compression algorithm used in .gif files, expired yesterday.

An interesting slant on this event can be read in "Bell tolling for PNG graphics format?", which explores the patent expiration's impact on the PNG format, which was originally created as a royalty-free alternative to GIF.

Posted by Andrew at 07:18 PM