NCSA patents on MOSAIC ???!!!

Albert Lunde (
Wed, 25 Jan 95 10:35:10 EST

>An article published in last Sunday's Chicago Tribune suggests that the
>University of Illinois has applied for several patents on technology relating
>to MOSAIC. If this is true, then they appear to be getting ready for a
>Unisys/Compuserve-style "hook them then cook them" move against the Internet

It sounds pretty questionable to me, since the work from NCSA is dependent
on the prior art of libWWW and so forth from CERN; I don't think Mosaic was
the first GUI client (the CERN Next client comes to mind). So the main
innovations out of NCSA are inline images and forms: significant advances
from a WWW user viewpoint, but hardly original enough to patent (assuming
the law acts rationally ;).

What it might be referring to is the copyright on the Mosaic source code
and the trademark on the term "Mosaic".

This is not a new issue, or a threat given the track record of UIUC/NCSA so
far (pretty reasonable on mixed free/commercial development i.e. Eudora,
NCSA Telnet/ftp, the Spyglass spinoffs).

Let's look for a clarification before we panic...

    Albert Lunde