Friday, February 9, 2007
Pixar's Monte Carlo Patent done?
Pixar patented Monte Carlo for graphics back in the mind-1980s, and for reasons I don't know the patent wasn't issued (#4897806) until Jan 1990. That is in the transitional phase of patent law as I understand it, so it expired 17 years after being issued-- i.e., last month. So is Monte Carlo now fair game in the US? I would think so, but there are also patents 5025400 and 5239624 that last until 2009 and 2011 respectively. They seem to my eye to not really claim anything new that was not in the original patent or the fabulous 1984 SIGGRAPH paper. Anyone have any more informed wisdom on this?