MetaMAP patents (was Re: Hot Java is here! And it *rocks*)

Joe English (
Wed, 29 Mar 1995 12:21:48 +0500 (Michael D. Doyle) wrote:
> > [attribution lost]
> >
> >P.S: congrats on patent 4847604 - I think I'm gonna be sick...
> >
> That comment is out of line. Is your problem with the MetaMAP technology,
> or with the fact that software patents exist? The MetaMAP approach allowed
> me to implement interactive hypermedia in the form of 8-bit paletted
> "imagemaps" on a 256K PC even before the first copy of Hypercard was
> available for the Mac. The fact that it is a particularly effective
> solution for Web-based imagemaps does not diminish the validity of the
> patent.

And the validity of the patent makes it completely
unsuitable for Web-based imagemaps: this technology
has zero chance of being selected for standardization
by the IETF or W3O because of the patent.

And that's too bad; MetaMAP is a neat idea. Fortunately there's
still quadtrees and fully-discretized quadtrees, which have similar
performance characteristics and space requirements and are
(as far as I know) not patented.

--Joe English