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The following is a chronological listing of significant events in the development of the field of Information Technology law between 1970 and 1979. For other time periods see:
- Chronology of Events - Pre-1700
- Chronology of Events - 1700s
- Chronology of Events - 1800s
- Chronology of Events - 1900-1930s
- Chronology of Events - 1940s
- Chronology of Events - 1950s
- Chronology of Events - 1960s
- Chronology of Events - 1980s
- Chronology of Events - 1990s
- Chronology of Events - 2000s
- Chronology of Events - 2010s
1970 — The adoption of the Mansfield Amendment in Defense Authorization Act prohibits military funding for any research that does not have a "direct or apparent relationship to a specific military function or operations."
1970 — Edgar F. Codd publishes A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data Banks.
1971 — The pocket calculator is invented by Sharp Corporation.
April 27, 1971 — Clements Auto Co. v. Service Bureau Corp., 444 F.2d 169 (8th Cir. 1971) is decided.
November 2, 1971 — The first formal meeting of the Computer Law Group is held in Washington, D.C. (full-text).
November 20, 1971 — The 8-inch floppy disk is introduced.
January 21, 1972 — Telex files an antitrust lawsuit against IBM over IBM's practices relating to disk drives. Telex wins in September 1973, but its damages award is reduced on appeal due to trade secrets violations by Telex.
March 1972 — Ray Tomlinson (of Bolt, Baranek & Newman) modifies his email program for ARPANET (SNGMSG and READMAIL), the precursor to the Internet. It quickly becomes a powerful collaboration tool connecting researchers on ARPANET. He uses @ to distinguish between the sender's name and network name in the email address.
June 27, 1972 — Atari releases Pong, an arcade game developed by Nolan Bushnell and Al Alcorn.
October 1972 — ARPNET is publicly demonstrated at an International Conference on Computer Communications by Bob Kahn at BBN.
November 20, 1972 — Gottschalk v. Benson, 409 U.S. 63, 175 U.S.P.Q. (BNA) 673 (1972) (full-text) is decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. The court holds where a method for converting numerical information from one format to another, for use in programming general-purpose digital computer, is merely a mathematical algorithm it does not constitute patentable subject matter.
January 12, 1973 — The Computer Law Group became the Computer Law Association.
April 1973 — The U.S. District Court issues its decision in a patent infringement case between Honeywell and Sperry Rand (Honeywell v. Sperry Rand) on a patent issued on the ENIAC computer in 1964. The court invalidates the patent, which covered the essential design and features of all digital computers.
May 22, 1973 — At Xerox PARC, Bob Metcalfe and David Boggs invent the Ethernet — the first local-area network (LAN) designed to network hundreds of computers and printers inexpensively. It now dominates the world's LANs. The name "Ethernet" refers to the invention's medium-independent transmission of data packets, and is based on a discredited physical theory of an existing "ether" in space allowing transmission of light rays from the sun to the Earth.
June 28, 1973 — The First National Invitational Conference on Computer Abuse is held at Stanford Research Institute.
September 1973 — Vinton Cerf and Bob Kahn present basic Internet ideas at INWG in September at Univ of Sussex, Brighton, U.K.
1974 — Intel releases the 8080 processor.
1974 — The French government creates the Direction Générale des Postes et des Télécommunications (DGT) within the PTT.
March 10, 1974 — The United States becomes a member of the Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorized Duplication of Their Phonograms.
May 1974 — The Privacy Act of 1974 is enacted.
July 10, 1974 — The United States becomes a party to the 1971 revision of the Universal Copyright Convention, as revised at Paris, France.
February 1975 — Bill Gates and Paul Allen license their newly written BASIC to MITS, their first customer. MITS pays a small royalty with a maximum of $180,000. This is the first computer language program written for a personal computer.
March 1975 — The Homebrew Computer Club is formed in Menlo Park, California.
April 4, 1975 — Bill Gates and Paul Allen found Micro-Soft (the hyphen is later dropped).
1976 — Fairchild released the first programmable home game console, called the Fairchild Video Entertainment System (later renamed Channel F). Channel F was one of the first electronic systems to use the newly invented microchip.
1976 — SATNET, a satellite program, is developed to link the United States and Europe, thereby expanding the reach of the Internet beyond the United States. Satellites are owned by a consortium of nations, thereby expanding the reach of the Internet beyond the United States.
1976 — Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman publish "New Directions in Cryptography," which introduces the idea of public key cryptography. It also discusses the idea of authentication by powers of a one-way function, now used in the S/Key challenge/response utility.
March 26, 1976 — Queen Elizabeth II sends an email from the Royal Signals and Radar Establishment (RSRE) in Malvern, U.K.
April 1, 1976 — Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak incorporate the Apple Computer Company, on April Fool's Day.
October 19, 1976 — The 1976 Copyright Act is signed by President Ford.
November 1976 — The first industry standard for strong encryption — the Data Encryption Standard (DES) &mdash is developed by IBM and approved by the U.S. National Bureau of Standards. DES makes it practical to send encrypted information electronically, paving the way for e-commerce and virtual private networks.
1977 — Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) — a Unix operating system derivative developed and distributed by the Computer Systems Research Group (CSRG) of the University of California, Berkeley — is released.
1977 — The text adventure game Zork is created by Blank, Daniels, Anderson and Lebling.
1977 — Senator Abraham A. Ribicoff (D-Conn.) introduces the Federal Computer Systems Protection Act, which seeks to define "computer crimes" and recommends penalties for such crimes. The bill does not pass.
1978 — Harvard Business School students Dan Bricklin and Robert Frankston develop VisiCalc, the first electronic spreadsheet program, for the Apple II. VisiCalc's power is that it allows non-programmers to use a personal computer to do real work.
1979 — Intel releases the 8086 microprocessor.
January 1, 1978 — The principal provisions of the 1976 Copyright Act go into effect.
June 22, 1978 — Parker v. Flook, 437 U.S. 584 (1978) is decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court holds that where the only novel feature of the invention was the mathematical formula or algorithm, it does not describe patentable subject matter.
1979 — Bob Frankston and Dan Brickson create "VisiCalc," the first electronic spreadsheet.
1979 — CompuServe launches.
1979 — Atari releases the Asteroids arcade game.