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The HTTP Cookie is Invented (June 1994 – February 1996)


In June 1994 Louis J. "Lou" Montulli II at Netscape Communications Corporation invented the HTTP cookie.

"Together with John Giannandrea, Montulli wrote the initial Netscape cookie specification the same year. Version 0.9beta of Mosaic Netscape, released on October 13, 1994, supported cookies. The first actual use of cookies (out of the labs) was made for checking whether visitors to the Netscape Web site had already visited the site. Montulli applied for a patent for the cookie technology in 1995, and US patent 5774670 was granted in 1998. Support for cookies was integrated in Internet Explorer in version 2, released in October 1995.

"The introduction of cookies was not widely known to the public, at the time. In particular, cookies were accepted by default, and users were not notified of the presence of cookies. Some people were aware of the existence of cookies as early as the first quarter of 1995, but the general public learned about them after the Financial Times published an article about them on February 12, 1996. In the same year, cookies received lot of media attention, especially because of potential privacy implications. Cookies were discussed in two U.S. Federal Trade Commission hearings in 1996 and 1997" (Wikipedia article on HTTP cookie, accessed 05-09-2009).