Re: [registrars] Domain name related patents and patent applications
What is going to happen when someday ICANN decided to dictate that we all have to do something someone else has a patent on?
--On Friday, September 05, 2003 7:01 PM +1000 Bruce Tonkin <Bruce.Tonkin@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Hello All, I have been doing some searching of the US patents database to see what patents have been granted or applied for lately in the area of domain names. I support the idea of patents that protect a truly original idea, especially when the idea is a result of years of expensive research. However, it seems the IT industry is now buried in many patents that seem to me fairly obvious extensions of existing knowledge. Some of the ones below look legitimate, but others are questionable. I would be interested to hear from others if there are other patents or patent applications I should be aware of. It maybe worth considering forming a group to be able to challenge some patent applications, where there is clearly prior art that should invalidate the patent application. Here is my list - starting with patents that have been recently granted. GRANTED PATENTS (1) US patent number 6560634 B1; Date of patent: 6 May 2003; Filed: 13 August 1998 Title: Method of determining unavailability of an Internet domain name Inventor: Larry Broadhurst; Assignee: Verisign Abstract: Methods, systems, and articles of manufacture consistent with the present invention provide an improved query server that overcomes the shortcomings of existing domain name searching techniques by performing a multitude of searches simultaneously, transparent to the user. Specifically, the improved query server searches for existing domain name records in various domains and then displays the results in a formatted manner, thus eliminating the need for a user to perform individual searches. My Summary: - checking domain name availability by querying multiple DNS servers and displaying the results (2) US patent number: 6298341 B1; Date of patent: 2 Oct 2001; Filed: 22 September 1999 and US patent number: 6519589 B2; Date of patent: 11 Feb 2003; Filed: 10 July 2001 Title: System and method for generating domain names and for facilitating registration and transfer of the same Inventors: Michael Mann and Ronald Fitzherbert; Assignee: Raredomains.com Abstract: New and improved systems and methods for generating and facilitating registration and transfer of available domain names. The systems and methods include and involve a data storage facility for storing at least one adjunct term for use in generating at least one registerable domain name, and a processor arrangement which is coupled to the data storage facility and which is configured to be accessed by a user system via an electronic data network, to receive at least one root term from the user system, to concatenate at least one root term with at least one adjunct term to generate at least one candidate domain name, to query a data source to determine if the candidate domain name(s) is available for registration and/or transfer, and to notify the user system of the candidate domain name(s) when the same are available for registration and/or transfer. My summary: - adding prefixes and suffixes to a word supplied by the user, from a list of pre-stored prefixes and suffixes (e.g user supplied word: beer; derived words: freebeer, beerhall) PATENT APPLICATIONS (3) US patent application number: 2002/0091827 A1; Date of publication: 11 July 2002; Filed: 1 November 2001 Title: Domain name acquisition and management system and method Status: Docketed New Case - Ready for Examination; Status Date: 27 Jan 2003 Inventors: Raymond King, Ron Wiener, Len Bayles Abstract: A preferred embodiment of the present invention can accept an indication of a domain name or set of domain names from interested entity. The desired domain names are names that an interested entity desires to register through a domain name registration system or systems, such as that operated by a registry-accredited registrar. The system can closely monitor the domain name registry or registrar databases used to provide domain name resolution or registration over a distributed network, such as the Internet, and determine the expiration or availability of the name or names supplied by the interested entity. When a desired domain name appears to be available, the system can register or reregister the domain name through a domain registration service. If there is more than one interested entity for a domain name, the system can also facilitate an auction for the domain name. My Summary: This patent application is a great read. There are 68 claims in the one application! Consists of a customer requesting a particular name, and the system determining when the name is likely to expire, periodically checking for availability, and requesting registration of the name. The process of requesting the name can consist of multiple requests sent to the registry, or through multiple registrars. The method of domain name management consisting of monitoring RRP transactions or monitoring WHOIS information for changes in the domain name registration. The method of auctioning a succeeding registration of a domain name. This essentially seems to be the technology used in snapnames.com and pool.com (4) US patent application number: 2002/0091703 A1; Date of publication: 11 July 2002; Filed: 1 November 2001 Title: Registry-integrated internet domain name acquisition system Status: Docketed New Case - Ready for Examination; Status Date: 28 Aug 2002 Inventor: Len Bayles Abstract: A preferred embodiment of the present invention integrates a domain name monitoring and acquisition service with a registry system. The monitoring and acquisition service can receive a request from a registrar to acquire a domain name. The monitoring and acquisition service also can receive a pending delete notification from the registry for a domain name having a registration that is about to be deleted. The pending delete notification can be received before the registry issues a public delete notification or purges the domain name, at which point the domain name is registrable by the first-responding registrar. If the domain name that is the subject of the pending delete notification has a corresponding acquisition request received by the monitoring and acquisition service, the monitoring and acquisition service can request acquisition of the domain name for the requesting registrar. My summary: This essentially seems to be the system used by Verisign to implement WLS. I have some more applications to review and will post to the list for information. Again I welcome comments from registrars on these patents or patent applications. Regards, Bruce Tonkin