GoDaddy Files Patent for “Domain Name Expiration Protection”
Registrar continues patent filing campaign.
GoDaddy isn’t just the world’s biggest registrar. It might be the biggest filer of patents in the industry as well.
Last November I wrote about the almost 50 patents pending for GoDaddy. The company didn’t stopped there.
One of the more recent filings was January 24 of this year and was just published in May. The patent is a continuation-in-part of GoDaddy’s U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/811,677 filed on Mar. 29, 2004 titled “METHOD FOR A FACILITATOR TO ASSIST AN ENTREPRENEUR IN CREATING AN INTERNET BUSINESS”.
This continuation (application 20070112950) covers the concept of protecting a domain name owner from having his or her domain name expire. As explained in the application:
…the Facilitator [registrar] may also offer domain name expiration protection…If the Entrepreneur did not renew the domain name and it expires, the Facilitator may renew the domain name. No funds are withdrawn from the Entrepreneur financial accounts at the point of domain name renewal. The domain name may be renewed in the name of the or in the name of another party, e.g. in the name of the Facilitator. If the domain name is renewed in the name of the Entrepreneur, the registrant’s name and the contact information that were used to register the domain name may be used for the domain name renewal…
The Entrepreneur may further reimburse the Facilitator for the renewal fees, private registration fees, or any other fees and/or expenses that may be encountered from the Facilitator’s renewal of the domain name. The Facilitator may hold the domain name as collateral until the Entrepreneur pays any outstanding fees. The Facilitator may hold the domain name by locking it or registering it in its own name. After the fees due are paid, the Facilitator may release control of the domain name to the Entrepreneur by unlocking it or transferring it to the Entrepreneur.
Depending on how it is filed, a continuation patent can grant patent status based on the date the original patent was filed. Companies often file continuation patents because they have not defined how a service or function will work when they file the initial patent, but have since defined how it works.
GoDaddy has also filed some interested patents that may play in Google’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) court. One patent would allow for search results to be filtered according to the reputation score of a domain name or that domain name owner’s reputation. Google already uses domain expiration data in its search algorithm.
Here’s a wild thought. Would Google ever acquire GoDaddy? Google would get its hands on reams of data about the very domain names it is indexing, as well acquire its patent portfolio. (Google already has a deal with GoDaddy to provide domain names.)