GoDaddy Files Patent for Method of Selling Equity in Domain Names

Domain registrar files patents for system to sell equity in domain names.

Go Daddy Group Inc. has filed a patent for a method of selling equity in domain names and protecting the domain names in which the equity is issued.

The patent is for a system that will facilitate the sale of shares in a domain name. The patent application explains that a number of institutions are interested in investing in domain names, but there isn’t a simple mechanism to do so. Conversely, many domain owners are interested in selling equity in their domain names, but need a way to connect with investors.

The sale of shares of equity in a Domain Name associated with the current invention simplifies the current rudimentary process by which Registrants attract investors through either knowing the party or being connected through outlets such as forums or other online media. Such a centralized sale of shares of equity would need to provide means to underwrite the sale of such equity and provide a means to protect the domain name from inadvertently or fraudulently being transferred to another entity…

…The invention should have a desirable side effect on the entire domain name industry in that it may provide a significant amount of secure capital to registrants, which would allow them to develop their domain name organizations and invest in capital expenditures such as dedicated servers, other domain names, etc., while providing assurance to potential investors and underwriters that the domain name may be protected and used as collateral during the sale of such equity in the domain name.

United States patent application 20090171823 describes the method of connecting domain owners and equity underwriters as well as protecting the domain names that receive investments. Go Daddy has also filed United States Patent application 20090171678 specifically for protecting the domain name during investment.

Both patents were filed in 2007 but only published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today.


  1. Greg says

    Prior art does not have to be from a US based company, can be any country.

    Sounds like the patent might be on the mechanics of it than the concept of shares in domains though.

  2. says

    It was filed in December 2007. However, the patent appears to be fundamentally different from Fusu. It connects domain owners with underwriters, who provide proposals back to the domain owner. I don’t think it covers selling individual shares on an open market, but I’m not sure. I agree with Greg, this has to do with mechanics of an exchange and protecting the domain in which equity is sold.

  3. says

    Tobias, Greg is correct.

    Prior art can be any “enabling” “item” (generally, printed books, issued or pending patents, articles, verified web “information,” etc); from anywhere in the world.

    While I’m not going to take the time to review GoD’s application (which is all it is for now; if and until it issues w/allowed claims) and compare it to what you guys do, it would be a good idea to contact the examiner on their app to make him/her aware of your system; to be sure no claims are allowed that could cause a problem for what you do.

    Though you’d likely win a court case in such a situation; it’s better (and far easier) to deal with it while the app’s in process.

    Much harder (and expensive) to win in court, since once a patent’s issued it can only be overcome by “clear and convincing evidence.”

    Something you don’t want to have to fight for.

  4. bubbles says

    why not start a company that owns the domain, then sell shares in that company? Placing equity into a domain is like selling equity in my used Honda. Anyone? She runs hard, great gas mileage, etc.

    SEC would laugh you all the way into court.

  5. says

    Hey want to buy some shares in Shamwow LOL read about the lawsuits and stolen domains by godaddy aka wildwestdomains aka m16llc aka domains by procy aka as Scumbobs shell companies.

    another way to steal your domain Bob Parsons another Bernie Madof in the making

  6. Dave Wrixon aka Rubber Duck says

    Might not really matter whether the patent gets approved or not. GoDaddy would not be doing this if this they had no intention of implementing it. It is the successful implementation that is important not the registration of a patent. In many ways it might be better if they didn’t get it, then they would be subject to market competition. Of course implementation might be contingent on registration, but I doubt it. They are probably just trying to put a marker in the sand by staking their claim.

    Gee we have some real business brains in this Industry!

  7. UFO says

    To be honest, sounds pretty rubbish.

    If you wanted to buy shares in a portfolio of domains then you would buy shares in the company owning them.

    They seem to be trying to reinvent the wheel.

  8. says

    Do we have another Domainwarehousing issue with Godaddy. SearchToppers LLC.
    13825 N Northsight Blvd
    Suite 120
    Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
    United States

    Registered through:, Inc. (
    Created on: 18-Jan-05
    Expires on: 18-Jan-10
    Last Updated on: 12-Oct-07

    I had a domain that was in redemption due to Godaddy error it was in my acct and also registered to when I called and pushed for them to give my domain back it suddenly was changed from to me in the whois in less than 5 minutes SMELLS FISHY AND Searchtoppers is located in the same addy as Godaddy BMW dealership building.. a new hiding place WOW check it on

    Administrative Contact:
    Hurowitz, David info [anti-spam graphic]
    SearchToppers LLC.
    13825 N Northsight Blvd
    Suite 120
    Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
    United States
    4809919690 Fax — 6022960422

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