Technology could be crucial to registrars and parking companies.
GoDaddy has filed a patent for a technology that would filter ads from domain names containing trademarks. Patent application #20080033822 reads:
invention allow for filtering online advertisements containing third-party trademarks. In an example embodiment, a webpage host may host a webpage that resolves from a domain name. A check trademark service may parse the domain name into a keyword that an advertising generator may use to generate an advertisement relevant to the keyword. Before the advertisement is generated, however, the check trademark service may download a list of registered trademarks from a trademark database into local storage and determine whether the subject keyword is trademarked by searching the downloaded list of trademarks for the keyword. If the keyword is present, the process may end. Otherwise, the advertising service may generate an advertisement for publication on the webpage. This process may be repeated if the domain name is parsed into more than one keyword.
This is an important technology for domain registrars and parking companies. While big companies goes after small time domainers who hold trademark typos, domain registrars shows ads on thousands of trademark domains registered by their customers. This opens registrars up to trademark infringement lawsuits.
The question remains as to if GoDaddy has invented this technology or is just filing a patent for an ideal solution. The company currently shows its ads on a number of trademark domains. It also auctions expired domains including trademarks, which presumably this technology could eliminate. For example, here are some expired domains GoDaddy is auctioning. The parked pages on these domains include ads:
Bret Fausett says
Very interesting. I’m deeply skeptical that any filtering algorithm can make even a rough cut of trademarks. Think about it. Every word in the English language is trademarked, and even most common two word combos are trademarked. If you block every trademarked word and phrase, you’ll have no ads to show. If you’re going to block only some trademarks, how do you do that? What judgments can a program make, based on the available data, about when to block and when to permit the ad to pass through.
I suspect it only filters clear cut cases. It could use technology similar to citizenhawk to find typos too. From GoDaddy’s perspective, they’d rather be too careful — a few false positives is ok.
This comment submitted via mobile at domainnamewire.mobi
Maybe godaddy should try using their technology on their own products. They shouldnt be granted the patent if the results of the filtering are what is displayed on tdnam.com . Nice work there!
Additionally many other companies have been using this “technology” prior. Filtering domains based on certain criteria is NOT unique. Godaddy are notorious patent trollers (as is NSI btw)
I still haven’t seen a lawsuit by GoDaddy regarding its patents, but most of them are just pending (not granted). One that is granted is for domain privacy.
GoDaddy will end up doing one of two things:
1. Start suing competitors (which puts its patents at risk since people may challenge them)
2. Nothing. In this case they filed the patents as a safeguard and to build value for being acquired.
Where can I find out more about filtering systems such as this? Let me know, thanks
Their system has fundamental flaws. It does not filter out common words, so it falsely takes away legitimate domains that would otherwise be safe from complaints or challenges.
For example, I registered 3 .XYZ domains that use common words, and their system removed them from my account two weeks later because of these filters. No notification or legal challenge was made.
For example, I lost “April.XYZ”, because GoDaddy claimed it was a Trademarked domain… This was not a unique brand like Cheerios… we’re talking about a common word that nobody can “own”. It’s a month. Are we to presume somebody owns Sunday?
In principle, deciding on a domain name is straightforward. You’ve got yourself a winner if it’s memorable, pronounceable, short, smart, readily spelled, and suggests the nature of your website’s trade. However, even if your decision is amazing in terms of marketing, it may not be so wise in terms of legality.
You risk losing your domain name if it conflicts with any of the millions of business names that currently exist. And
if you’ve spent money and time marketing your website only to be compelled to give up the domain name, your online business is likely to suffer a serious, if not fatal, setback.
Trademark law provides the standards for determining if a legal conflict exists. Here are the fundamentals you should know:
§ Trademarks are names that identify the source of products or services in the marketplace.
§ Federal and state trademark laws protect witty, memorable, or suggestive trademarks.
§ Under federal and state law, descriptive trademarks that have gained distinction through sales and advertising can be protected.
§ When the use of both trademarks is likely to deceive customers about the products or services, or their source, one trademark is legally in conflict with the other.
§ In the event of a legal dispute with a later user, the trademark is owned by the first commercial user.
§ If a legal dispute is discovered, the later user will almost certainly be forced to discontinue using the mark and may even be forced to pay damages to the trademark owner.