Patent covers system to automatically reject domain name transfers.
GoDaddy has filed a patent for a system to protect against domain name theft. The patent lists GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons as the sole inventor and was filed last year, but was not published until this month.
United States Patent Application 20080215716 describes a service subscribed to by customers in which domain transfer-out notices are automatically ignored. A notice is sent to the customer informing them that a transfer-out request was received and ignored. The service can be applied to private registrations.
The patent application seems to cover aspects of GoDaddy’s “Deadbolt Transfer Protection” service. As part of a larger security offering including expiration protection and whois privacy, the service costs $24.99 per year.
According to the patent application, users can turn the protection on or off from within their account. I don’t see how this is much of an improvement over standard domain locking since both can be turned on or off from within the account. [Update: although it can be turned off from within the account, apparently you have to send in a copy of your ID according to a commenter. See comments.]
Domain theft is a real problem, and registrars are stepping up efforts to protect domain names. Moniker just released MaxLock, a service that requires offline authentication before a domain name is transferred or pushed to another account.