Company files continuation patent for domain name forwarding.
To most domain name owners, domain name forwarding is a basic function offered by domain registrars. Many registrars offer it for free. Simply login, type where you want the address to forward, and start forwarding the traffic.
Back in 1999 Network Solutions filed a provisional patent for domain name forwarding. It then filed for a patent – U.S. application Ser. No. 09/500,639 – in 2000 for domain forwarding. It was awarded Patent 7,461,334 in December 2008.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published Network Solutions’ continuation patent application 20090094379 for the same subject. The continuation patent was filed just before the original patent was approved.
It’s somewhat frightening that such a ubiquitous tool could be patented. Back in 1999 Network Solutions had no competition for domain name registration, so it was really the only company that could have conceived such a forwarding system at the registrar level. Other services existed that offered domain name forwarding, but Network Solutions’ patent seems to be based on a registrar-level system.
I await the day that domain registrars start a patent war. It will be interesting.