Domain name registrar picks up patent for domain name reseller programs.
The USPTO has granted The Go Daddy Group, Inc, parent company of GoDaddy, a patent for “Turnkey reseller program for registering domain names”. The patent describes a system for both turnkey and API-based domain name reseller programs:
A reseller program may be used to increase the number of Customer desired domain names that are registered by a Registrar. There are two main embodiments of this reseller program. In the first embodiment, Resellers guide Customers to a Registrar web site through the use of advertisements, links in various web sites and/or links from search engines. The Registrar web site communicates directly with the Customer and registers the Customer desired domain names and compensates the Reseller for guiding the Customer to the Registrar web site. In the second embodiment, Resellers have their own reseller web sites that communicate directly with the Customers and communicate the desired domain names to the Registrar web site so the Registrar web site can register the Customer desired domain names. In this embodiment, the Customer may compensate the Reseller and the Reseller may compensate the Registrar for the services rendered.
U.S. patent number 7,644,117 (large pdf) seems like it could be applied to simple domain name registration affiliate programs as well, where a customer uses a referral link to send customers to the registar’s web site (for example, the top link in this article).
Go Daddy Group has another related patent application for “Reseller program for registering domain names through resellers’ web sites” that is currently pending. Both patent applications were filed in July 2003.
I doubt any of Godaddy’s “patents” would stand up in court. I wonder why they waste their time. Chances are Bob is being played by lawyers.
There is nothing new about this patent. Itsyourdomain.com which is owned by Tucows has been using those features since the year 2000. I agree with turnkey that those patents will not hold up in court.
Stephen Douglas says
You know, Godad is hurting badly. They’re only rated #1 as the top registrar in the world, along with the biggest webservice company, along with making the most money of any domain/hosting/cum-whatever website ever.
They need to own everything, or Mr. Parsons won’t ever reach that point where he morphs into Larry Flynt. He’s got the facial similarity, but he needs that “Danica Patrick in the shower” promo to seal the deal.
Wonder what happens to Parson’s empire when his lack of support for the domain community in general creates a vacuum that gov’t noodlers invade to rob us all of our ability to buy/sell domains like land barons of the 19th century.
ABSOLUTE HORSE S—. Why isn’t godaddy just patenting registering domains ? and while they are at it how about patenting the most annoying user experience ever.
Stephen Douglas, thank you for saying that. It feels like I am the only person nervous over Go Daddy’s grab for power! The patent was applied for in 2005. What will happen when when Go Daddy disputes with Tucows, Moniker, and others?
domaineer, >patenting the most annoying user experience ever – that’s funny!