Patent describes a separate “cache” pool for expired domains.
The current method of drop catching domain names — throwing as many registrar add commands at the registry as possible — hasn’t changed. But that doesn’t mean the world’s largest domain name registry isn’t thinking of ways to change the system.
It has a patent for selling pools of drop-catching access to registrars. It has designed systems to detect registrar collusion. And it has even contemplated a system that sells “encoding domains” to reserve expired domains.
Today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted patent number 11,411,913 (pdf) to Verisign for System and method for domain name registration using a cache.
The patent describes a system where drops occur in an initial cached environment separate from the main system that registries use to add domains. Drops would have a time delay before they become available in the regular system to prevent registrars from also trying to get domains in the regular system.
Essentially, it’s a way to offload drop-catching activity so it doesn’t interfere with people trying to register a domain that isn’t dropping.
Verisign applied for the patent in 2017.