Patent describes way to verify registrant information to create trust and community.The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted patent 9,747,378 (pdf) to Afilias this week for “Linked web presence pages associated with a top level domain”.
I was a bit confused about what the patent covered and if the technology behind it had been implemented, so I reached out to Afilias for an explanation. Its explanation is a better description of the patent than I could come up with:
US Patent 9747378 stemmed from work by Afilias on a way to support the ability of community oriented TLDs to help the registrants gain exposure and interaction. Specifically, the patent addresses two important aspects of community building. The first is to add credibility that a particular registrant and domain name is a bonafide participant in the community.
It does this by cross checking various public sources of data against the registrant’s information and verifying the match. A proper match elevates the profile of a registrant and their domain name and gives other members of the community more confidence in dealing with them.The second is to enable the registrant to self-add functionality to their web presence by enabling things like: accepting donations, offering chat service, posting a twitter feed, allowing comments, and providing customer service.
Afilias says the concept is a result of Afilias’ support of various community-oriented TLDs, although none have specifically deployed the capability at this time.