"It's a good thing the United States Patent and Trademark Office has completed its move from Crystal City to their new campus in Alexandria. Tim Ruiz and GoDaddy are apparently in the process of buying the USPTO a new wing.
When last seen, Register.com and Dotster were the latest entries in the patent follies. But GoDaddy is clearly heading for the prize. For those keeping score (or building their prior art backfile), the following spate of pending US patent applications were published during the course of the last several weeks:
20040199620 Method for transfering a registered domain name from a first registrar to a second registrar
20040199608 Method for gathering domain name registration information from a registrant via a Registrar's web site
20040199520 Method for checking the availability of a domain name
20040199493 Method for registering a stream of domain names received via a registrar's web site
The '608 application is yet another sad symptom of "bamboozled patent attorney" syndrome, in which a patent attorney thoroughly unfamiliar with the technology at hand manages to draft an outstandingly lame claim. For general amusement purposes, imagine obtaining a patent on this based on an application filed in April 2003:
16. A web site based domain name registration process, comprising the steps of: A) receiving and storing Customer information from a registration application for a Customer during a first session; B) receiving and storing a payment method from the Customer during the first session; C) receiving a desired domain name from the Customer during a second session; D) recalling the stored Customer information and the payment method; and E) registering the domain name in the second session using the recalled Customer information and the recalled payment method.
Paging Bulkregister... dig out your one-click registration process notes circa 2000...
One of the kickers here is that Mr. Ruiz signed a declaration falling within 18 USC 2001 (the federal perjury statute), swearing that he believes he is the first inventor of the subject matter claimed in that application:
That, folks, is impressive chutzpah."
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