January 31, 2004

Dammit, I Should Have Thought of That

Posted by shonk at 01:17 AM in Economics | TrackBack

In keeping with a recent theme around here (and to sustain the incestuous Trackback cycle), I want to point out another disturbing IP-related development (link courtesy Catallarchy):

Do you know about United States Patent No. 6,671,714? You should. The patent, recently granted to one Frank Weyer of Beverly Hills, California, grants the patent holder full rights to: A method for assigning URL’s and e-mail addresses to members of a group comprising the steps of: assigning each member of said group a URL of the form “name.subdomain.domain”; and assigning each member of said group an e-mail address of the form “name@subdomain.domain; “Sound familiar? Well, it should, because the patent describes what is essentially one of the most basic, most crucial underlying structures of the World Wide Web, namely the domain naming system.

On January 17, 2004, Meyer brought suit against Internet heavyweights Network Solutions, Inc. and Register.com, claiming the two services are infringing upon Meyer’s newly-granted patent. In the suit Meyer claims damages of an unnamed amount and requests an immediate injunction against the two companies. Meyer states that he hopes to “work with” NSI and Register.com to license his patent. NSI and Register.com don’t seem to be cooperating thus far, however.

Let’s just say this whole patent paradigm needs to be rethought.