* Better Whois Patent

There are better ways to search for domain names.

By Erik J. Heels

First published 5/17/2003; LawLawLaw Newsletter; Clock Tower Law Group

On 05/06/03, United States Patent 6,560,634 (filed 08/13/98) issued to VeriSign, Inc., entitled “Method of determining unavailability of an internet (sic) domain name.” The abstract describes the invention as “an improved query server that overcomes the shortcomings of existing domain name searching techniques by performing a multitude of searches simultaneously, transparent to the user. Specifically, the improved query server searches for existing domain name records in various domains and then displays the results in a formatted manner, thus eliminating the need for a user to perform individual searches.” So basically this is a metasearch engine for domain names. It’s interesting to note that metasearch engines, such as The Mother Load (http://groups.google.com/…) and Metasearch.com (http://web.archive.org/web/*/metasearch.com), predate this patent application by several years. In any event, there are better ways to search for domain names than with Verisign’s whois search engine, such as BetterWhois.com (http://www.betterwhois.com/). Norid also maintains a detailed listing of domain name registries from around the world (http://www.norid.no/domenenavnbaser/domreg.html).

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