Feeds

Go Daddy sued over email alerts

Tubby patent troll wants seconds

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Go Daddy has been sued for allegedly infringing two patents when it sends email alerts to customers whose domain names and web hosting accounts are about to expire.

Its accuser is WhitServe, a patent licensing company based in Connecticut. It also runs NetDocket, a service designed to make renewing trademark registrations and patents easier.

The lawsuit also names Zygo, an optical components supplier, as a defendant, apparently for no reason other than the fact that it is also based in Connecticut and that its domain, zygo.com, is registered with Go Daddy.

"Zygo infringes one or more claims of the WhitServe patents because it has used and continues to use GoDaddy’s infringing products and services to maintain its web page," the complaint reads.

Go Daddy, like all major domain name registrars, sends periodic email reminders to its customers when their domains are due to expire, enabling them to click through to the Go Daddy website and renew their registrations to prevent their websites going dark.

WhitServe claims that this automated system infringes two of its US patents related to "professional services reminders", which date back to 1999 and 2001.

The company has already successfully licensed the patents to legal services and business information firms including CPA Global and Thomson Reuters.

The lawsuit, with its high-pressure tactic of naming customers in the suit, is part of a tested strategy.

WhitServe previously sued Computer Packages Inc, a trademark management services company, along with customers including Intel and EMC. Last year, it won a reported $8.4m judgment.

The suit could have repercussions on the whole domain name registrar and web hosting market.

Not only is Go Daddy far from unique in sending email alerts, but also ICANN is currently considering whether to make these reminders a mandatory part of its registrar contracts.

Go Daddy is the largest domain registrar and a major web hosting provider. It has millions of customers and around 50 million domain names under management. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.