More mud in the water…

Verisign filed this lawsuit because they mistakenly believe that they have the right to derive additional economic value from their management contract. i.e. Layer in additional services that only they can offer because ICANN delegated management of this key resource to them. Verisign believes, for instance, that they have the right offer services like Sitefinder and WLS without needing ICANN’s approval. The settlement agreement clears the way for this.

Back_rightcolumn_waitlistAs I mentioned earlier, there is a curious reference to Snapnames in the settlement agreement. Snapnames, as it turns out, holds a patent that would prevent Verisign from offering the WLS.

United States Patent Application: 0020091703 “A preferred embodiment of the present invention integrates a domain name monitoring and acquisition service with a registry system. The monitoring and acquisition service can receive a request from a registrar to acquire a domain name. The monitoring and acquisition service also can receive a pending delete notification from the registry for a domain name having a registration that is about to be deleted. The pending delete notification can be received before the registry issues a public delete notification or purges the domain name, at which point the domain name is registrable by the first-responding registrar. If the domain name that is the subject of the pending delete notification has a corresponding acquisition request received by the monitoring and acquisition service, the monitoring and acquisition service can request acquisition of the domain name for the requesting registrar.”

It turns out that Snapnames has more of a say in whether or not Verisign can offer this registry service than ICANN does. If Verisign is a licensee of the Snapnames technology, then they have a vested interest in making sure that the Snapnames suit succeeds. 

Is Verisign simply trading in one lawsuit for a billion dollars with the intention of funding another one via an arms length relationship with Snapnames?