Search giants the likes of Google and Yahoo may have to pay an Israeli company when users type site names directly into the search bar.
According to reports online, Aviv Refuah, 28 year-old CEO of Israeli tech firm, Netex, has obtained a U.S. patent which he says Internet players Google, Microsoft and Yahoo have been using for years.
The technology is called www.addressing, and allows users to type a site's name directly into the address bar and be forwarded to the correct URL.
For example, a user typing "zdnetasia" into a browser's address bar would be forwarded to "zdnetasia.com" without loading a search query.
A TechCrunch report said Google's "I'm Feeling Lucky" button also uses this technology.
According to Refuah's patent filing, the technology is "a method of WWW page retrieval from a Web site, comprising entering information associated with the site; and directly displaying said page, using a browser, without any additional user intervention".
Netex's statement to Ynetnews.com said it intends to explore licensing possibilities with the major Internet search companies.
News of the patent's potential royalty-haul has pushed up Netex's stock price by over 144 percent, adding US$30 million to its net worth.