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VeriSign will not revive Site Finder despite patent

The controversial URL-typo redirection service will not make a reappearance, despite the belated award of a patent for the technique
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

VeriSign has claimed it will not resurrect its URL-typo redirection service, after it was awarded a patent for the idea.

The patent, which was first applied for in 2000, was awarded to VeriSign in March this year. However, the company, which runs the .com and .net domains, has not used the relevant service for almost five years.

In 2003, VeriSign tried out the Site Finder service, which sent web users who mistyped URLs to a VeriSign page offering search results — including links to paid advertisements. Following complaints, the company was persuaded by ICANN, the organisation that oversees the internet's administration, to pull Site Finder pending further investigation. A legal tussle between VeriSign and ICANN ensued, but VeriSign's case was thrown out of court.

On 4 March, the US Patent and Trademark Office awarded VeriSign patent number 7,337,910, which covers "methods and devices for responding to request for unregistered domain name to indicate a predefined type of service".

Asked by ZDNet.co.uk whether this might mean VeriSign will bring back Site Finder, a spokesperson for the company confirmed on Thursday that it "does not intend to re-launch related services".

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