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Patent office rejects subdomain patent claims

Technology firms are often hampered by patent disputes, but the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office called into question last week a patent that had the potential to disrupt the habits of millions of Internet users.

The PTO rejected all 20 patent claims over Internet subdomains held by a company called Hoshiko, which were used to bully sites like LiveJournal and Freehomepage.com and pursue litigation against larger companies like Google. The idea behind how to manage subdomains--domains hosted within larger domains, such as news.cnet.com--is too obvious to patent, the PTO ruled after the nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation requested the patent be re-examined.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009
CNET News.com

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