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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Indiana, USA
    Posts
    72

    Is Wildcard DNS patented?

    Hi, I recently moved some domains to a shared hosting account. I decided to contact my new host and request wildcarded dns entries for these domains, just as I had done with my previous host.

    Now here's the reply I received from my new hosting provider's technical support after requesting wildcard dns entries:


    "Unfortunately, we can no longer offer wildcard DNS services. It is now a pattened process so we cannot do that without having legal problems."


    Is this for real? Has anyone heard of such a patent, or is this reply just B.S.?

    -Jason

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Paradise
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    11,868
    What? I never hear anything like that, even if that were possible, nobody can stop you to change your DNS and web server records to wildcard them. The "term" may be patented (although I doubt it), but nobody can stop you to do it.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Indiana, USA
    Posts
    72
    That's what I thought.

    I called my host today and told them that I believe that their statement saying that Wildcarded DNS is protected by patent is in error.

    The tech support guy didn't know a thing about any such patent, so he asked a level 2 technician who relayed information that this is a recent patent.

    I then asked the first guy I talked to if he would provide some information on the patent such as the patent holder or the patent number, but he said the other technician was on the phone with another customer. I didn't want to wait for him to take my call, so I just hung up the phone and googled for it a while.

    So I don't know, my host is pretty well known (bluehost, which is run by the same folks that run dreamhost) and I'm not accusing them of anything, but I have the feeling that the technician who said wildcard dns is patented might be ignorant or trying to pass some B.S. on to me.

    Now, I'm told that this is a recent patent, but Wild card dns records have been in use since at least 1987. I realize that doesn't mean that this is exempt from being patented.

    If this whole patent thing is true, this is ridiculous.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Indiana, USA
    Posts
    72
    Quote Originally Posted by mojojuju

    So I don't know, my host is pretty well known (bluehost, which is run by the same folks that run dreamhost) ...
    Oops, I meant to say (hostmonster, which is run by the folks that run bluehost.

    BTW, is there any way to edit posts on the forum?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    1,167
    Its BS. You can't edit the OP once people have posted in it.

    Wildcard domains is just an apache module.

    Bluehosts runs hostmonster?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Indiana, USA
    Posts
    72
    Quote Originally Posted by taylorwilsdon

    Bluehosts runs hostmonster?
    Ok, I'm guilty of passing of speculation as fact here. I do not know for sure that they're affiliated with each other. I have asked hostmonster on the phone if they're affiliated with bluehost, and they said "No".

    But, if you compare both their websites, you'll notice they both have similar page structures, and content. Many pages have identical content.

    In particular, on each of their pages titles "contact us", The mailing address for both of these hosts is listed as:

    1548 North Technology Way #D13
    Orem, UT 84097

    So, I'm certain that they're run by the same company, but I shouldn't have said that they ARE for sure unless I had definite proof. I don't have definite proof, but it looks to me like hostmonster is probably the same as bluehost for about half the price.

    As far as wildcarded DNS being patented, I think I'm going to talk to another technician at that hosting company because I don't know if the first guy I talked to was passing B.S. or was just ignorant.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    3,102
    If it's been in use since 1987, there's no way there's a patent on it. For a patent to be granted, the idea it is protecting must be novel.
    Daniel B., CEO - Bezoka.com and Ungigs.com
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    Email Daniel directly: ceo [at] bezoka.com

  8. #8

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    3,102
    Now that's effed up. I imagine that would be easily challenged by a larger host who can prove its existence at a time prior to when the application was filed. I am, quite frankly, shocked that the patents were even granted.
    Daniel B., CEO - Bezoka.com and Ungigs.com
    Hosting Solutions Optimized for: WordPress Joomla OpenCart Moodle
    Data Centers in: Chicago (US), London (UK), Sydney (AU), Sofia (BG), Pori (FI)
    Email Daniel directly: ceo [at] bezoka.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    73
    That's ridiculous, I don't think this would hold up in court.

    Dave Zan: Those patents don't appear to patent wild card dns but thye patent something that is using wild card dns. I have no idea what that patent calls for "utilizing a wildcard DNS" and doesn't patent wildcard dns itself. The fact that they refer to wildcard dns is evidence in itself that wildcard dns isn't patented, you can't patent the use of a patent.

    Your host is misinterpreting this, there are plenty of hosts that offer wildcard DNS (I know dreamhost.com offer it) and they don't get sued..

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Zan
    I might be wrong, but there appears to be at least 2:

    http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-P...ildcard+dns%22

    http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-P...ildcard+dns%22

    If the links expire, check it out at uspto.gov.
    The first one has to do with assigning multiple domains to a single IP (something we ALL do everyday) and the second is something to do with search engines and database servers.

    While people patent crap all the time, does not mean that the patents will hold up in court if put to the test.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Newport Beach, CA
    Posts
    2,920
    The problem is the host isn't using a control panel that does wildcards. so they're finding excuses why they can't do it.
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