Just when you think that patents can’t get any stupider, you see an article like this.
In summary, the patent claims to own the idea of someone having both MyName@somewhere.com (email address) and MyName.somewhere.com (web site).
I have to shake my head in amazement that someone could *be* that stupid. And I wish, not for the first time, that someone with deep pockets would start a massive class action lawsuit against the US Patent Office for gross negligence, gross misuse of public funding, and general stupidity.
On *several* of my machines, I’m using mod_rewrite to map username.domain.com to a web site for every username on the machine. That user, by definition, of course, has an email address of email@example.com for that particular domain.
Note that *many* companies have been doing this for the last ten years, not least of which is Demon Internet, in England, one of the largest ISPs on the planet, I think.
Also, note that the recipe for doing this appears in the Apache documentation, in a document called the rewrite guide. See the section called Virtual User Hosts on the page http://httpd.apache.org/docs/misc/rewriteguide.html
Also note that the recipe for doing this appears in Apache Cookbook.
Also note that people have been doing this since the VERY FIRST DAY that there was such a thing as the World Wide Web.
The fact that the patent office can give out patents for stuff that have been part of common practice since day one is absolutely absurd, and possibly criminal. The patent office is way out of hand. We all knew that. But things like this make it so apparent that it’s mind boggling that the US courts are content to sit around and allow frivolous lawsuits like this to be filed on a regular basis.