The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted patent number 10,904,212 (pdf) to Verisign (NASDAQ: VRSN) for “Domain name suggestion and registration via chatbot.”
The patent describes ways of using chatbots to help consumers find domain names and register them. The abstract is a fairly comprehensive description of Verisign’s patent:
Techniques for providing domain name suggestions to a user that is a prospective registrant via chatbot are disclosed. The techniques include providing a publicly available online chatbot to the user; requesting domain name generation data from the user via the chatbot and during a chatbot session with the user; receiving domain name generation data based on the requesting; generating a plurality of generated domain names using the domain name generation data; filtering registered domain names out of the plurality of generated domain names to produce a plurality of unregistered generated domain names; offering to register at least one of the unregistered generated domain names to the user; receiving an offer acceptance from the user; directing the user, via the chatbot, to provide information sufficient to register the at least one of the unregistered generated domain names; and facilitating registration of the at least one of the unregistered generated domain names.
The chatbot can ask the user questions in order to suggest relevant domain names, such as hobbies, interests, or work history, and could log in to third-party accounts to collect more data.
I’m not aware of a domain name registrar using such a technology today, but chatbots like this are fairly common across industries.
Verisign applied for the patent in January 2018, and it was granted yesterday.