The Register has a rather shocking story on Ideaflood, a Nevada based company, enforcing a patent awarded to it on the use of sub-domains. Several hosting providers have announced that they have received letters from a party representing Ideaflood Inc.
Ideaflood, Inc. is an intellectual property generation and holding
company specializing in core Internet advertising and operating technologies.
To me, that translates as:
Ideaflood, Inc. is a shell company specializing in bull-shit. We are also spammers, and would love to make life unbearable for all Internet users whenever and however we can
It just gets even worse:
Ideaflood secures many Internet-based patents, according to its own Web site. It describes itself as an intellectual property holding company. On Feb. 10, 2003, it announced that it was looking for a buyer for its "Patent No. U.S. 6,389,458, covering exit traffic on the Internet," which is "one of the most widely infringed patents ever issued by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office." Ideaflood also has claimed patents on addressee-defined mail addressing systems; managing ownership of virtual property; aggregating information over a wide-area network; and a host of other Internet-based methods, systems and practices.
All in all, the company does absolutely nothing except try and patent every miniscule concept, and try and pressurise "infringers" without deep-pockets, to pay up :/
Some of these patents are viewable here. The Web Host Industry Review is also carrying this story.