The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) awarded U.S. patent number 7,774,432 to Verisign for registering and displaying multilingual domain names Internationalized domain names (commonly called IDNs) refer to domain names that contain one or more non-ASCII characters. The IDN process allows Registries to register names in non-English languages, such as Chinese.
VeriSign’s patent application was filed in 2007 and was a continuation of abandoned applications from 2000 and 2001.
The abstract from the patent pdf gives more details regarding the new patent:
“A method, system, and computer-readable medium are described for registering and using multilingual domain names that include characters outside the ASCII character subset supported by the DNS system. Such multilingual domain names can in some situations be registered by first being converted into appropriate ASCII-Compatible Encodings (ACEs) that represent the corresponding multilingual domain names and that use only characters within the ASCII character subset. In addition, a variety of binary variants may be generated at registration for each multilingual domain name and then used as equivalents for the multilingual domain name, such as by storing the variants in the registry as alternative domain names or by otherwise reserving the binary variants. When requests to resolve such a registered multilingual domain name into a corresponding IP address or URL are received, the stored binary variants and/or ACE information can then be used to respond in an appropriate manner. “