Netword LLC in Arlington, VA, has been awarded a U.S. patent for its Netword System, a central registry of intuitive, memorable names that point to specific URLs, including those buried deep within Web sites.
Networds can be used instead of URLs for direct access to 400 million pages on the Web, and for millions of other Internet resources, the company said.
The Netword System includes a small (200k) plug-in for the major browsers that permits free creation and use of Networds. Any Internet user may create Free Networds for non-commercial purposes.
Information providers may register Networds for $5 per month. Registrants can increase their site traffic by advertising their Networds in offline media, including radio, television, newspapers, and word-of-mouth, the company said.
Competitors include Netscape’s Smart Browsing and centraal’s Real Name Service.
Michael Wise, Netword’s CEO and president, said the company is discussing partnering arrangements with various Internet companies under royalty and revenue sharing arrangements, and plans to introduce the naming system in several Web communities.
By July 1, 1998, Netword-enabled browsers will recognize approximately 2 million top-level domains that have not been registered as Networds and instantly direct Internet users to those sites. Trademark owners may register their marks as Networds to preserve brand identities and increase traffic to their Web sites, the company said.