Chinese online retail giant Alibaba has applied for a United States patent entitled “Domain Name Management Scheme for Cross-Chain Interactions in Blockchain Systems.”

Alibaba filed its latest application on Aug. 15 in a continuation of an application filed in November 2018. According to the filing, Alibaba intends to patent a system that uses what they call a “unified blockchain domain name” (UBCDN) in order to denote and share information. In the system, Alibaba proposes to use a computing system to generate a UBCDN message which contains a blockchain domain name and a chain identifier that is paired with that name.

Specifically, the filing states that the UBCDN message contains “a UBCDN of the blockchain instance, a digital signature of an owner of the UBCDN of the blockchain instance (a UBCDN owner) on the UBCDN, and a domain certificate of the UBCDN.”

As further specified in the patent application, this UBCDN system is intended to be used as a unified means of managing domain names in cross-chain interactions across blockchain systems. The patent cites several instances in which this technology could be useful, including for blockchain managers. The application reads:

“Furthermore, the UBCDN can include a human readable identifier or label, helping users to memorize and reach a blockchain instance easily, and thus promoting adoption or use of the blockchain instance. As an example, owners or operators of public blockchains, private block chains, or consortium blockchains can choose blockchain domain names that correspond to their names, helping users to remember the identifiers of the blockchain instances.”

The patent also cites the system as an improvement over existing interoperable blockchain networks, saying:

“Unlike existing cross-chain implementations such as COSMOS, that uses a relay chain for cross-chain interactions, in which each blockchain is assigned an identifier (ID) within the relay chain network but the ID only has a local scope and cannot be reused in other relay chain networks, in the described domain name scheme, the UBCDN can be used and is recognizable globally by all blockchain instances in the unified block chain network.”

As reported by Cointelegraph in May, Alibaba opted to integrate blockchain tech into its intellectual property (IP) system for global enterprises and brands. This new system would purportedly let international brands upload electronic deposits on Alibaba’s blockchain-based platform, allowing them to file complaints relating to intellectual property protection.