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Centraal, Inktomi sign distribution deal

Centraal's RealNames, which turns simple keywords directly into URLs, aims to benefit from a partnership with the search engine.

Internet directory provider Centraal entered into a distribution alliance with Inktomi, whose popular Internet search software is used by dozens of ISPs and Web sites.

Launched last March, Centraal's RealNames is a product that allows Web users to type in simple keywords in order to find information they want on the Net, eliminating the sometimes-cumbersome task of entering long URLs. Typing in "Volkswagen," for instance, takes users directly to "http://www3.vw.com/index6.htm".

RealNames is free for end users. Centraal's revenues come from businesses that want their trademarks and other identifying information listed in its database.

The partnership announced today will allow Centraal's RealNames addressing system to gain valuable new exposure. It comes on the heels of alliances Centraal has forged with domain registry Network Solutions, search engine AltaVista and directory LookSmart.

Centraal recently scored another victory when a federal judge dismissed a patent infringement lawsuit, filed by competitor Netword, related to RealNames.