Uh, no, that's not what the article said and it's not what the patent,
which is linked from the article, says. The patent is on the tiny
tweak of selling matching e-mail addresses and domains (it says URLs
but their examples show domains) of the form email@example.com and
I'm sure there is prior art from the discussions in 1996
but I can't remember enough details to dig that up. However
here is something from 2 Jan 1997 that is clearly prior
art for the selling personal domain names to people in
the form first.last.something.
Pass it on to anyone else who may be interested.