Hogan Lovells Becomes First ICANN Accredited Law Firm

PARIS, 25 October 2010. Hogan Lovells today became the first law firm to gain accreditation as a domain name registrar from ICANN.  The accreditation will enable Hogan Lovells to remain on the cutting edge of domain name strategy and advice and to act on behalf of clients to offer domain name registration services under generic Top Level Domains (“gTLDs”) such as .com and .net, thus ideally complementing Hogan Lovells' well established and experienced domain name practice already accredited by several national registries.

The firm already boasts the world's only stand alone domain name practice, called Anchovy®, set up over a decade ago, for brand owners worldwide to offer a one stop shop for all domain name related matters including strategy, portfolio management and enforcement across the globe.  The Hogan Lovells domain name practice is an integral part of the firm's full brand protection service. 

Hogan Lovells manages key client portfolios and to date has registered over 20,000 domain names in 164 countries.  2011 is likely to see the biggest change in the Internet since its inception with the proposed launch of unlimited new gTLDs which will have significant consequences for brand owners across the globe.  Becoming an accredited registrar will therefore mean that Hogan Lovells has an unrivalled position in offering advice to businesses and assisting key clients better during the launches of each new gTLD. 

Hogan Lovells has been very closely involved in the new gTLD process over the last 18 months, so as to seek to provide helpful input to assist in shaping the process and ensure the protection of trade mark rights generally, as well as ensuring that its key clients are fully aware of the process and consequences so as to be able to adapt their strategies accordingly.

Partner David Taylor heads up Hogan Lovells domain name practice.  He is a member of the Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC) of ICANN, and a member of the ICANN GNSO Council.  David Taylor also was a member of the IRT (Implementation Recommendation Team) formed by ICANN to provide solutions to trade mark issues raised in the new gTLD environment.

The new gTLD initiative poses a number of threats, but may also be a tremendous opportunity for brand owners as it will allow them to have more control over the use of their brand by managing their own .BRAND registry and because it will enhance innovation as well as choice for consumers.  Now, as an ICANN accredited registrar, Hogan Lovells is ideally positioned to offer a unique service to assist clients when new gTLDs launch.

David Taylor said: "This accreditation allows us to provide a better client service and advise businesses in a more holistic fashion, particularly during the sunrise periods of new domain name spaces. The way in which businesses use the Internet is constantly changing and adapting, so it is imperative that we as their legal advisers are not only abreast of, but keyed into such developments.

No other law firm has taken such an innovative step, which is testament to our position as one of the leading global IPMT practices."

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