The law firm Crowell & Moring has launched a practice dedicated to helping companies apply for – and sue other applicants for – new top-level domains.
The company also said today it has hired Bart Lieben, the Brussels-based lawyer who probably has more recent experience launching new TLDs than most others in his field.
Crowell says it will offer these services:
* gTLD Assessment Services
o Feasibility study and strategic advice for brand owners and others prior to filing an application
* gTLD Application Services
o Preparation and filing of ‘New gTLD’ applications
* gTLD Litigation
o Against other applicants during and after the application process
o Against third parties opposing an application
* gTLD Launch and Implementation Assistance
o On-going assistance, post filing and execution of ICANN contract by applicant
With the new TLD round looking like a near certainty for 2011, there’s money to be made in consulting, and it’s hardly surprising that the lawyers are moving in.
World Trademark Review reported earlier this month that Hogan Lovells has become the first such firm to gain ICANN registrar accreditation in an effort to help its clients navigate new TLDs.
The new Crowell unit is being headed by Brussels-based Flip Petillion (an occasional WIPO panelist on UDRP cases) and Washington, DC-based John Stewart.
New hire Lieben has previously helped with the launches of .mobi and .tel. He was involved heavily with .CO Internet’s sunrise, and is currently helping GMO Registry and .SO Registry with the forthcoming .so launch.