September 19, 2011

Faegre & Benson Changing the Future of the Internet

International law firm Faegre & Benson LLP has advised RSMP Ltd (trading as Sedari), a professional services management & technology company in the domain name registration industry, on an initial funding round which will place it in prime position to develop its business in line with the exciting new market opened up by the recent Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announcement that allows applicants to register from early 2012 for the new Top Level Domains (TLDs).  

Sedari is run by specialists in the domain registration industry and provides expert advice and operational support to clients, including brand leaders, to apply for and operate new TLDs in accordance with ICANN regulation.  From January 2012, applicants will be able to apply for their own TLD.  This new "opening up" of the domain space has the potential to radically change the face of the internet offering new global branding and marketing opportunities for a huge market.  It also offers opportunities for companies to better protect their brand globally and may even impact on trademark registrations.  The expansion of the name space gives opportunities for entrepreneurs and technologists to use the Internet in ways that we have not seen before.

Faegre & Benson advised RSMP on the structuring of the investment round including negotiating and finalising appropriate joint venture documentation with multiple investors.  Sedari's Chief Executive Officer Dr. Liz Williams commented that:

"Top level domains are set to transform the internet and our funding comes at just the right time for us to exploit the business opportunities made possible by the ICANN announcement.  We are very pleased with the help and advice Faegre & Benson have given us and would very much recommend them to other companies operating in this sector.  Their specialist work on engaging with investors from around the world helped us to complete our investment round efficiently based on a practical understanding of getting the deal done."

Faegre & Benson have experience of working with ICANN and experts in the domain registration industry.  Our services include assisting you with structuring and financing your business or joint venture in preparation for a TLD application, co-ordinating the application process with our specialist contacts to ensure you obtain the best technical advice and support to navigate the complex TLD registration process and providing legal advice on the technical services contracts required to operate the TLD and any subsequent contracts with third parties to commercially exploit the TLD's potential in the marketplace.

The Faegre & Benson team was led by Corporate Partner, Gary Laitner working with Corporate Associates Mary Shields and Nicholas Jennings.  Victoria Pengelly also advised on employment matters.

Gary Laitner said:

"We very much enjoyed working with Sedari in this new venture and are excited by the potential opening of the TLD market.  We are already established in this area and have built up an excellent base of specialist contacts that are able to provide expert advice and guidance in the application process.  It will be exciting to see how Sedari grows and adapts with the launch of new TLD names next year."
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