ESQwire.com is a domainer-friendly law firm, totaling decades of experience between its principals, Ari Goldberger and Jason B. Schaeffer; the end result is an impressive portfolio of domains that have been successfully defended against litigation or UDRPs.
Both IP attorneys are actively involved in the domain community and participate in domain conferences and events, such as NamesCon and ICANN meetings around the globe.
In this exclusive interview, attorney Jason Schaeffer is sharing with us his thoughts about the domain industry, domain law professionals and domaining in general.
DomainGang: Jason, after attending NamesCon this year, what was your overall impression, as a domain industry professional?
Jason Schaeffer, Esq.: The show was impressive and there was something for all attendees. Kudos to Richard, Jothan, Jodi and the team for putting together another huge event. Great to see the announcement of NamesCon 2016. I’ll be buying my ticket today.
DomainGang: During NamesCon, the numerous domain law and trademark related classes were very popular. What are your thoughts on the subjects covered?
Jason Schaeffer, Esq.: Again, the show provided a broad array of topics and subjects. For the beginner or new entrant to the domain world the topics are helpful. For the more experienced domainer, I’d say the greater draw is the networking.
DomainGang: NamesCon was attended by a record number of law professionals, particularly IP/domain lawyers. Was that a great chance to discuss the industry as a group with your peers?
Jason Schaeffer, Esq.: The best discussions come from getting together with my peers. Whether it’s an ICANN meeting, NamesCon or TRAFFIC it’s great seeing everyone.
Each conference/show has a different focus and feeling that leads to unique discussions and opportunities. Because we are in a tremendously dynamic moment of change in the industry, getting together every few months or so helps us keep on top of things.
I’d like to see the return of a smaller show that’s less of a massive gathering. I think there’s a need and demand for both the large and small gathering.
DomainGang: ESQwire provides legal advice and support as a “domainer friendly law firm.” What is the definition of the term, and how do you achieve this practice?
Jason Schaeffer, Esq.: Yes, we are “domainer friendly.” I guess you can trace it to the origins of our Firm when Ari first started in the late 90s and through his parking business with SmartName.
The focus has been on supporting the growth of the domain community. That philosophy continues today through our representation of new gTLD applicants and lobbying for single or smaller applicant needs at ICANN. We love our clients.
With respect to our UDRP practice, we believe that there needs to be a strong counterbalance to the Trademark Bar and the “big” guys. While we’ll handle both sides of the case, especially the egregious infringement situation, it’s a lot more fun to protect a good domain owner. Not all are good, but many are and deserve strong protection.
Lately, I’ve been referring a lot of cases to other counsel because we don’t feel it’s a good fit or there is an outright conflict.
Our “domain” focus comes from the fact that we are much more than a law firm. Our related domain development businesses, and internal portfolio sales, provide us with a unique perspective and understanding.
When we fight a case we’ll spend extra time to “ensure” a win not only because it’s what we’re supposed to do, but because we enjoy it too. We want to make sure the UDRP is not abused and Panels stay true. So, to answer your question, how do we achieve “this,” really it’s because we love what we do!
DomainGang: Domain theft was rampant in 2014, and clearly something should be done in 2015. What sets ESQwire apart in how such cases are dealt with from a legal support standpoint?
Jason Schaeffer, Esq.: Theft is a big problem. We’ve been successful in protecting assets, but we hope it will be a thing of the past. With two step authentication and better security let’s hope we won’t need to file another case to recover stolen assets. Part of the solution rests with Registrars and part with us. We all have a role to play in cleaning up and protecting the industry.
On a positive note, I’m working with a great group of peers, the best in the industry, to create a new mechanisms to address theft. We hope to finalize our ideas and present to ICANN. This is in addition to UDRP reform that will be forthcoming. There’s a lot happening “behind the scenes.”
DomainGang: The future of domain litigation: Do gTLDs produce more, or less domain related litigation, with the existence of URS and TMCH processes?
Jason Schaeffer, Esq.: Good question. We haven’t even started with the new “G’s” This process is still in its infancy. Many of the early URS cases have fulfilled their purpose and stopped obvious and clear abusive registrants. As the pool of domain registrations rises we could also see a rise in cases filed.
Unfortunately, it is the nature of what we do – there will always be abusive registrations and at the same time there will always be over reaching brand owners looking to seize valuable domain assets.
With that said, by their nature, the new gTLDs present a unique opportunity to have a broader array of generic or descriptive domain registrations that are non-infringing.
I’m looking forward to 2015-16 when it looks like Registries may get out and market their strings to the end user. That’s when we’ll really see the adoption and development grow.
That’s why we’re here aren’t we, to help usher in a new age of domain development? So, as the industry evolves and grows, I hope to be here to help navigate the way, grow and protect domain assets. I’m already looking forward to the next round of new gTLD applicants.
DomainGang: Many thanks, Jason, for this interview. For more information, our readers can visit ESQwire.com.
Note: ESQwire is a premium sponsor of DomainGang.com.
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