Internet Law

Nine Organizations Seek Legal Domain Names, But Only One Is a Law Firm

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Nine organizations are seeking to obtain new Web domain names with a legal connection, but only one is a law firm.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, better known as ICANN, released a list of applications for domain names Wednesday, the Houston Chronicle reports. Applicants proposing a new top-level domain name had to pay $185,000 and explain their plans for the name. When new domain owners are designated, they can then sublet the names to others in hopes of making a profit, Law Technology News explains.

Applicants for legal names such as .lawyer, .law and .legal include registrars or other groups that plan to sublet the names, Law Technology News says. The lone law firm in the group is Merchant Law Group, which has offices throughout Canada. It is competing with five companies for the .law domain that could end in an auction. Managing partner Evatt Merchant told the legal publication he expects the winning bidder to pay $500,000 to $1 million.

Merchant nonetheless sees the domain name as valuable. “I’m surprised frankly that other law firms didn’t pursue this,” he said.

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