Rita Rodin Johnston
Rita Rodin Johnston is a partner at Skadden's Intellectual Property and Technology and Internet and E-Commerce practices.
Johnston helped ICANN on matters relating to Internet policy by working on policy initiatives and representing clients. She represented two of the first seven new top-level domain registry operators (Afilias, Ltd. and Global Name Registry). For the former, she also assisted in the preparation of its successful bid to operate .info. Related to policy, Johnston helped draft ICANN's Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) and its implementation.
In 2002, ICANN appointed Johnston to chair an international task force that established the Policy Development Process (PDP). She was appointed to the ICANN Board in May 2006 by the Generic Names Supporting Organisation (GNSO). Her term was set to end six months after ICANN's annual meeting in 2010. Johnston was appointed to serve an additional three-year term by GNSO in April 2008, a position she held until June 2011.
During her tenure, Johnston served in the following roles:
- Chair and Member of the Board Audit Committee
- Member of the Board Review Working Group
- Member of the Board Governance, Compensation, Reconsideration and Structural Improvement Committees
- Member of the GNSO Improvements Working Group
- Member of the ICANN Board and ICANN Governmental Advisory Committee Working Group
- Member of the ICANN Board Equivalent Strings Working Group and ATRT Review Teams
In 2011, the ICANN Board issued a resolution which read in part, "Rita has earned the deep appreciation of the Board for her term of service as a Director, and the Board wishes Rita well in all future endeavours. Woohoo!"
Johnston is a partner at Skadden's Intellectual Property and Technology and Internet and E-Commerce practices, where she helps clients negotiate and structure domestic and international transactions. Her focus is on technology and trademarks. According to ICANN, "She regularly negotiates outsourcing agreements, strategic alliances, joint ventures, development and distribution agreements, trademark and technology licensing agreements, and marketing and co-branding agreements. She also advises companies on Internet and e-commerce business and compliance issues, open source issues, privacy matters and branding issues. Her experience also includes regularly addressing intellectual property and technology and operational issues that arise in connection with mergers and acquisitions, project finance matters and initial public offerings." Clients have included Capgemini North America, CIT Group Inc., Companie Financière Richemont SA, Deloitte & Touche USA LLP, IBM, International Paper Company, Madison Avenue Diamonds, Merck KGaA, Skype Technologies, and the Women's Funding Network.
She is an author and lecturer on "a variety of e-commerce and technology-related topics, including outsourcing, e-mail policies, Internet security, trademark and domain name developments and privacy-related issues". Johnston was included in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2005 through 2007) and Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business (2006, 2007).
- Tense dialogue as ICANN board interrogates trademark concerns (February 28, 2011), World Trademark Review
- ICANN Board Locks Down New gTLD Timeline, Approves .XXX Contract by Philip Corwin (March 20, 2011), Internet Commerce Association