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Type: Privately held
Founded: 2010
Founder(s): Nick Wood
Lorna Gradden
Headquarters: London
Country: UK
Key People
Nick Wood and Lorna Gradden, Executive Team
Dietmar Lenden, Client Project Manager
Ashley Roberts, Consultant & Client Manager
Jeff Neuman, Senior Vice President, USA

Valideus is a domain name and Intellectual Property strategist firm established by Nick Wood and Lorna Gradden, who also co-founded the Com Laude, an ICANN accredited registrar. Nick and Lorna's objective in establishing Valideus is to recommend and provide dedicated services and technology solutions for brand owners who are interested in operating their own top level domain names (TLDs). The company's main office is located in London.[1]

Valideus submitted 96 applications to ICANN's New gTLD Program on behalf of its clients, including Amazon, Richemont DNS Inc., and assorted other brand applicants.[2]


The management team of Valideus provides the following services:[3]

  • Feasibility Consulting- Provides brand owners an in-depth understanding of the new gTLD process and evaluates if operating a TLD is beneficial for the company. The feasibility study covers topics concerning business opportunity, application process, competitor's activity, registry operations, rights protection, commercial exploitation, marketing and communication, brand development, staffing, ICANN requirements, and legal issues.
  • Application Services- A project manager will be assigned to guide the client through the complexities of the entire ICANN application process for new gTLDs.
  • Registry Solutions- The company recommends experienced service providers of secure technical solutions for domain registry operations.

In 2010, Valideus and Neustar signed a strategic partnership agreement to provide all the necessary consultancy services and registry solutions for brand owners in Europe and other countries worldwide who are interested in applying their own TLD with ICANN.[4]

ICANN Involvement

Valideus is actively involved in the different activities, conferences and policy making initiatives of ICANN. The firm's management team were members of ICANN's working groups and panels during the new gTLD consultation process.[5] The company was one of the silver sponsors of the ICANN 38 Meeting in Brussels, Belgium. During the event, Nick represented Valideus and served as moderator during a panel session about "Brand Management in the Age of New gTLDs."[6] [7]

During the ICANN 40 Meeting in San Francisco, Valideus identified 12 concerns regarding new gTLDs, which included:[8]

  1. The objection procedures including the requirements for governments to pay fees
  2. Procedures for the review of sensitive strings (such as .koran);
  3. Root Zone Scaling
  4. Market and Economic Impacts of new gTLDs
  5. Separation of Registry and Registrar functions
  6. Rights Owners and consumer protection issues
  7. Post-delegation disputes with governments
  8. Use and protection of geographical names
  9. Legal options for applicants
  10. Opportunities for all stakeholders including those from developing countries
  11. The need for early warning to applicants regarding controversial strings

Nick is a member of ICANN's Implementation Recommendation Team (IRT) and Intellectual Property Constituency. He also served as chairman of the ICANN London Consultation Day on Trade Mark Protections & Abusive Behaviours for New gTLDs.[9]