FairWinds Partners

FairWinds Logo.jpg
Type: Privately held
Industry: Domain Name Consultation
Founded: 2006
Founder(s): Josh Bourne
Phil Lodico
Headquarters: Washington, D.C.
Country: USA
LinkedIn: FairWinds Partners
Key People
Joshua Bourne and Phil Lodico, Managing Partners
Nao Matsukata, President & CEO

FairWinds Partners is a Domain Name consulting firm co-founded by Managing Partners Josh Bourne and Phil Lodico in 2006. The firm aims to help its clients to increase their revenue using their domain names, provide relevant information regarding the latest online technologies and opportunities, and help clients to protect their domain investments. Fairwinds Partners is located in Washington, D.C.[1]

FairWinds Partners submitted 134 applications to ICANN's New gTLD Program on behalf of its clients. The company also applied for the Brand TLD .fairwinds.[2] They are the organizers behind a nonprofit organization and Domain Name conference Beyond The Dot.[3]

Joshua Bourne and Phil Lodico also co-founded the Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA).[4]


Fairwinds Partners provides the following services to its clients:[5]

  • Domain Name Strategy and Advisory
  • gTLD Strategy: Top-Level Solutions
  • S.M.A.R.T. gTLD Service
  • New gTLD Brand Protection and Trademark Services
  • Domain Name and Username Recovery
  • Domain Name Program Administration
  • Social Media Strategy and Portfolio

ICANN Involvement

FairWinds is an observatory member of the Business Constituency within ICANN, and a voting member of the New TLD Applicant Group (NTAG) in the Registry Stakeholder Group since they applied for .fairwinds.

In 2009, Mr. Bourne, who serves as President of CADNA, asked the United States government to conduct a full-scale audit on ICANN's structure, governance, and oversight mechanisms.[6] Bourne previously commented that ICANN failed to accomplish some of its responsibilities in the Affirmation of Commitments with the United States Department of Commerce.[7]

In May 2013, FairWinds submitted public comments to ICANN on behalf of 16 brand owners advocating for a second template draft new TLD Registry Agreement that recognized the unique requirements of branded TLDs. It was argued that creating a standard contract for them would speed up the contracting process and help introduce new business models to the domain name space more quickly.[8]

Affiliation with CADNA

CADNA and FairWinds Partners have at times seemingly been at odds, given that FairWinds is offering new gTLD consultancy services and CADNA has in the past led an oppositional effort against the new gTLD program.

In March 2012, FairWinds utilized their CADNA association to highlight that they are able to help brands defensively submit applications for gTLDs and Brand gTLDs. They explicitly noted that some brands should be choosing to apply for generic strings in an attempt to head off any moves that their direct competitors may make for the same string; the brand could then choose to opt out for a 70% refund should it find that its competitors did not apply and it is no longer interested in the string.[9] FairWinds is not the only consultancy service that offered defensive registration services. The widespread perception that defensive registration was necessary was seen as a failure on ICANN's part, as ICANN originally led an outreach effort to educate brands that defensive registration is not necessary. The issue was largely addressed only after the new gTLD program was approved and high-level critics, such as when Secretary Lawrence Strickling of the U.S. Government, called on the organization to rectify the situation.[10]