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Rita Rodin Johnston

Rita Rodin Johnston is a partner is Skadden's Intellectual Property and Technology and Internet and E-Commerce practices. She also has been selected for inclusion in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business in 2005, 2006 and 2007, and Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business in 2006 and 2007.

She represents clients in structuring and negotiating domestic and international transactions with a focus on technology and trademarks. 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. She has handled matters for companies ranging from startups to global institutions.

Projects on which Ms. Rodin Johnston has worked include the representation of Skype Technologies SA, Companie Financière Richemont SA, International Paper Company, IBM, Merck KGaA, Capgemini North America, Madison Avenue Diamonds, CIT Group Inc., Deloitte & Touche USA LLP, and the Women's Funding Network.

Ms. Rodin Johnston has worked extensively on matters relating to Internet policy and in particular in connection with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) since its formation in 1998. These matters include representing clients as well as working on policy initiatives. For example, she represented two of the first seven new top-level domain registry operators: Afilias, Ltd., operator of the .info registry, and Global name Registry, operator of the .name registry. With respect to Afilias, she also assisted in the preparation of its successful bid to operate the .info registry.

On the policy side, Ms. Rodin Johnston assisted in the drafting of ICANN's Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), which is used today by thousands of companies to challenge domain name registrations. She also served as a member of the ICANN committee that drafted documentation to implement the UDRP. In 2002, Ms. Rodin Johnston was appointed by ICANN to chair an international task force that established the Policy Development Process (PDP) that is now used by ICANN to develop and implement future ICANN policies.

Ms. Rodin Johnston is a frequent lecturer and author 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.

Ms. Rodin Johnston was appointed to the ICANN Board by the Generic Names Supporting Organisation in May 2006. Her current term will end six months after the conclusion of ICANN's annual meeting in 2010.

Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."