Life Member

David W. Maher

Chicago, IL
Public Interest Registry (Retired)
Harvard College, A.B.
Harvard Law School, LL.B.

David W. Maher      David W. Maher was Senior Vice President - Law and Policy of Public Interest Registry, a nonprofit corporation responsible for management of the registry of the .ORG top level domain until May, 2019, and is now retired. From 1999 until 2002, he was Vice President - Public Policy of the Internet Society. In 2002, he was elected founding Chairman of the Board of Public Interest Registry, and served in that capacity until August, 2004.  Mr. Maher is a registered patent attorney with extensive experience in intellectual property and communications law.  He is a retired partner in the firm, Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal (now Dentons, LLP) in Chicago. Mr. Maher was General Counsel to the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois, Inc. for over 20 years and was the recipient of the Bureau’s Torch of Integrity Award in 1999.

            Mr. Maher was involved in the controversy and ultimate settlement of one of the first trademark-domain name disputes - the widely publicized use by a reporter of "", which was the subject of a story in Wired magazine in 1994. In 1995, he was asked to serve as co-chair of the first subcommittee of the International Trademark Association (INTA) concerning the Internet and trademarks. In 1996, as a well-regarded authority on Internet domain names, Mr. Maher was asked by the Internet Society, the preeminent authority on the technical protocols of the Internet, to serve on the 11 member International Ad Hoc Committee (IAHC).  The IAHC developed reforms intended to expand the number of domain names available to the public beyond .com, .net, .org and .edu.

            The IAHC also developed proposals for an administrative dispute resolution procedure for trademark-domain name controversies involving so-called "cyber-squatters".  These proposals were later adopted by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and now form the nucleus of the ICANN Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) that provides a global arbitration and mediation system for trademark-domain name disputes.  Mr. Maher is a member of the WIPO Arbitration & Mediation Center Panel of Neutrals. He was also active in the formation of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) that now has global responsibility for administration of the domain name system and technical policies of the Internet.

                  Mr. Maher currently serves as a member of the Advisory Council of the Divinity School at the University of Chicago.  He has lectured on communications law for a number of years at DePaul University and Loyola University Law Schools.  He has also written articles on copyright law, communications law and the Internet for legal journals and has lectured extensively on these topics throughout the United States, Europe, the Pacific Rim and the Middle East..

            Mr. Maher is admitted to the bar in New York, Illinois, Wisconsin and the United States Patent Office and is a member of the American Law Institute. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School, LL.B. 1959 and Harvard College, A.B., Classics (Latin), cum laude, 1955.

 David W. Maher Image
Areas of Expertise
Unfair Competition (Intellectual Property)
Internet Law (Science & Technology)
Trademarks (Intellectual Property)
Copyrights (Intellectual Property)
Computers & Software (Science & Technology)
Trade Secrets (Intellectual Property)
Patents (Intellectual Property)