Ravi is a highly experienced commercial and legal professional, having worked in a number of different industries and sectors. He qualified as a solicitor in 1999 after earning a First-Class honours degree in Mathematics and Management Studies from King’s College London and completing legal studies at The College of Law. Ravi has led and delivered a number of high profile commercial deals and advises individuals and companies, from start-ups to multi-nationals, on a range of legal, IP, regulatory and compliance matters. He has also led the IP function of one of the largest FTSE 100s and established international IP strategies for companies.
When and why did you become involved with Nominet’s DRS?
I was appointed as a DRS Expert at the beginning of 2012 following a competitive recruitment process. During my career I have gained significant experience in intellectual property matters, with a particular specialism in domain names, and was keen to use my experience to ‘give something back’. When I saw that Nominet were looking for new Experts to join their Panel, I jumped at the opportunity and was delighted to have been successful.
What has been the most interesting aspect of this role?
The most interesting aspect is formulating a decision based on the DRS Policy and the parties’ submissions. Fully contested DRS cases often involve very interesting issues and the outcome of any decision can significantly affect the other party. There is a large amount of guidance on the Nominet website for parties to a DRS case and all decisions are published and searchable online. It therefore always surprises me when parties haven’t fully considered the issues involved and as a result have either failed to set out their case in the best possible light, or have spent a large amount of effort arguing points which are outside the scope of the Policy.
What do you feel this role has taught you, or may have helped in your other work?
The DRS process is a quick one, which is great for the parties involved in a case as they know they will get a decision in a defined and short period of time. The ability to operate at speed, with clear communication but without compromising on quality, and delivering within defined timelines, is highly important in business, whichever field you are operating in. It is something that has been reinforced in me since becoming an Expert under the DRS.
How did you get involved in brand legal issues?
Whilst I was at law school I was particularly fortunate to secure a training contract with a leading intellectual property firm. This gave me the opportunity to work on a vast range of brand related legal matters for a variety of clients with a bunch of super talented people and highly respected experts in this field. One of the first matters I worked on as a newly qualified solicitor was a domain name dispute involving one of the largest national sports associations. This was at a time when domain names were relatively new and the law in this area was in early stages of its development. I’ve never looked back.
What do you find interesting about this area?
I have always had an interest in brands and the power they have in influencing society in the purchase decision-making process. A brand can be worth a significant amount of money, much of it earnt through developing a great product or service, marketing and selling it effectively, having the proper legal protections for it and ensuring that an exceptional customer service is delivered under it. People are talking about brands and engaging with them all the time, and the internet has exponentially increased the ability for consumers to access brands and their products/services. I feel extremely fortunate that I’ve been able to marry one of my passions with my day to day work.
What do you enjoy about domain name disputes?
A number of things! No two cases are the same and there are always different issues to consider when making decisions. I particularly enjoy deciding cases where both parties truly believe that they should own the domain name in question. These often generate challenging issues, requiring all of my experience to come to a well-reasoned decision and to do justice to the passion with which the parties have made their case. I also enjoy the annual conference, during which the DRS Experts discuss topical issues and interesting cases that have arisen during the previous year. This helps us to continually apply best practice to issues that typically arise in DRS cases.
What interests do you have outside your work?
I have taken up running and completed my very first half-marathon (in Nominet’s home town of Oxford) in October – it was my second competitive race ever! Quite often, if I’m faced with a particular issue and I’ve been grappling with it for some time, I’ll head out on a run. I find that within a few minutes I’ve arrived at a solution to the problem. I have a wonderful family, so I also enjoy spending as much time as I can with them and getting involved in their various activities.
What technological advancements are you most looking forward to in the future, and why?
Data consumption is constantly increasing – as is the demand from individuals and business – so the introduction of 5G on a commercial basis is particularly interesting. It will hopefully meet these needs (for a few years at least!) and I’m excited about its development and the new opportunities it will bring. I’m also looking forward to putting into action the use cases that are currently being worked on for AI, particularly within the professional services, healthcare and sports industries.
I also can’t wait for someone to develop a train network in the UK that always runs to time, particularly as I’m currently sat on a very delayed train!
View the full list of our DRS experts and read more about the service here.