Home / Blogs

ICANN Must Now Decide String Similarity Question

Statton Hammock

Yesterday, a decision on a string confusion objection was reached by a dispute resolution provider that resulted in a scenario that ICANN and the Applicant Guidebook had not addressed — conflicting opinions have been rendered by expert panelists ruling on the exact same pair of strings. One of our applications now hangs in the balance.

The expert panelist for the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) assigned to decide the string confusion objection filed by VeriSign against United TLD's .CAM application, issued a decision sustaining VeriSign's objection that .CAM and .COM are confusingly similar. This decision effectively prevents United TLD's application from moving forward in the application process.

Regardless of whether one believes the expert's reasoning was sound or erroneous, the decision should move ICANN and the community into action because last week the ICDR issued two decisions which denied VeriSign's objection against AC Webconnecting BV's application and dotAgency Limited's application for the very same .CAM string.

String confusion objections are meant to be applicant agnostic and have nothing to do with the registration or use of the new gTLD. What matters in string confusion objections is whether a string is visually, aurally or, according to ICANN's Applicant Guidebook, otherwise "so nearly resembles another that it is likely to deceive or cause confusion." Individuals may disagree on whether .CAM and .COM are similarly confusing, but there can be no mistake that United TLD's .CAM string, AC Webhosting's .CAM string, and dotAgency Limited's .CAM string are all identical. Either all three applications should move forward or none should move forward.

Kevin Murphy interviewed ICANN's Generic Domains Division President Akram Atallah about this possible scenario in a blog post last week. Atallah explained that: "If we do get a case where we have a situation where a singular and a plural string — or any two strings actually — are found to be similar, the best outcome might be to go back to the GNSO or to the community and get their read on that. That might be what the board might request us to do."

ICANN needs to reconcile these three decisions so the outcome of .CAM is treated consistently across all three applications.

By Statton Hammock, Vice-President, Business & Legal Affairs, Rightside

Related topics: Domain Names, ICANN, Policy & Regulation, Top-Level Domains

 
   

Don't miss a thing – get the Weekly Wrap delivered to your inbox.

Comments

Consistent inconsistencies Peter Young  –  Sep 06, 2013 8:28 AM PDT

Hi Statton

I found your newly formed stance on the .cam/.com decisions very interesting. In particular, I noticed with wry amusement your use of the word “consistent” in the last paragraph of your post.

I recall that United TLD was particularly vociferous in its rejection of the proposal for consolidation. To quote from the letter written by your lawyers to the ICDR:

“Consolidation has the potential to prejudice the Applicants if all Applicants' arguments are evaluated collectively, without regard to each Applicant's unique plan for the .cam gTLD and their arguments articulating why such plans would not cause confusion.”

But then in your Circle ID post you say:

“String confusion objections are meant to be applicant agnostic and have nothing to do with the registration or use of the new gTLD”

Perhaps I am missing something, but I just cannot reconcile these two statements, not only are they clearly inconsistent, they appear to be diametrically opposed . Consistency in a process is generally a laudable goal, consistency in a belief is essential, even though I don’t believe that process consistency is relevant here. Equally laudable is keeping ones stated beliefs consistent even in the face of adversity. As the late Margaret Thatcher said:

"To those waiting with bated breath for that favourite media catchphrase, the U-turn, I have only one thing to say: You turn if you want to. The lady's not for turning”

To my mind, it seems as though United TLD took a gamble, that its application for .cam stood out from the others. It seems your panellist agreed.

All the best

Peter

To post comments, please login or create an account.

Related Blogs

Related News

Explore Topics

Dig Deeper

DNS Security

Sponsored by Afilias

Mobile Internet

Sponsored by Afilias Mobile & Web Services

Cybersecurity

Sponsored by Verisign

IP Addressing

Sponsored by Avenue4 LLC

Promoted Posts

Buying or Selling IPv4 Addresses?

ACCELR/8 is a transformative IPv4 market solution developed by industry veterans Marc Lindsey and Janine Goodman that enables organizations buying or selling blocks as small as /20s to keep pace with the evolving demands of the market by applying processes that have delivered value for many of the largest market participants. more»

Industry Updates – Sponsored Posts

Domain Registrations Reach 331.9 Million, 6.7 Million Growth Year over Year

.brands Spotlight: Banking and Finance Industries

Google Buys Business.Site Domain for 'Google My Business'

Radix Announces Global Web Design Contest, F3.space

Global Domain Name Registrations Reach 330.6 Million, 1.3 Million Growth in First Quarter of 2017

.TECH Gets Its Big Hollywood Break

Why the Record Number of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking UDRP Filings in 2016?

UDRP: Better Late than Never - ICA Applauds WIPO for Removing Misguided 'Retroactive Bad Faith'

The Rise and Fall of the UDRP Theory of 'Retroactive Bad Faith'

.PRESS Supports Press Freedom Day for 3rd Consecutive Year

Leading Internet Associations Strengthen Cooperation

5 Afilias Top Level Domains Now Licensed for Sale in China

Radix Announces Largest New gTLD Sale with Casino.Online

2016 Year in Review: The Trending Keywords in .COM and .NET Domain Registrations

Global Domain Name Registrations Reach 329.3 Million, 2.3 Million Growth in Last Quarter of 2016

i2Coalition to Present Tucows CEO Elliot Noss With Internet Community Leadership Award

A Look at How the New .SPACE TLD Has Performed Over the Past 2 Years

Michele Neylon Appointed Chair Elect of i2Coalition

Neustar to be Acquired by Private Investment Group Led by Golden Gate Capital

Startup League Reports from WebSummit, Lisbon