ICANN seems to be considering an appeals process for new gTLD applicants that feel they’ve been wronged by dubious String Confusion Objection decisions.
But the process might be limited to applicants for .car, .cars and .cam.
In a resolution this Wednesday, ICANN’s New gTLD Program Committee said:
the NGPC is considering potential paths forward to address the perceived inconsistent Expert Determinations from the New gTLD Program String Confusion Objections process, including implementing a review mechanism. The review will be limited to the String Confusion Objection Expert Determinations for .CAR/.CARS and .CAM/.COM.
Why only those strings? I’m guessing it’s because the conflicting decisions would make for extremely confusing contention sets.
There were three SCOs against .cars applications, filed by Google, which has applied for .car. Google won one case but lost the other two.
That would mean that Google’s .car application would be in contention with one of the applicants but not the other two, hardly a fair outcome.
Similarly, Verisign objected to five .cam applications due to their similarity to .com. It won one and lost the other four.
The NGPC resolution calls for the publication, for comment, of a reviews process designed to untangle this mess. It does not appear to have been published yet.
But it seems that whatever ICANN has come up with will not apply to other applicants who feel they’ve been wronged by odd SCO, or other objection, decisions.