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Private auction settles controversial plural gTLD fight

Kevin Murphy, December 8, 2014, 17:13:32 (UTC), Domain Registries

A private auction has been used to settle a new gTLD contention set containing two different strings for the first time.

Afilias has won the right to run .pet after Google withdrew its application for .pet and Donuts withdrew its bid for .pets.

The two strings, one the plural of the other, had been placed into indirect contention by ICANN after a String Confusion Objection panel controversially ruled in August 2013 that .pet and .pets were too confusingly similar to be allowed to coexist.

This means that Donuts has been forced to withdraw an uncontested application.

Notably, it was Google that filed, fought and won the SCO complaint, and it didn’t even wind up with the TLD it wanted.

The final settlement of the contention set reflects ICANN’s inconsistent policy on plurals. Several plural/singular combinations — such as .career(s) and .photo(s) — already coexist in the DNS.

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Comments (2)

  1. Rubens Kuhl says:

    It was not just Google. Afilias also filed an objection against Donuts, and Afilias also prevailed. So this contention set was now all direct contention relations, because Afilias and Google applied for the same string (PET) and they both own SCOs against .PETS.

  2. Domenclature says:

    “the contention set reflects ICANN’s inconsistent policy on plurals”?

    Au contraire! While ICANN is virtuously disclaiming confusion in the naming space, it has consistently introduced extensions with same tendencies, even similarities; not just singular and plural; not just in derivatives; not only even with the new gTLD scheme.

    One can easily point to their permitting of ccTLDs such as .CO to be used universally. That allowed the hawkers of that extension to claim that an extension meant for Colombia, now represents, and stands for business, company, and commerce. Hence, making .COM redundant. One could argue, even more convincingly, that confusion was the goal there. Else, .CO and other ccTLDs, would have been regionally restricted.

    I can go on and on, but you get the picture.

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