ICANN publishes list of disputed domain names

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ICANN has published a list of domain names that their owners, or applicants to new domain names, are disputing with others because of potential confusion among web users on grounds of similarity.

The list, containing hundreds of domain name sets, has been put together by ICANN's "string similarity review" for applications submitted as part of the new gTLD program.

The role of ICANN's String Similarity Panel is to assess whether a proposed gTLD string creates a probability of user confusion due to similarity with any reserved name, any existing TLD, any requested IDN ccTLD, or any new gTLD string applied for in the current application round.

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A contention set is a group of two or more applications containing identical or visually similar applied-for gTLD strings.

"Many applicants obviously knew they would be in contention and the results see 230 applicants involved in 'exact match contention sets'," said Stephane Van Gelder, registry relations and strategy director at domain name registrar NetNames.

Gelder said it was a "surprise" there are only two "non-exact match" contention sets, where the strings being applied for are not identical, but close enough that they would lead to user confusion.

The only four strings in these sets are Despegar Online's ".hoteis" versus Booking.com's ".hotels" and China United Network's ".unicom" and Unicorn a.s. ".unicorn."

Amazon EU is contending domain names against a number of other organizations, including Google, which made its applications under the name "Charleston Road Registry Inc."

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