New gTLD applicants have been waiting for ICANN to release data on what TLDs it feels are so similar as to induce a risk of Internet user confusion if allowed to proceed as stated.
These "contention sets" have now been published at last.
No surprise for those applicants seeking the same strings, such as the 13 applicants all vying for .APP that are now part of contention set number 12. These applicants obviously knew they would be in contention and the final results see 230 applicants involved in "exact match contention sets".
The real surprise is that in the end, there are only two "Non-Exact Match" contention sets, i.e. 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.
Of those four, only two can survive.
Overall, ICANN found 754 applications in contention.
Written by Stéphane Van Gelder (Chairman and Managing Director of Stéphane Van Gelder Consulting Ltd.)