.Games domain names will likely be confused with .game domains, panelist rules.
Donuts has lost another string confusion objection for a plural domain name, this time .games.
Google, one of five applicants for the .game top level domain, argued that having both .games and .game as top level domain names would confuse internet users. It convinced the panelist of this, which means that Donuts’ uncontested application for .games is now contested. It will have to beat the likes of Google and Amazon if it wants to operate the domain name.
The case appeared to be a close call for panelist Earl Cherniak. Worryingly for new TLD applicants, the panelist took into consideration GAC advice regarding singular and plural strings and the ICANN Board’s response to it. The advice in the Beijing Communiqué, which of course is non-binding on ICANN, was made after Google filed its objection. ICANN’s response to the advice was delivered after Donuts filed its response.
Donuts has lost similar objections brought against its applications for .sports, .pets, and .tours.