Once again, who the string confusion panelist is determines the outcome of an objection.
A string confusion objection panelist has ruled that having both .shop and .shopping as top level domain names will confuse the average internet user, and thus both should not both be delegated as TLDs.
It’s the latest string confusion objection that might cause some head scratching amongst observers in light of other decisions. For example, how are .hotel and .hotels OK but .shop and .shopping not OK?
You can argue that the panelist was right and the panelist who have found plurals OK were wrong. You can also put forth the weak argument (in light of the results) that the reason for apparently contradictory decisions in string confusion objections is because of the pleadings made by the objector and the applicant.
But let’s face it: who wins has more to do with who the panelist is. And that’s the sign of poor instructions or a broken system.
The panelist in this case was Robert Nau. If you told me ahead of time Nau was the panelist, I’d bet you a grand that the objector would prevail.
Why? Because this is the same guy who found .通販 and .shop too similar.
Had panelist Bruce W. Belding heard the case, Donuts would have won. Had panelist Paul Mason heard the case, Donuts would have won.
Instead, Donuts pulled Nau. As a result, it lost.