New gTLD’s Legal Rights Objection (LRO), Experts appointed

The WIPO just released [1] a list of about one hundred experts who will fulfill the task to be experts for Legal Rights Objection. LRO is enshrined within the Trademark Rights Protection Phase for new gTLD’s for seven months as from the “reveal day” (namely the 13th of June 2012). The WIPO is the exclusive provider of the LRO. LRO derives its strength from ICANN Applicant Guidebook. Once the applicant applies for new gTLD’s, he is bound to stick to the rules set up by the ICANN. LRO is a way for trademark owners to file a complaint against a new gTLD’s application which appears to constitute in particular an infringement to its trademark. The out of court nature of this procedure is a sharp characteristic that the LRO share with the other formal opposition mechanisms put into place and which start as from the reveal day. This comprehensive mechanism can be used by two entities namely trademark owners and Intergovernmental Organizations (IGO’s). If a trademark, an acronym or an IGO’s right is infringed, LRO is the objection option which is the most suitable. In terms of timing, LRO will be used before ICANN’s approval of new gTLD’s.

The fees of such an opposition are quite innovative. In order to file an opposition against one gTLD’s the tax will be of 10 000 $ excluding attorney fees. The difference with a UDRP proceedings lies in the fact that the successful party obtain the refund of 8000 $, 2000$ remaining for the Center.

We welcome the announcement of Nathalie Dreyfus as an Expert for the LRO and hope that the mechanism set up by the ICANN under the WIPO umbrella will be as protective as possible of trademarks rights. Given the background of the WIPO as an unbiased and skilled institution, we cannot but hope that LRO will be a frank success.

[1] Available at