Prior to ICANN’s approval of a New gTLD, trademark owners and Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs) may file a formal objection to a New gTLD application on the basis of a "Legal Rights Objection." Under this objection procedure, an independent panel (comprised of one or three experts) will determine whether the applicant’s potential use of the applied-for gTLD would be likely to infringe the objector’s existing trademark, or IGO name or acronym. This procedure is one of several types of pre-delegation objections (the others being non-trademark-based), and is described in more detail on the WIPO Center’s dedicated portal: Legal Rights Objections under ICANN’s New gTLD Program – Filing a Legal Rights Objection at WIPO: What You Need To Know.
The WIPO Center's list of experts available for appointment in a Legal Rights Objection proceeding takes into account requirements of professional expertise, and may further be subject to development by the WIPO Center in light of case needs. This list, comprised of experts whose collective panel experience spans some 11,000 WIPO UDRP cases, brings together significant experience in trademark, e-commerce, and Internet law from over 30 countries, with corresponding linguistic and regional diversity.
As part of the process of appointment to an actual case, experts are required to affirm their neutrality by signing the WIPO Center’s LRO Statement of Acceptance and Declaration of Impartiality and Independence.