If your are an applicant for a new gTLD and someone files a formal objection to your application, not only does the objector have to pay the fees, but the applicant for the new gTLD has to pay the fees as well.
During a webinar held today entitled: New gTLD Objection & Dispute Resolution” it was made clear that not only does the party filing an objection have to pay the fees, but since its a loser pays model, the new gTLD applicant has to pay the fees as well once the objection is filed.
At some point once the objection is withdrawn or a decision is reached, the loser winds up paying the fees and the other party gets a refund.
However for those large applicants, if they get a lot of formal objections, they are going to be tying up a lot of cash in fees not to mention of course the cost of defense.
As far as when a winning party can expect their fees to be refunded, the webinar was less than clear but I got the feeling the winning parties shouldn’t be waiting by the mailbox for a quick refund.