Here is bit more information that might help answer your questions:
Not all Naming contests include Audience Testing or Trademark validation. It is typically done in Platinum and Managed contests, but it can be added in other contest packages as well.
The Trademark validation is done by a Licensed Trademark Attorney who evaluates the Trademark risk based on the class of the business.
If a winner is not selected in a contest, it doesn't necessarily mean that the names failed the Trademark validation or Audience Testing. There can be many other reasons - for example, the company decided to not move forward with the venture due to other unrelated issues, they decided to go with their own name that they had previously thought of, etc.
This change will not necessarily mean higher payouts for everyone. However it will result in larger payouts for those whose names do get included in the validation steps (e.g. Trademark or Audience Testing). One way to think about this is that if a CH chose 3 to 6 names for additional validation, then these names were likely in the final consideration before the contest was abandoned and therefore should share the award equally.
However, as mentioned previously, we are indifferent to one method vs the other. We will decide the final policy based upon the feedback shared by creatives in this thread. So if you do feel strongly one way or another, it is important that you share your feedback so that we can consider it.