Arbitration and Mediation Center WIPO

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[edit] General Information

  • Official name: World Intellectual Property Organization - Arbitration and Mediation Center
  • Country: Switzerland
  • City: Geneva
  • Type of organization: Independent Organization
  • Date of creation: 1994
  • Interests: Arbitration - Mediation
  • Fields of expertise: International Commercial Disputes - Intellectual property

[edit] Description

Based in Geneva, Switzerland, the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center was established in 1994 to offer Alternative Dispute Resolution options for the resolution of international commercial disputes between private parties. Developed by leading experts in cross-border dispute settlement, the arbitration, mediation and expert determination procedures offered by the Center are widely recognized as particularly appropriate for technology, entertainment and other disputes involving intellectual property.

An increasing number of cases are being filed with the Center under the WIPO Arbitration, Expedited Arbitration, Mediation and Expert Determination Rules. The subject matter of these proceedings includes both contractual disputes (e.g. patent and software licenses, trademark coexistence agreements, distribution agreements for pharmaceutical products and research and development agreements) and non-contractual disputes (e.g. patent infringement).

WIPO disputes have involved parties based in different jurisdictions including Austria, China, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Panama, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The Center makes available a general overview of its caseload as well as descriptive examples of particular cases.

The Center believes that the quality and commitment of the neutrals are crucial to the satisfactory resolution of each case. The Center assists parties in the selection of mediators, arbitrators and experts from the Center's database of over 1,500 neutrals with experience in dispute resolution and specialized knowledge in intellectual property disputes. Where necessary in individual cases, the Center will use its worldwide contacts to identify additional candidates with the required background. After appointment also, the Center monitors its cases in terms of their time and cost effectiveness.

The Center conducts a number of workshops focused on its procedures in Geneva during the course of the year which are frequented especially by intellectual property professionals including prospective WIPO neutrals. There is also available an online course on arbitration and mediation under the WIPO Rules.

One of the case administration facilities which the Center makes available at the parties' option is the WIPO Electronic Case Facility (WIPO ECAF). WIPO ECAF allows for secure filing, storing and retrieval of case-related submissions in a web-based electronic docket, by parties, neutral(s) and the Center from anywhere in the world. It also facilitates case management by providing, in addition to the online docket, a case overview, time tracking and finance information.

While WIPO ECAF is available only to parties to a WIPO procedure, the Center, under certain circumstances, makes available this facility in non-WIPO procedures. For example, the Center provides a customized version of WIPO ECAF for use in the Jury procedure of the 32nd America’s Cup, the international yachting competition that commenced in 2004, culminating in the final regattas in Valencia, Spain in summer 2007.

The Center has also focused significant resources on establishing an operational and legal framework for the administration of disputes relating to the Internet and electronic commerce. For example, today the Center is recognized as the leading dispute resolution service provider for disputes arising out of the abusive registration and use of Internet domain names. In addition, the Center is frequently consulted on other specialized dispute resolution services.

An independent and impartial body, the Center forms part of the World Intellectual Property Organization.

[edit] Why Arbitration in Intellectual Property?

Intellectual property rights are as strong as the means to enforce them. In that context, arbitration, as a private and confidential procedure, is increasingly being used to resolve disputes involving intellectual property rights, especially when involving parties from different jurisdictions. Intellectual property disputes have a number of particular characteristics that may be better addressed by arbitration than by court litigation. Some of the main characteristics of intellectual property disputes and the results offered by domestic litigation and arbitration

[edit] Why Refer Intellectual Property Disputes to Mediation?

Alternative Dispute Resolution proceedings offer several advantages for the resolution of intellectual property disputes. Mediation, specifically, is an attractive option for parties that place a premium on the preservation or enhancement of their relationship, seek to maintain control over the dispute settlement process, value confidentiality, or want to reach a speedy settlement without damage to their reputations.

Parties to contracts or relationships involving the exploitation of intellectual property often share these goals when a dispute arises. Common examples of such contracts include patent, know how and trademark licenses, franchises, computer contracts, multimedia contracts, distribution contracts, joint ventures, research and development contracts, technology-sensitive employment contracts, mergers and acquisitions where intellectual property assets assume importance, sports marketing agreements, and publishing, music and film contracts.

[edit] Contact

34, chemin des Colombettes P.O. Box 18 1211 Geneva 20 - Switzerland

Tel: (41-22) 338 8247 or 0800 888 549

Fax: (41-22) 740 3700 or 0800 888 550

Email: arbiter.mail@wipo.int

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