WIPO and EuroCham SG Collaboration
Efficient dispute avoidance and resolution practices can play an important role in encouraging continuity and achieving success in business. There is an increasing trend of submitting international disputes to mediation, arbitration or other alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”) mechanisms outside court. If well managed, ADR can save time and money and even enhance profitable business relationships. To raise awareness of ADR options available to European entities and stakeholders in Singapore, the World Intellectual Property Organization Arbitration and Mediation Center (“WIPO Center”) and the European Chamber of Commerce in Singapore (“EuroCham SG”) have established a collaboration, whereby EuroCham SG members can enjoy various benefits, including special rates, when using WIPO ADR procedures, as well as training programs on intellectual property (“IP”) and technology dispute resolution.
With offices at Maxwell Chambers in Singapore and in Geneva (Switzerland), the WIPO Center is a neutral, international and non-profit dispute resolution provider that offers ADR options such as mediation, arbitration and expert determination, to enable private parties to settle their domestic or cross-border commercial disputes efficiently. With a strong focus on controlling the time and cost of the proceedings, WIPO ADR procedures are organized to stimulate positive opportunities for party settlement. Almost 70% of the mediation procedures administered by the WIPO Center have been settled. Even in arbitration, 40% of WIPO cases settle before any formal decision is issued.
WIPO Mediation, Arbitration, Expedited Arbitration and Expert Determination Rules are generally suitable for all commercial disputes and are recognized as being particularly advantageous for resolving IP and technology-related disputes due to specific features such as provisions relating to confidentiality and technical evidence. Parties can benefit from a well-informed decision rendered by a WIPO neutral, drawing upon a database of over 1,500 independent arbitrators and mediators with specialized knowledge in the entire legal and technical spectrum of intellectual property.
Referral to WIPO dispute resolution procedures is consensual. To facilitate such party agreement, the WIPO Center provides recommended contract clauses (for the submission of future disputes under a particular contract) and submission agreements (for existing disputes). WIPO experience shows that the most frequently used WIPO ADR model clause is “Mediation Followed, in the Absence of a Settlement, by (Expedited) Arbitration”. Parties can include the following in their contracts:
|“Any dispute, controversy or claim arising under, out of or relating to this contract and any subsequent amendments of this contract, including, without limitation, its formation, validity, binding effect, interpretation, performance, breach or termination, as well as non-contractual claims, shall be submitted to mediation in accordance with the WIPO Mediation Rules. The place of mediation shall be [specify place]. The language to be used in the mediation shall be [specify language].If, and to the extent that, any such dispute, controversy or claim has not been settled pursuant to the mediation within  days of the commencement of the mediation, it shall, upon the filing of a Request for Arbitration by either party, be referred to and finally determined by arbitration in accordance with the WIPO [Expedited] Arbitration Rules. Alternatively, if, before the expiration of the said period of  days, either party fails to participate or to continue to participate in the mediation, the dispute, controversy or claim shall, upon the filing of a Request for Arbitration by the other party, be referred to and finally determined by arbitration in accordance with the WIPO [Expedited] Arbitration Rules. [The arbitral tribunal shall consist of [a sole arbitrator][three arbitrators].]* The place of arbitration shall be [specify place]. The language to be used in the arbitral proceedings shall be [specify language]. The dispute, controversy or claim referred to arbitration shall be decided in accordance with the law of [specify jurisdiction].” (*The WIPO Expedited Arbitration Rules provide that the arbitral tribunal shall consist of a sole arbitrator.)
Fee Reduction for EuroCham SG Members
The costs of ADR procedures depend on different factors, including the amount in dispute and the complexity of the case. In all cases, in consultation with parties and neutrals, the WIPO Center ensures that fees charged in WIPO ADR procedures are appropriate to the circumstances of the dispute. For reduced WIPO Mediation, (Expedited) Arbitration and Expert Determination rates for EuroCham SG members, please click here.