Role of the Center
To facilitate the resolution of intellectual property disputes, the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center:
- Helps parties submit existing disputes to WIPO procedures in cases where they had not previously agreed on a WIPO clause.
- Assists in the selection of mediators, arbitrators and experts from the Center’s database of over 1500 neutrals with expertise in intellectual property disputes.
- Sets the neutrals’ fees, after consultations with the parties and the neutrals, and administers the financial aspects of the proceedings.
- Liaises with parties and neutrals to ensure optimal communication and procedural efficiency.
- If the parties wish, arranges for meeting support services, including hearing rooms and caucus rooms. Where the procedure is held at WIPO in Geneva, the rooms are provided free of charge. A charge is made for any other support services that may be required. This charge is separate from the Center’s administrative fee.
WIPO Electronic Case Facility (WIPO ECAF): To assist in the provision of time and cost efficient proceedings, the Center makes available at the parties' option the WIPO Electronic Case Facility (WIPO ECAF). WIPO ECAF, which is accessible through the Center’s web site, allows for secure filing, storing and retrieval of case-related submissions in an electronic docket, by parties, neutral(s) and the Center, from anywhere in the world. WIPO ECAF also facilitates case management for all actors in a WIPO proceeding 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.
In addition to its role in administering disputes under WIPO procedures, the Center provides the following services:
- Assistance in the drafting of contract clauses providing for the submission of future disputes to WIPO procedures.
- Good Offices services, facilitating discussion by the parties of whether a specific dispute should be submitted to a WIPO procedure.
- Center Services in ad hoc Arbitrations, and in particular, under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules
- Development of tailor-made dispute resolution procedures for specific commercial circumstances or industry characteristics.
- Training programs for mediators and arbitrators as well as conferences on intellectual property dispute resolution.