As part of the WIPO ADR Services for Specific Sectors, the WIPO Center provides dispute resolution advice and case administration services to help parties resolve disputes arising in the area of life sciences, without the need for court litigation.
Life Sciences Disputes
Fifteen per cent of arbitration and mediation cases filed with the WIPO Center relate to life sciences. Disputes in the area of life sciences can concern a wide range of issues faced by pharmaceutical, biosciences, medical devices and chemical industries as well as biodiversity-related issues. Highly specific subject matters may be of contractual or non-contractual nature involving, for example, patents, designs, trademarks, know-how or licensing. Disputes are often international and can relate to IP and general commercial matters.
As time- and cost-efficient alternatives to court litigation, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms such as mediation or arbitration offer parties and their lawyers the opportunity to adopt practical and satisfactory solutions. ADR allows parties to choose a mediator, arbitrator or expert knowledgeable in the specific legal field, life science sector, IP and dispute resolution. It provides a neutral forum for resolving disputes through a procedure which permits to take into account parties’ business, research and other strategic goals.
Selected Areas of Dispute
Potential Stakeholders to Dispute
WIPO ADR Services for Life sciences
- Administration of Art and Life Sciences Disputes
The WIPO Rules are flexible and can also be applied in disputes that are not limited to intellectual property. In its role as administering institution, the WIPO Center maintains strict neutrality and independence.
- WIPO Life Sciences Panel of Neutrals
Effective proceedings to a large extent depend on the quality of the mediator, arbitrator or expert. The WIPO Center maintains an international open-ended Panel, including mediators, arbitrators and experts from around the world combining legal, business and/or scientific expertise in life sciences. They can be appointed by parties in cases under WIPO Rules but parties are also free to select mediators, arbitrators or experts from outside the WIPO Panel.
- Procedural Guidance and Training
The WIPO Center makes available recommended contract clauses and submission agreements that parties can use to submit their disputes to ADR. Upon request, the WIPO Center provides procedural guidance to interested parties and organizations in the life sciences sector. This includes advice on the drafting and adaptation of ADR clauses in life sciences related contracts and submission agreements, as well as helping to bring disputing parties to ADR.
The WIPO Center also organizes training and workshops on mediation, arbitration and related topics.
- Establishment of Adapted ADR Frameworks
Where appropriate in light of the needs of the relevant stakeholders, the WIPO Center provides guidance in the establishment of adapted ADR frameworks, including Rules, fees and clauses, and provides administrative services thereunder.
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
The WIPO Center has provided technical assistance in the development of "Procedures for the Operation of the Third Party Beneficiary" and "Rules for Mediation of a Dispute in Relation to a Standard Material Transfer Agreement" in the context of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) of November 3, 2001. In March 2011, the WIPO Center was appointed by the ITPGRFA to act as Administrator under these Mediation Rules.
Collaboration with Concerned Stakeholders and Entities
To optimize dispute resolution in the life sciences sector, the WIPO Center collaborates with relevant stakeholders and organizations. This may include organization of joint events and training, and establishment of adapted ADR frameworks, and involves for example the following:
- Licensing Executives Society International (LESI)
- BIO Germany
- Association of the Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies in Switzerland (Interpharma)
- BioValley Basel
- European Industrial Research Management Association (EIRMA)
- International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI)
- International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA)
The WIPO Center is available to collaborate with other interested stakeholders.
Collaboration with Other WIPO Divisions
- Conference on IP Dispute Resolution in Life Sciences
Basel, Switzerland, May 22, 2015
- Results of the International Survey on Dispute Resolution in Technology Transactions,WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center, March 2013
- Efficient Resolution of Disputes in Research & Development Collaborations and Related Commercial Agreements, by Judith Schallnau, IPR Helpdesk Bulletin No. 4, January - March 2012
- Bibliography on Intellectual Property Arbitration and Mediation
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|Arbitration and Mediation Center |
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