WIPO Fast-Track Intellectual Property Dispute Resolution Procedure for Palexpo Trade Fairs

Palexpo and the World Intellectual Property Organization Arbitration and Mediation Center (WIPO Center) have developed a special Fast-Track Intellectual Property Dispute Resolution Procedure for Palexpo Trade Fairs (Fast-Track Procedure).

What is the Fast-Track Procedure?

The Fast-Track Procedure is a dispute resolution procedure specially designed to protect Exhibitor's and Non-exhibitor's Intellectual Property (IP) rights against infringements at trade fairs organized at Palexpo's premises.

Why a Fast-Track Procedure?

The Fast-Track Procedure grants Exhibitors and Non-exhibitors a cost- and time-efficient legal mechanism to protect their IP rights and related commercial interests at a trade fair within 24 hours. An Expert Panel with relevant expertise in the substance of the dispute renders a binding decision enforceable with immediate effect at the trade fair.

Who is entitled to initiate the Fast-Track Procedure?

A Request to commence the Fast-Track Procedure can be filed by Exhibitors and Non-exhibitors.

What are the grounds for filing a Request?

The Claimant may file a Request alleging the infringement of copyright, trademarks, design rights or breach of law on unfair competition under Swiss law. Disputes relating to the alleged infringement of patents may not be submitted to the Fast-Track Procedure.

What are the principal steps in the Fast-Track Procedure?

The principal steps in the Fast-Track Procedure are set out below. Parties shall use the model forms annexed to the Fast-Track Procedure Rules which enable a simplified procedure.

Request for Fast-Track Procedure (Articles 4, 5) EN/FR
Claimants - Exhibitors: Model Request EN/FR
Claimants - Non-exhibitors: Model Submission Agreement EN/FR
Appointment of the Expert Panel (Articles 10-14) EN/FR
Inspection of Respondents’ Stand (Article 7, 8) EN/FR
Answer to the Request (Article 6) EN/FR
Model Answer to the Request EN/FR
Cease and Desist Declaration (optional)(Article 25) EN/FR
Model Cease and Desist Declaration EN/FR
Decision (Articles 19-23) EN/FR
Arbitration (Article 26) EN/FR
Model Arbitration Agreement (optional) EN/FR

How is a Request filed?

Requests shall be filed with the WIPO Center and with the trade fair organizer. Requests can be filed at the earliest the day before the beginning of the trade fair and at the latest by the end of opening hours of the next to last day of the trade fair. The Request shall be filed by 12 noon.

What shall the Request contain?

The Request shall contain a statement of the facts and legal arguments supporting the claim, such as extracts from national or international registers proving the rights under Swiss law, and including a statement of the relief sought. It shall also contain documentary evidence upon which the Claimant relies, such as photographs taken from the allegedly infringing items shown at the trade fair by Respondent.

How is the Expert Panel appointed?

The Expert Panel is composed of a lawyer qualified under Swiss law with experience in IP matters.

The WIPO Center maintains a list of candidates together with a statement of each candidate’s qualifications and experience. The list is subject to adaptation before each trade fair. Upon filing of a Request a candidate will be requested to act as Expert Panel in accordance with a rotational system. The Expert Panel shall be impartial and independent and confirm this before appointment in each case.

How does the Expert Panel Proceed?

Upon appointment and receipt of the Request, the Expert Panel will inspect the Respondent’s stand. It will present the Request to the Respondent and invite the Respondent’s Answer to the Request, making available the Model Answer to the Request, as well as explaining and handing out the Model Cease and Desist Declaration. The Expert Panel has unrestricted access to all items in the stand and may collect evidence by, inter alia, taking photographs of exhibited items and by collecting such items. Following the inspection the Expert Panel makes a written decision which it communicates to the parties, the organizer and the WIPO Center.

In all cases, the Expert Panel shall ensure that the parties are treated with equality and that each party is given an adequate opportunity to present its case. It may also suggest that the parties explore settlement.

How is the Answer to the Request filed?

The Respondent shall provide the Expert Panel with its Answer to the Request within three business hours of the trade fair following receipt of the information about the Request.

What shall the Answer to the Request contain?

The Answer to the Request shall contain supporting statements of facts and legal arguments, such as extracts from national or international registers proving the rights and documentary evidence.

What decisions may the Expert Panel make?

The Expert Panel may make any decision that it considers urgently necessary to preserve the rights of the parties. In particular, it may order closure of a stand, removal of the disputed items from a stand, stop of sales of the disputed items and performance of other legal obligations by a party during the trade fair. All decisions will be made in accordance with Swiss law.

Who is the Chairperson?

The Chairperson is a lawyer qualified under Swiss law with experience in IP matters available to be consulted by the Expert Panel or by the WIPO Center. The WIPO Center appoints the Chairperson for a one-year period.

What arbitration/appeal options exist?

Each party may submit the Expert Panel’s decision to WIPO Expedited Arbitration within thirty days after the Expert Panel’s decision has been communicated to the parties. The parties may also appeal the decision before the state courts.

How much does the Fast-Track Procedure cost?

The Claimant shall pay to Palexpo the amount of CHF 3,500 to cover the cost of the procedure, including the Expert Panel’s fees and the administrative costs of Palexpo, the WIPO Center and the Chairperson. The unsuccessful party will bear the costs of the procedure, subject to the Expert Panel’s discretion to apportion these costs in light of the circumstances and outcome of the case.

If the Respondent signs a cease and desist declaration within one hour after being notified of the Claimants’ Request it shall pay the amount of CHF 1,000 to the Claimant. The Claimant will be reimbursed by Palexpo CHF 2,500 of the fee initially paid. The remaining CHF 1,000 will be used towards the costs of the Expert Panel and the administrative fees mentioned above.

What is the legal basis of the Fast-Track Procedure?

The legal basis of the Fast-Track Procedure are the Conditions for Participation provided by Palexpo as applicable for the respective trade fair, and the Rules for the Fast-Track Procedure.

Are there additional ADR services?

The WIPO Center also provides other procedures such as mediation, arbitration, expedited arbitration and expert determination which can be used by private parties to resolve any IP or commercial dispute, including related to their activities at trade fairs.

Past trade fairs

The Fast-Track Procedure has been used at the following trade fairs.

Upcoming trade fairs

The Fast-Track Procedure will be used at the following trade fairs.

  • International Motor Show, March 8-18, 2018

Contact:

Palexpo World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
Arbitration and Mediation Center
Geneva
Mrs. Sandra Schwyter
PO Box 112
1218 Grand-Saconnex
Switzerland

T +4122 761 11 11
F +4122 761 10 01
E disputes@palexpo.ch
34, chemin des Colombettes
1211 Geneva 20
Switzerland

T +4122 338 8247
F +4122 740 3700
E arbiter.mail@wipo.int

 

Further information

Information about IP rights protection in Switzerland:

Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property: https://ige.ch/en.html

Toolbox

  • Rules EN/FR
  • Model Request EN/FR
  • Model Answer to the Request EN/ FR
  • Model Submission Agreement for Non-exhibitors Filing a Request for Fast-Track Procedure EN/FR
  • Model Cease and Desist Declaration EN/FR
  • Model Statement of Acceptance and Declaration of Impartiality and Independence EN/FR
  • Schedule of Fees and Costs EN/FR
  • Model Submission Agreement to WIPO Expedited Arbitration EN/FR