- Mediation: An informal consensual process in which a neutral intermediary, the mediator, assists the parties in reaching a settlement of their dispute, based on the parties’ respective interests. The mediator cannot impose a decision. The settlement agreement has force of contract. In the absence of a mediation agreement, a party that wishes to propose submitting a dispute to WIPO Mediation may submit a unilateral request to the WIPO Center and the other party. Mediation leaves open available court or agreed arbitration options. (Depending on the parties' choice, mediation may be followed, in the absence of a settlement, by arbitration, expedited arbitration or expert determination.)
- Arbitration:A consensual procedure in which the parties submit their dispute to one or more chosen arbitrators, for a binding and final decision (award) based on the parties’ respective rights and obligations and enforceable under arbitral law. As a private alternative, arbitration normally forecloses court options. (Depending on the parties' choice, arbitration may be preceded by mediation or expert determination.)
- Expedited Arbitration: An arbitration procedure that is carried out in a short time and at a reduced cost. The arbitral tribunal shall normally consist of a sole arbitrator. (Depending on the parties' choice, expedited arbitration may be preceded by mediation or expert determination.)
- Expert Determination: A consensual procedure in which the parties submit a specific matter (e.g., a technical question) to one or more experts who make a determination on the matter. The parties can agree for such outcome to be binding. (Depending on the parties' choice, expert determination may be preceded by mediation or followed by (expedited) arbitration.)
The WIPO Rules are appropriate for all commercial disputes. However, they contain provisions on confidentiality and technical and experimental evidence that are of special interest to parties to intellectual property disputes.
The Center also administers procedures for the resolution of disputes related to the abusive registration and use of Internet domain names.