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Time- and Cost-Efficient Resolution of R&D and Technology Transfer Disputes for IFIA Members

The WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center offers time- and cost-efficient Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) procedures to court litigation for members of the International Federation of Inventors Associations (IFIA).

IFIA and the WIPO Center collaborate to raise awareness among IFIA’s members of ADR options to resolve research and development (R&D) and technology transfer disputes.

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R&D and Technology Transfer

International and domestic innovation, research and development (R&D) and transfer of technologies involve a rich variety of contracts and transactions, including research contracts, collaborative projects, licensing, joint ventures, alliances, spin-offs and buyer-supplier relationships.

Such collaborations can involve complex legal, commercial or management issues, often including related intellectual property (IP) rights. Also, research partners from different institutional backgrounds may have diverging expectations and understandings of creating, using and exploiting IP rights.

Areas of Dispute

A careful choice of dispute resolution framework should feature in negotiations of sometimes multiple contracts at different stages of R&D activities, commercialization and technology transfer processes. Where several contracts relating to R&D collaborations are concluded at different stages of a project, consistent dispute resolution provisions should be considered to enable an efficient dispute resolution process and, if necessary, the potential consolidation of disputes.


WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

With offices in Geneva, Switzerland, and in Singapore, the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center offers ADR options to enable parties to efficiently settle their domestic or cross-border commercial disputes. The ADR options offered by the WIPO Center are mediation, arbitration, expedited arbitration, and expert determination. The WIPO Center is international and specialized in IP and technology disputes. It has a strong focus on controlling the time and cost of its 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 settled. Even in arbitration, more than 30% of WIPO cases settle before any formal decision is issued.


WIPO ADR Services

  • Procedural advice in choosing ADR options
  • Model mediation and arbitration clauses to insert in contracts
  • Case administration under the WIPO Rules in the event of a dispute
  • Communication and meeting support in cases
  • Training sessions on ADR of IP and technology related disputes

WIPO Rules and Neutrals

WIPO ADR Rules are suitable for all commercial disputes. They additionally feature provisions to address specific needs in IP and technology disputes, such as on confidentiality and technical evidence.

Parties can draw upon an extensive database of local and international independent WIPO arbitrators, mediators and experts, skilled in all areas of IP and ADR.

How to Submit a Dispute to WIPO ADR?

To facilitate agreement between contract parties to refer future disputes to WIPO ADR, the WIPO Center provides model contract clauses.

Joint agreement to submit a dispute to WIPO Mediation or Arbitration:

  • If parties are already facing a dispute, they can refer such dispute to WIPO ADR by completing and signing a submission agreement.

Unilateral submission of a dispute to WIPO Mediation:

  • In the absence of a dispute resolution agreement, a party that wishes to propose submitting a dispute to WIPO Mediation may submit a unilateral request to the WIPO Center by email to arbiter.mail@wipo.int, and to the other party.
  • The parties may agree on the appointment of the mediator, arbitrator or expert, or they may request assistance from the WIPO Center to identify suitable candidates that satisfy the parties’ requirements.

International Cooperation

To optimize dispute resolution in the R&D and technology transfer sector, the WIPO Center collaborates with relevant stakeholders and organizations. This may include organization of joint events and training, for example, covering discussions on best practices, and the development of model agreements.

Parties involved in R&D collaborations and technology transfer transactions often use model agreements as a basis for drafting and negotiating their contracts. Examples of model agreements which recommend WIPO mediation and expedited arbitration options include the Development of a Simplified Consortium Agreement (DESCA 2020) model consortium agreement for the European Union research funding program Horizon 2020, the Intellectual Property Agreement Guide (IPAG) model agreements developed by Austrian universities and corporations, the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) sample agreements for R&D cooperation, and the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (OEPM) model agreements.

Publication: Resolving IP and Technology Disputes Through WIPO ADR

Resolving IP and Technology Disputes Through WIPO ADR

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WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (Geneva)
34, chemin des Colombettes
1211 Geneva 20

T +4122 338 8247
F +4122 740 370

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (Singapore)
Maxwell Chambers Suites
28 Maxwell Road #02-14
Singapore 069120

T +65 6225 2129
F +65 6225 3568

For additional information arbiter.mail@wipo.int