A framework for collaboration between the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) and WIPO has been established upon the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on May 7, 2014. Under the MOU, IPOPHL and the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center established a joint dispute resolution procedure to facilitate the mediation of intellectual property disputes pending before IPOPHL. As of May 4, 2015, the new mediation option is available in proceedings filed with IPOPHL.
Areas of Mandatory Referral to Mediation
In accordance with IPOPHL’s Office Order 154 Series of 2010, Office Order 15-067 Series 2015 and relevant IPOPHL’s rules and regulations on mediation, the following types of disputes are required to undergo mediation:
- Administrative complaints for violation of intellectual property rights (IPV) and/or unfair competition
- Inter partes cases (IPC)
- Disputes involving technology transfer payments
- Disputes relating to the terms of a license involving the author's rights to public performance or other communication of his work
- Cases appealed to the Office of the Director General (ODG) from decisions of the Bureau of Legal Affairs (BLA) and the Documentation, Information and Technology Transfer Bureau (DITTB)
- All other cases which may be referred to mediation during the settlement period declared by the Director General
IPOPHL BLA-Alternative Dispute Resolution Services (ADRS) provides mediation services to assist parties to resolve disputes pending before IPOPHL. This service includes an option for parties to resolve disputes through mediation under the WIPO Mediation Rules. The WIPO Mediation option offered by IPOPHL may be especially advantageous for international parties or parties seeking to settle related disputes in multiple jurisdictions.
Disputes in this area may be related to, among others, trademark opposition pending before IPOPHL, administrative complaints for violation of intellectual property rights, disputes involving technology transfer payments and disputes relating to the terms of a license involving the author’s rights to public performance or other communication of his work.
Using WIPO Mediation in IPOPHL Proceedings
More information may be obtained in the Guidelines on the Referral of IPOPHL Cases to WIPO Mediation.
Parties to WIPO Mediation
- Parties to IPOPHL Proceedings (e.g., trademark applicants and opponents)
WIPO ADR Services for IPOPHL
- Administration of Disputes Pending before IPOPHL
A WIPO Mediation commences with the submission to IPOPHL and the WIPO Center of an Agreement and Request for WIPO Mediation in IPOPHL Proceedings, completed and signed by the parties.
The WIPO Center will then contact the parties regarding the next steps of the procedure, the fees and the appointment of the mediator. The parties are free to identify themselves a suitable candidate for such appointment. The WIPO Center is available to assist with the provision of a shortlist of qualified mediator candidates.
In its role as administering institution, the WIPO Center maintains strict neutrality and independence.
Effective proceedings to a large extent depend on the quality of the mediator. The WIPO Center maintains an open-ended Panel, including mediators from the Philippines with expertise in intellectual property rights, such as trademarks, patents and copyright. They can be appointed in WIPO mediations by parties to intellectual property disputes pending before IPOPHL but parties are also free to select mediators from outside the WIPO/IPOPHL Panel.
- Procedural Guidance
Mediation can only be undertaken with the agreement of both parties. In order to facilitate such agreement, parties may use the available Agreement and Request for WIPO Mediation in IPOPHL Proceedings so that their dispute is dealt with through WIPO Mediation. In the Agreement and Request, parties can adapt the process to their needs by agreeing for example on the scope of the dispute, the time set aside for the mediation, and the language to be used in the mediation (such matters can also be agreed after the appointment of the mediator).
Fees and Costs
A not-for-profit Schedule of Fees for administration fees and mediator fees applies. The WIPO Center's assistance to the parties to negotiate reasonable rates for the mediator and the parties’ ability to terminate the mediation help to contain the cost of this informal procedure.
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