WIPO Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in Research and Development/Technology Transfer

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 research and development (R&D) and technology transfer, without the need for court litigation.

R&D and Technology Transfer Disputes

International and domestic 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 rights. Also, research partners from different institutional backgrounds may have diverging expectations and understandings of creating, using and exploiting intellectual property rights.

Efficient dispute avoidance and resolution practices are key in such complex situations. Providing time- and cost-effective options, ADR may help parties to find solutions to their disputes, without the need for court litigation, contributing to the continuation of research activities and commercialization of research results.

Selected 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.


Potential Stakeholders to Dispute

  • associations
  • consultants
  • foundations
  • funding bodies
  • government agencies
  • hospitals
  • industry
  • inventors
  • patent marketing agencies
  • project management agencies
  • publisher
  • research organizations
  • scientists
  • start-up companies
  • technology transfer offices
  • technology centers
  • universities

WIPO ADR Services for R&D and Technology Transfer

Administration of R&D and Technology Transfer Disputes

The WIPO Mediation, (Expedited) Arbitration and Expert Determination Rules are well suited for R&D and technology transfer 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.

The WIPO Center has administered a number of R&D and technology transfer related disputes under these Rules.

Examples of WIPO mediations in this area include:

Examples of WIPO arbitrations in this area include:

WIPO R&D and Technology Transfer Panel of Neutrals

Effective proceedings to a large extent depend on the quality of the mediator, arbitrator or expert. The WIPO Center maintains an open-ended Panel, including mediators, arbitrators and experts from around the world with expertise in R&D and technology transfer. 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 R&D and technology transfer sector. This includes advice on the drafting and adaptation of ADR clauses in R&D and technology transfer 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.

Collaboration with Concerned Stakeholders and Entities

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 on ADR in R&D and technology transfer, covering discussions on best practices and model agreements, open innovation, contract negotiations, intellectual property and dispute resolution, intellectual property valuation, comparative legal analysis of key contract provisions and case studies.

Collaboration leading to the provision of specific conditions for case administration services involves in particular the following:

The WIPO Center offers a 50% reduction on its fees under the WIPO Rules to institutions employing AUTM members, to users of the DESCA model consortium agreement, the IPAG model agreements and to partner institutions in the framework of the WIPO University Initiative Program and KOTEC’s client companies.

Further collaboration involves in particular the following:

The WIPO Center is available to collaborate with other interested stakeholders.

Collaboration with Other WIPO Divisions

In the R&D and technology transfer sector, the WIPO Center collaborates in particular with the WIPO Technology and Innovation Support Center (TISC) program.


Arbitration and Mediation Center
Arbitration and Mediation Center
34, chemin des Colombettes
P.O. Box 18
1211 Geneva 20
T +4122 338 8247 or 0800 888 549
F +4122 740 3700 or 0800 888 550
Maxwell Chambers Suites
28 Maxwell Road #02-14
Singapore 069120

T +65 6225 2129
F +65 6225 3568

General queries: arbiter.mail@wipo.int