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WIPO Fast-Track Intellectual Property Dispute Resolution Procedure for SingEx Trade and/or Consumer Fairs

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

What is the Fast-Track Procedure?

The rules governing the Fast-Track Procedure are set out in the Fast-Track Procedure, which is a dispute resolution procedure specially designed to protect Exhibitors' and Non-exhibitors' Intellectual Property (IP) rights against infringements at Trade and/or Consumer Fairs organized at SingEx’s premises.

Why a Fast-Track Procedure?

The Fast-Track Procedure provides Exhibitors and Non-exhibitors with a cost- and time-efficient legal mechanism to protect their IP rights and related commercial interests at a trade and/or consumer fair within 24 hours. An Expert Panelist with relevant expertise in the substance of the dispute renders a binding decision enforceable with immediate effect at the premises of the trade and/or consumer 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, unfair competition or passing off. The scope of application of these Rules does not include disputes relating to patents. The Expert Panelist may refuse admission of complex cases, in particular when involving complex technical matters.

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.

How is a Request filed?

Requests shall be filed in writing with the WIPO Center and with the trade and/or consumer fair organizer, SingEx. The Model Request shall be used for Requests.

When can a Request be filed?

Requests shall be filed at the earliest by 1pm on the day before the beginning of the trade and/or consumer fair and at the latest by 1pm on the next to last day of the trade and/or consumer fair. A Request filed after 1pm is deemed to have been filed the next day, at the time of opening of the exhibition.

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 Singapore 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 and/or consumer fair by the Respondent.

How is the Expert Panelist appointed?

The Expert Panelist shall be a lawyer qualified under Singapore 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 and/or consumer fair. Upon filing of a Request, a candidate will be requested to act as Expert Panelist. The Expert Panelist shall be impartial and independent and confirm this before appointment in each case.

How does the Expert Panelist proceed?

Upon appointment and receipt of the Request, the Expert Panelist 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 Panelist 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 Panelist makes a written decision which it communicates to the parties, SingEx and the WIPO Center.

In all cases, the Expert Panelist 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 Panelist with its Answer to the Request within four exhibition hours of the trade and/or consumer 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 under Singapore law and documentary evidence.

What decisions may the Expert Panelist make?

In the event that the Expert Panelist decides that the Exhibitor is infringing upon the rights of the Claimant mentioned in Article 2(b), the Expert Panelist may, inter alia, order the removal of the disputed items, signage or advertisement from a stand (or a relevant section thereof), order the cessation of any sales or continued display of the disputed items, or order the closure of a stand during the duration of the trade and/or consumer fair. The Expert Panelist may also issue a recommendation to SingEx not to admit the Respondent as an Exhibitor at future trade and/or consumer fairs. The Expert Panelist shall not have the power to order the payment of damages. The Expert Panelist shall decide the substance of the dispute in accordance with Singapore law unless the parties have chosen a different law or rules of law to govern the dispute in which case the Expert Panelist shall apply that law or rules of law chosen by the parties.

Who is the Chairperson?

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

Can a party challenge the Expert Panelist’s decision?

Pursuant to Article 26, a party may only challenge the Expert Panelist’s decision by submitting a Request for Arbitration within 60 days of the date of its communication to the parties, to be determined by arbitration in accordance with the WIPO Expedited Arbitration Rules.

How much does the Fast-Track Procedure cost?

The Claimant shall pay to the WIPO Center the amount of SGD 3,500 to cover the cost of the procedure, including the Expert Panelist’s fees and the administrative costs of SingEx, the WIPO Center and the Chairperson. The unsuccessful party will bear the costs of the procedure, subject to the Expert Panelist’s discretion to apportion these costs between the parties in light of the circumstances and outcome of the case, and in particular in case of settlement of the dispute.

If the Respondent signs a cease and desist declaration within two exhibition hours after being notified of the Claimant's Request, it shall pay the amount of SGD 1,000 to the Claimant. The Claimant will be reimbursed by the WIPO Center SGD 2,500 of the fee initially paid.

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

The legal basis of the Fast-Track Procedure is the Exhibition Space Contract including the Exhibition Rules and Regulations provided by SingEx as applicable for the respective trade and/or consumer 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, or expert determination which can be used by private parties to resolve any IP or commercial dispute, including related to their activities at trade and/or consumer fairs.

Past Fairs

  • SITEX, November 22-25, 2018

Contact and Queries

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center - Singapore WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center - Geneva
Maxwell Chambers Suites
28 Maxwell Road, 02-14
069120 Singapore
T + 65 6225 2129
F +65 6225 3568
34, chemin des Colombettes
1211 Geneva, Switzerland
T +41 22 338 8247
E arbiter.mail@wipo.int Opening hours: Mo-Fr 9-12 / 14-18
W www.wipo.int/amc/

Further Information

Information about IP rights protection in Singapore:

Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS)