WIPO Seminar on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) for Life Sciences Disputes Management and Resolution

Supported by

Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO)
European Industrial Research Management Association (EIRMA)
International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA)
Intellectual Property Owners’ Association (IPO)
Licensing Executives Society International (LESI)

November 29, 2022, 13:00 – 15:00 CET

There has been a marked increase in innovation and collaborations in the life sciences sector during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some 15% of mediation and arbitration cases filed with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (WIPO Center) relate to life sciences. Disputes in this area cover a wide range of issues, including R&D agreements, licensing agreements, patent ownership, infringement, and know-how, involving originator and generic pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and diagnostics companies, universities, and research institutes.

The seminar will mark the launch of a new WIPO publication on WIPO ADR for Life Sciences Disputes Management and Resolution developed as part of the WIPO COVID-19 Related Services and Support Package. It will include expert panel discussions on life sciences licensing programs, and how ADR methods are used by parties to negotiate agreements and resolve life sciences disputes, including practical tips on the drafting of clauses and submission agreements.


13:00 – 13:05
I. Opening 

Marco Alemán, Assistant Director General, IP Innovation and Ecosystems Sector, WIPO

13:05 – 13:15
II. WIPO ADR Options for Life Sciences 

Heike Wollgast, Head, IP Disputes Section, WIPO Center

13:15 – 14:45
III. Panel Discussion

Ignacio de Castro, Director, IP Disputes and External Relations Division, WIPO Center

  • Examples of Life Sciences Licensing Programs

Nataliya Omelchuk works at the Medicines Patent Pool since September 2020 as a legal counsel on negotiations and drafting of licensing agreements. Nataliya has an extensive industry and non-for-profit experience in the global health sector. Prior to joining MPP, she supported initiatives on R&D for safe and affordable medicines targeting neglected diseases at the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) in Geneva for several years.

She received a law degree from the National University Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Ukraine, a Master degree from University of Toulouse, France and an LL.M in International Arbitration Law from the University of Stockholm, Sweden.

Maica Trabanco Maica Trabanco is an EU qualified lawyer, member of the Madrid Bar Association, with an LL.M. in International Trade Law from the University of Amsterdam, and a postgraduate student of Global Health Policy at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

Before joining FIND, Maica has worked in international law firms, as Legal Counsel for a pharmaceutical corporation, and as Associate Counsel for the Medicines Patent Pool Foundation.

She has extensive experience in negotiating a variety of contracts, such as IP licences and technology transfer agreements with pharmaceutical companies and other research-based institutions to facilitate access to health products; she has also been expert in the development and implementation of frameworks around organizational conflicts of interest, ethics and compliance.

  • Managing and Resolving Life Sciences Disputes through Arbitration and Mediation

Philipp Groz is a dispute resolution partner at the Swiss law firm Schellenberg Wittmer where he heads the IP and life sciences teams. He regularly represents clients in domestic and international litigation, arbitration, and mediation proceedings, focusing on disputes related to IP, unfair competition, licensing, and distribution. He also sits as an arbitrator. Philipp is a member of the WIPO Mediation and Arbitration Advisory Committee (2021-2024) and a board member of the Licensing Executives Society Switzerland. He is recognized, inter alia, as "a top name for complex IP arbitration disputes" in the Who’s Who Legal Arbitration 2022 Global Leader section. Philipp graduated from the University of Zurich Law School and earned a Master of Laws (LL.M) from NYU.

Rachael Kent is a Partner and Vice-Chair of Wilmer Hale's International Arbitration Practice Group, resident in the firm's Washington, DC office.

Ms. Kent represents clients in commercial and investment disputes worldwide in arbitration proceedings. Her experience includes ad hoc and institutional arbitrations under the rules of the ICC, LCIA, HKIAC, SIAC, ICDR, WIPO, ICSID, UNCITRAL, and others. She has recently represented parties in disputes in the mining, energy, aerospace, pharmaceutical, construction, insurance, defense, telecommunications, technology, and retail sectors, among others. In addition, Ms. Kent frequently represents parties in arbitrations involving intellectual property rights, including under intellectual property license agreements.

Ms. Kent has taught International Commercial Arbitration at the Georgetown University Law Center and the Duke University School of Law, and she frequently speaks and writes on topics related to international arbitration. Ms. Kent received her JD from the Duke University School of Law.

Clement Ngai is a partner in the intellectual property group of Baker & Mckenzie, based in Shanghai. His areas of expertise include advising mainly foreign clients on IP issues in China, including IP protection and licensing, as well as technology litigation on trade secrets and patent infringement. With a master’s degree in biochemistry, Clement focuses on the life sciences industries and advises clients on a wide range of pharmaceutical regulatory issues. Before joining Baker, he worked in-house with Honeywell and Autodesk, with Asia-Pacific responsibilities. In addition, he was actively involved in government lobbying work when he served as chair of the Business Software Association in China, Korea, and India for several years.

Mr. Ngai studied at the University of Hong Kong, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and the University of London. He is a member of the WIPO list of mediators and arbitrators.

Marcus Schwarzhaupt heads the IP Digital and Devices division at Sanofi. He is a Physicist and a German and European Patent and Trademark Attorney who has been working in IP since 2004. After five years in private practice, Marcus joined Sanofi in 2009, where he handles numerous multinational litigations and arbitrations, primarily focused on medical device technology.

Sally Shorthose is a Partner in Bird & Bird's London IP and Life Sciences team, and is one of the most experienced partners specializing in transactional IP and regulatory matters. She is joint head of the International Life Sciences Regulatory Group. She offers a wealth of knowledge to businesses at the cutting edge of research, development, and technology, having more than 35 years of experience, 11 of which were in senior in-house roles.

She has been awarded several honors, including being "one of the most influential women in IP" (MIP); according to Who's Who Legal Life Sciences, she is a Global Elite Thought Leader (transactional IP) and is highly recommended for her regulatory work.

She has been leading the Brexit initiatives at Bird & Bird for more than five years.

14:45 – 15:00


Practical Information

Participation can be in-person at the WIPO Conference Hall, WIPO Main Building, Chemin des Colombettes 34, Geneva, or remotely.

We look forward to meeting you in November.

For any related inquiries, please contact arbiter.mail@wipo.int


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