WIPO’s COVID-19 Related Services and Support – WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center Launches New ADR Options Tailored to the Life Sciences Sector

September 27, 2021

WIPO will facilitate contract negotiation and dispute resolution in the life sciences sector.

WIPO is extending its suite of support measures to assist member states in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as laying the foundations for post-COVID economic recovery efforts. The new measures relate to alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services in the life sciences sector.

The current pandemic crisis has placed significant strain on existing and new collaborations across the life sciences sector. To assist parties, WIPO’s ADR services now include new options to facilitate contract negotiation and dispute resolution for actors operating in the pharmaceutical, biosciences, medical devices and chemical industries. This new offering follows extensive consultation with experts, including experienced WIPO arbitrators and mediators.

Life sciences entities already represent approximately 15% of users of WIPO Arbitration and Mediation. The new WIPO ADR Options include a model submission agreement through which parties may jointly invoke mediation to facilitate their contract negotiation.  For the first time in WIPO ADR, parties may also establish a Dispute Resolution Board:  a standing panel of members appointed by the parties to manage disputes as they arise in the course of a long-term collaboration.

WIPO Assistant Director General Marco Alemán noted “Concluding a Life Sciences agreement or resolving a dispute in this area can be time-consuming and difficult in the best of times.  The pandemic presents the life sciences sector with unique challenges, for example in increasing manufacturing or distribution capacity. These new WIPO ADR Options are intended to help parties navigate those challenges without undue legal interference.”

ADR Life Sciences

The new WIPO ADR Options will be discussed by a panel of WIPO Neutrals specialized in Life Sciences in an online Workshop scheduled on October 19, 2021.

These services are part of WIPO’s COVID-19 Related Services and Support in five main areas: policy and legislative assistance; technical assistance and capacity building; innovation support and technology transfer; IP dispute resolution; and knowledge resources.