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INTA and WIPO to collaborate on dispute resolution

James Nurton, London

INTA and the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center have entered into a collaboration to facilitate the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), in particular mediation. The idea is to harness the special expertise of INTA’s Panel of Trademark Mediators and the international case administration experience of the WIPO Center. Increased use of mediation by parties can reduce the negative impact of disputes in the productive use of trademark rights.

This new collaboration provides value to INTA members by making available an administered mediation option, at a special 25% discount on the WIPO administration fee for INTA members. WIPO’s case services include procedural assistance with the submission of a request for mediation; assistance in the selection of mediators with relevant trademark expertise, now also drawing on INTA’s Panel (comprising over 140 mediators) and where appropriate from the WIPO neutrals database; the setting of reasonable mediator fees, in consultation with the parties; and providing all further support towards efficient proceedings.

To facilitate the referral of trademark disputes to mediation, INTA and the WIPO Center will be making available tailored ADR contract clauses and submission agreements at their respective websites.

INTA’s Panel consists of specialized mediators who offer ample experience in trademark disputes. The WIPO Center’s case experience includes trademark licenses, co-existence agreements and franchising and distribution agreements.

James Tumbridge, a partner of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman in London and chair of INTA’s Panel of Trademark Mediators, said: “The WIPO-INTA agreement is the result of many years of cooperation and discussion and I hope it heralds a fresh opportunity for mediation of IP disputes. WIPO has been a great leader in service provision for mediation, and now the INTA Panel of Trademark Mediators can benefit from that. Both organizations are committed to further enhancing the profile of ADR for IP disputes. Together we can achieve a greater global scope of training for mediators, education of stakeholders and support for brand holders that want to use our excellent panel.”

Erik Wilbers, head of the WIPO Center, added: “The choice of the mediator is essential for the success of mediation. INTA’s Panel of Trademark Mediators significantly enlarges the pool of experienced trademark mediators to choose from. WIPO mediation enjoys a 70% settlement rate. In the absence of settlement, parties have the option of choosing WIPO arbitration, which still enjoys 40% settlement rate. Party feedback consistently indicates that it is all about limiting the time and cost of these disputes.”


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