Saturday, April 2, 2011

Dispute Resolution In Technology Transactions And Dealings

Information and communication technology (ICT) is no more an external factor to any business model or commercial transaction. ICT has become so intertwined with the business model that it is now difficult to separate business from ICT and technology that business uses.

This has also given rise to technology related disputes at both national and international levels. However, dispute resolution of technology transactions and contracts are not easy to perform. This is more so where technology transfer and technology licensing agreements are involved that are usually complex and prone to different interpretations.

Individuals and Organisations are exploring the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) mechanisms to resolve Technology Related Disputes, informs Praveen Dalal, managing partner of New Delhi based law firm Perry4Law and leading techno legal expert of India.

While drafting and vetting contractual agreements involving Technology Transfers and Licensing, we specifically and consensually incorporate an ADR/ODR clause mandating “Institutional Arbitration” through Institutions like WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center or UNCITRAL based Arbitration Institutions, informs Dalal.

Although current use of ADR/ODR, as compared to court litigation in technology related disputes, is far better yet there are many legal roadblocks to the same. For instance, ODR in India is facing sever roadblocks and this make ODR less attractive for technology related disputes, informs Dalal. Even Best Practices in technology dispute resolution have not yet been established, informs Dalal.

Another reason that is responsible for lower use of ADR/ODR for technology related disputes is lack of adequate and proper representation of Indian players at international platforms like WIPO, UNCITRAL, etc. These organisations and institutions give more importance to institutions and lesser to individuals and individuals are the real players of this field, informs Dalal.

There are also no internationally acceptable legal standards for ODR and telecom related dispute resolution. International harmonisation of ODR and technology related dispute resolution is also missing.

These are some of the reasons that are preventing a full fledged dispute resolution mechanism for technology related disputes at national and international levels.