Wednesday, May 25, 2011

WIPO Must Strengthen Its Technology Dispute Resolution Services

World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) is a well known name in the fields of intellectual property rights (IPRs) and dispute resolution. WIPO has its own Arbitration and Mediation Centre (AMC) that provides world renowned dispute resolution services.

WIPO also provides world class domain name dispute resolution services. Parties to the dispute can draw upon a growing database of over 1,500 independent WIPO arbitrators, mediators and experts from 70 countries. The candidates on the WIPO List of Neutrals range from seasoned dispute resolution generalists to highly specialized practitioners and experts covering the entire legal and technical spectrum of intellectual property. Their geographical diversity suits the international character of many disputes. The general WIPO List of Neutrals is not made available as such to the public. However, the WIPO Center does publish its specific list of WIPO Domain Name Panelists.

One area that WIPO must pay special attention is Dispute Resolution of Cross Border Technology Transactions and E-Commerce Disputes, suggests Praveen Dalal, managing partner of New Delhi based IP and ICT law firm Perry4Law and a Neutral at WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Centre. The future disputes would be Techno Legal in nature and WIPO must be well prepared to deal with the same, suggests Dalal.

Although WIPO is world renowned for its domain name dispute resolution services yet in areas like cyber law disputes, cyber forensics disputes, e-discovery related disputes, etc, WIPO is still establishing itself.

WIPO must establish a “Separate and Dedicated List” of Panelists who can manage the Techno Legal Disputes in an effective manner, suggests Dalal. This List must be made Public so that the expertise of Panelists of WIPO is well known in advance, suggests Dalal.

This seems to be a good suggestion that WIPO must seriously consider. Its present list of domain name specialists is not reflective enough upon its true capabilities. With growing competition from other international institutions and organisations like European Union (EU), United Nationals Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), etc, WIPO cannot afford to take it lightly.

Even at the national level, ODR services providers like Perry4Law and Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB) have been working hard in his regard. In fact, Perry4Law and PTLB have recently provided the first Technology Dispute Resolution Policy of India and ODR Policy of India.

Bilateral agreements between various countries may also be beneficial in this regard. EU India has lots in common in this regard and we must engage in an EU India ODR Development Dialogue, suggests Dalal. Let us see how the techno legal ADR and ODR dispute resolution services would take a shape in the future.