Friday, June 10, 2011

Asian Film And Entertainment Industry And WIPO Dispute Resolution

Asian film industry engages in lots of disputes pertaining to intellectual property rights (IPRs) issues. Surprisingly, Asian companies prefer to utilise tradition litigations methods instead of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) or online dispute resolution (ODR).

Although the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) has a dedicated centre known as WIPO Mediation and Expedited Arbitration for Film and Media yet Asian countries are shy to use such international platforms.

Instead they prefer to approach the courts to get their disputes resolved. Further, a majority of Asian companies are respondents at such dispute resolution platforms. So where lies the problem?

According to Praveen Dalal, managing partner of New Delhi based IP and ICT law firm Perry4Law and a Neutral at WIPO’s Arbitration and Mediation Centre, this may be due to two reasons. Firstly, a majority of Respondents may be defending themselves against the Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) violations cases. Secondly, Asian Companies may not be effectively using the ADR and ODR Dispute Resolution Services of International Organisations and Institutions, informs Dalal.

This is very surprising as use of ADR and ODR is definitely more beneficial for these companies. However, they still prefer the litigation route than the ADR and ODR route.

According to Dalal, a great deal of ADR and ODR Disputes are “Referred” by Law Firms and Practicing Legal Professionals. They incorporate suitable “ADR and ODR Clauses” in the Technology Agreements, Film and entertainment related Agreements, etc. If these Firms and Professionals do not incorporate proper Arbitration Clause, a Dispute can never reach to International Organisations and would land up in a Court of Law, informs Dalal.

It seems the need to collaborate with the locals seems to be the success formula. Local disputes are generally settled using local means and it requires great persuasion an awareness to utilise the services of international organisations in this regard.