Mediation for IP disputes: a new agreement between Milan Chamber of Arbitration and WIPO

While waiting for the official decision on the next head office of the Unified Patent Court, for which Milan has been nominated (more on this in this article), Milan Chamber of Arbitration (CAM) has recently established a collaboration agreement with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Arbitration and Mediation Center, to support mediation for the solution of international disputes in the area of IP rights and technology.

CAM and WIPO collaboration includes first and foremost a joint administration of the mediation procedures for IP rights and technology disputes in which one the parties involved is not Italian.

CAM and WIPO procedures are based on WIPO Mediation Rules, which can be applied to all commercial disputes and contains adequate dispositions for the demands of IP and technology disputes, such as the need for procedures’ confidentiality.

This collaboration also provides a model standard clause for mediation to use in contracts and a model contract that can be used when a WIPO-CAM clause does not exist. Moreover, the two institutions provide a panel of specialized mediators with particular skills in management of IP and technology disputes.

The Milan Chamber of Arbitration and the WIPO Arbitration Center also commit to promote the use of mediation as instrument to solve disputes in areas still tied to Court proceedings.

Mediation is one of the Alternative Dispute Resolution procedures, also called ADR, and it can be defined as a tool that allows to have a quick settlement out of court. Mediation allows a better control on the procedure from the point of view of costs and timing and allows keeping the dispute confidential, a very important aspect especially in the case of IP and technology.

Data provided by CAM show that mediation in IP rights and technology disputes is mainly used for technologic transferring and research & development contracts for patents, for licensing or license extension or royalties’ payments contracts, for protection, violation, coexistence or confusion of trademarks and for copyright disputes.

From WIPO’s data we can note that the Alternative Dispute Resolution procedures, such as mediation, arbitration and expert determination in IP and technology in the last 5 years (2015-2020) have been used for the management of 272 cases and that through mediation the parties involved agreed on a settlement in 70% of the cases.

Stefano Azzali, General Director of Milan Chamber of Arbitration stated: “As of today, Alternative Dispute Resolution procedures, in the area of the IP protection are still little-known and therefore not widespread, but when lawyers and parties decide to use them, the results are positive”.

Ignacio de Castro, Deputy Director of the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center shares the same commitment and stated: “the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center is happy to collaborate with CAM, the most important international mediation and arbitration institution in Italy. Through this partnership, we hope to help to promote the use of mediation in cross-border disputes in the area of IP and technology. The shared goal is to work together with CAM to better assist companies and the parties to resolve their controversies through more effective options than tradition litigation”.