What is WIPO Expedited Arbitration?
The World Intellectual Property Organization is an agency of the United Nations created for the protection of Intellectual Properties in a global scale. It offers dispute resolution services for any contracting parties, and one of such services is the WIPO Expedited Arbitration.
Compared to ordinary WIPO Arbitration, WIPO Expedited Arbitration is less costly and with a more simplified procedure. As its name suggests, WIPO Expedited Arbitration offers quicker decisions. Under Article 58 of the rules, the Arbitrator shall endeavor to close the hearings within three months. The final award should, wherever reasonably possible, be made within one month thereafter.
Salient Features of WIPO Expedited Arbitration Rules
Contracting parties may agree to submit to WIPO Expedited Arbitration in case of disputes. Its rules shall apply to them, unless they are bound by laws that cannot be derogated. The law applicable to the arbitration shall be the arbitration law of the place of arbitration, but the parties may agree otherwise.
A claimant shall transmit to the Center, as well to the Respondent, the Request for Arbitration to commence WIPO Expedited Arbitration. It shall contain a demand for arbitration, the names and contact details of the parties, a copy of the Arbitration Agreement or clause. It shall be accompanied by a Statement of Claim wherein a comprehensive statement of the facts and legal arguments, as well as the relief sought is contained.
After the claim has been initiated, the defendant shall submit a Statement of Defense whereby it must reply to the Statement of Claim in particulars. It shall contain the defendant’s counter-claims if any, and the same must conform to the requirements of a Statement of Claim. If a Claimant fails to submit a Statement of Claim, the Tribunal shall not be required to take any action. But, if the defendant fails to submit a Statement of Defense, the Tribunal may nevertheless proceed.
Claims or Defenses may be amended or supplemented, but the Tribunal may reject them if it becomes apparent that they are employed merely for delaying tactics. In the true spirit of an expedited proceeding, Joinder of additional parties and Consolidation may also be allowed.
Interim measures may also be had in the WIPO Expedited Arbitration proceeding. The tribunal may grant emergency relief, injunctions or order a party to provide security when they become necessary to protect any of the parties in the case. Generally, parties are not allowed to communicate with one another ex-parte during the course of the WIPO Expedited Arbitration.
It is the duty of the tribunal to determine the admissibility, relevance, materiality and weight of evidence presented by the parties. It has the power to order the parties to produce evidence that it deems necessary, and even present the same to an expert for proper determination of facts. The parties may likewise present expert witnesses which is most helpful especially in very technical matters. The Tribunal also has the power to make site visits.
The rules provides for mechanism to protect trade secrets and other confidential information. Upon motion of a party, the Tribunal may decide whether information is confidential and must be protected. A confidentiality advisor may even be employed to help in such determination.
At any point in the proceedings, the Tribunal may suggest that the parties explore settlement. If, before the award is made, the parties agree on a settlement of the dispute, the Tribunal shall terminate the arbitration and, if requested jointly by the parties, record the settlement in the form of a consent award.
The Tribunal shall declare the proceedings closed when it is satisfied that the parties have had adequate opportunity to present submissions and evidence. Its must make sure that the decision it is making is in accordance with the law or rules of law chosen by the parties.
The Tribunal may make separate awards on different issues at different times. Awards must be in writing and shall state the date and time of making it.
Costs of World Intellectual Property Organization Expedited Arbitration
WIPO Expedited Arbitration costs consists in the registration fee which must be paid upon Request for Arbitration. Costs also include administration fees, fees of the arbitrator, and deposits as advance for the costs of arbitration. The award itself may contain said fees as well as other costs of arbitration such as fees for expert advice and expenses necessary for the arbitration proceedings.