1 A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by BG (NS) Tan Yih San, Chief Executive of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS), and Dr Francis Gurry, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), has established a framework for collaboration between IPOS and the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Centre (WIPO Centre). Under the MOU, IPOS and the WIPO Centre established a joint dispute resolution procedure to facilitate the mediation of Intellectual Property disputes filed with IPOS.
2 The MOU was signed at the sidelines of the WIPO General Assembly held in Geneva on 28 September 2011. With this MOU, disputes involving ownership and validity of Intellectual Property rights applied for in Singapore can be resolved through mediation under the WIPO Rules, administered by the WIPO Centre Office in Singapore. Mediation, like arbitration, offers a time- and cost-efficient alternative to traditional litigation. This new option offered by IPOS may be especially advantageous for international parties seeking to settle related disputes in other jurisdictions.
3 The only such presence in the region, the Singapore Office of the WIPO Centre at Maxwell Chambers was officially opened in January 2010 following an Agreement signed between Mr K Shanmugam, Singapore's Minister for Law and Foreign Affairs, and Dr Francis Gurry. Leveraging the WIPO Center's presence in Singapore, this collaboration provides more options for dispute resolution and will be especially beneficial to parties in cross-border disputes, as a successful mediation can lead to a global settlement of the dispute between the parties. The collaboration framework also includes provision of specialized training in Intellectual Property mediation and arbitration aimed at developing greater expertise for Intellectual Property alternative dispute resolution services in Singapore and the region.
4 Dr Francis Gurry said: “The collaboration between IPOS and the WIPO Centre in the provision of Alternative Dispute Resolution services demonstrates WIPO's and Singapore's shared commitment to the efficiency of the Intellectual Property infrastructure, which we also support through the WIPO Centre's Office in Singapore. The resulting synergies can benefit all users of IPOS services.”
5 BG (NS) Tan said: “This initiative is part of IPOS' efforts to promote mediation as a viable alternative dispute resolution option, especially for disputes involving multiple parties in different jurisdictions. Disputing parties will benefit from having their multi-jurisdictional dispute involving Intellectual Property rights resolved in a win-win fashion through mediation under the administration of the Singapore Office of the WIPO Centre. This is a positive step towards building Singapore as an Intellectual Property services hub for the region.”
6 The new mediation procedure is expected to become available at IPOS in the first quarter of 2012.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OFFICE OF SINGAPORE (IPOS)
WORLD INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ORGANIZATION (WIPO)
28 September 2011
Ms Belinda Wong
Public Relations Department
Intellectual Property Office of Singapore
Mr. Leandro Toscano
WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center Office in Singapore
DID: 6225 2129
The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS), a statutory board under the Ministry of Law since April 2001, is the lead government agency that advises on and administers intellectual property (IP) laws, promotes IP awareness and provides the infrastructure to facilitate the development of IP in Singapore. With IP fast becoming a critical resource in today’s new economy, IPOS’ vision is to foster a creative Singapore where ideas and intellectual efforts are valued, developed and exploited. More information on IPOS can be found on www.ipos.gov.sg.
About the WIPO Center Office in Singapore
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is an intergovernmental organization and a specialized agency of the United Nations system of organizations with its headquarters located in Geneva, Switzerland. WIPO is dedicated to promoting the protection of intellectual property (IP) throughout the world through cooperation among States and, where appropriate, with other international organizations. Areas of WIPO activity include trademark law and registration (the Madrid system), patent law and registration (the PCT system), and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) (WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center). In addition to the WIPO Office in Singapore, on July 28, 2009, the Government of the Republic of Singapore (as represented by the Ministry of Law) and WIPO concluded an Agreement concerning the establishment of a WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center Office in Singapore, at Maxwell Chambers. This Office officially opened in January 2010. More information can be found at http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/center/index.html