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Mediation of Trade Mark Disputes in Singapore.

1 February, 2012

 

Legal News & Analysis – Asia Pacific – Singapore – Dispute Resolution – Intellectual Property

 

Trade mark disputes may now be settled through mediation at the WIPO Center Office in Singapore. From 3 January 2012 onwards, this optional process is available for all trade mark opposition, invalidation and revocation proceedings before IPOS.
 
The new procedure incorporating the WIPO Mediation option is as follows:
 
First Case Management Conference (“CMC”)
 
At the first CMC after pleadings are filed, the parties will be informed about the optional mediation process. Parties will notify IPOS whether they wish to commence mediation at the WIPO Center Office in Singapore. The trade mark proceedings and relevant deadlines will be suspended until the second CMC.
 
Notification to IPOS
 
If parties decide not to undergo mediation, IPOS will convene a second CMC.
 
If parties decide to initiate mediation, they may set aside a period of 30, 60 or 90 days for the mediation. The WIPO Center Office will contact the parties to assist them with the next steps of the mediation procedure, including the appointment of a suitably qualified mediator.
 
Mediation
 
If parties fully settle their dispute through mediation, proceedings before IPOS will be closed.
 
If parties have come to a partial or no settlement, parties may submit the unresolved issues for adjudication at IPOS. A second CMC will be convened.
 
Second CMC
 
The previously suspended trade mark proceedings before IPOS will resume and new timelines for filing of evidence, and deadlines will be given. The proceedings will continue as before.
 
Mediation available at any point during the proceedings.
 
Although mediation has been specifically incorporated as an option at the first CMC, parties may opt for mediation at any time during the trade mark proceedings, even if they did not commit to mediation at the first CMC. IPOS will suspend the proceedings and relevant deadlines at the appropriate stage to let mediation take its course.
 
The WIPO Mediation option provided by IPOS offers the following advantages:
 
  • International parties will enjoy significant time and cost savings by settling related disputes in multiple jurisdictions through a single process.

 

  • Mediation fees are found in a reduced not-for-profit Schedule of Fees. Furthermore, the WIPO Center Office assists parties with negotiation of reasonable rates for the mediator’s fees.

 

  • Mediation benefits parties who value the continuation and improvement of existing business relationships, place a premium on confidentiality, or desire to achieve a speedy resolution without adversely affecting their reputations.

 

  • Mediation offers parties significant control and flexibility over the dispute resolution process: They may appoint their own mediator, are free to agree on any terms of settlement, are able to work jointly towards an outcome that will take into account commercial realities and not merely legal rules, and can terminate the mediation process at any time without penalties.

 

  • Timelines in the dispute process can be stayed giving parties time to work out global settlements.
 
More information on WIPO Mediation can be found at www.wipo.int/amc/en/mediation/.
 

 

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