WIPO: Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods Deliver Better Results

Less than 2 percent of technology agreements result in formal dispute proceedings which are generally costly and time-consuming, said a survey issued by World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Thursday.

The International Survey on Dispute Resolution in Technology Transactions conducted by WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center outlined the practices and motivation of nearly 400 survey respondents from over 60 countries.

It was designed to assess the current use and comparative merits of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods, especially arbitration and mediation, for resolving technology-related disputes.

Francis Gurry, WIPO Director General, told a press conference that the survey showed that "non-court options, namely arbitration and mediation, are delivering significantly better results."

The survey respondents, based in Europe, North America, Asia, South America, Oceania, the Caribbean and Central America, and Africa (in order of number of responses received), indicate that arbitration and mediation are more cost- and time-efficient by comparison to court litigation, said the survey report.

It said of the 2 percent of technology agreements that lead to formal dispute proceedings, licenses most frequently give rise to disputes, followed by research and development, non-disclosure agreements, settlement agreements, assignments, and merger and acquisition agreements.

The survey showed that respondents identified costs and time as priorities when negotiating a dispute process, and attached greater emphasis on enforceability and forum neutrality for international agreements.

Enforceability ranked as a motivating factor among respondents using court litigation and arbitration clauses. For respondents choosing mediation, finding a business solution was an important factor, said the report.

The survey revealed that court litigation was the most common mechanism used to resolve disputes, followed by ADR mechanisms of arbitration and mediation. The report also said that respondents generally perceived a trend towards out-of-court dispute resolution mechanisms.

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center, based in Geneva and with an office in Singapore, offers ADR options for the resolution of international commercial disputes between private parties.

(Source: Xinhua)