Intellectual property is acentral component of thecontemporary knowledgeeconomy, and its efficientexploitation is of crucialimportance. However,disputes can interfere withintellectual property rights,at times even sterilizing thebasic assets of an enterprise.While the careful drafting ofcontracts will reduce theirfrequency, disputes will attimes arise. Therefore, it isessential that they bemanaged and resolvedefficiently. In order to doso, parties must be familiarwith their dispute resolutionoptions.Although an intellectualproperty dispute can beresolved through courtlitigation, parties are, withincreasing frequency,submitting disputes tomediation, arbitration orother alternative disputeresolution (“ADR”)procedures. ADR isappropriate for mostintellectual propertydisputes, especially betweenparties from different jurisdictions. ADR canempower the parties byenhancing their control overthe dispute resolutionprocess. If well managed,ADR can save time andmoney. In addition, itsconsensual nature oftenresults in a less adversarialprocess, allowing the partiesto begin, continue, orenhance profitable businessrelationships with eachother.Since 1994, the Center hasadvised parties and theirlawyers on ways to resolveintellectual propertydisputes, and provided themwith access to high-quality,efficient and cost-effectiveADR procedures. Casessubmitted to the Centerhave included bothcontractual (e.g. patent andsoftware licenses, trademarkcoexistence agreements,distribution agreements forpharmaceutical products
and research anddevelopment agreements)and non-contractualdisputes (e.g. patentinfringement).This publication provides anoverview of the resourcesand services offered by theCenter. We encourage youto read it and to contact ourstaff if you require furtherinformation or wish toreview your disputeresolution options in detail.The Center’s mediation,arbitration and expeditedarbitration clauses andsubmission agreements arereproduced at the end ofthis booklet and can bedownloaded together withthe WIPO Rules from theCenter’s web site.