Franchising agreements may give rise to disputes on issues that include, for instance, impact-enroachment, franchise development rights, renewal of franchise, alleged under-reporting of fees owed and customer service issues. Although such disputes can be brought before national courts, litigation is not always equipped to take account of the particularities of this type of disputes and require specialised expertise. Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedures can be particularly advantageous to resolve franchising and licensing disputes out of court, especially contractual disputes involving parties form different jurisdictions.
World Intellectual Property Organization - Arbitration and Mediation Center (WIPO Center)
With offices at Maxwell Chambers in Singapore in Geneva, Switzerland, the WIPO Center is a neutral, international and non-profit dispute resolution provider that offers ADR options, in particular mediation and arbitration, to enable private parties to efficiently settle their domestic or cross-border disputes.
WIPO Mediation, Arbitration, Expedited Arbitration and Expert Determination Rules are generally suitable for all commercial disputes, and additionally feature provisions to address specific needs in intellectual property disputes, namely provisions on confidentiality and technical evidence. Parties can draw upon a database of over 1,500 independent WIPO arbitrators, mediators and experts from about a hundred jurisdictions, including Singapore. WIPO's database covers a wide range of intellectual property areas.
WIPO's ADR procedures are organised to stimulate positive opportunities for party settlement. Almost 70% of the mediation procedures administered by the WIPO Center have been settled. Even in arbitration, 40% of WIPO cases settle before any formal decision is issued.
FLA Singapore and WIPO Center Collaboration
FLA Singapore and the WIPO Center have established a collaboration to raise awareness of ADR options to court litigations available to stakeholders in the franchising and licensing areas. FLA Singapore members enjoy special rates when using the WIPO Center dispute resolution services.