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Singapore and WIPO Center Collaborate to Reduce Copyright Dispute Mediation Costs for Creative Community

15-Aug-2019 | Source : AG-IP News | Visits : 893
SINGAPORE – The World Intellectual Property Organization Arbitration and Mediation Center (WIPO Center) will offer reduced rates to businesses and creators who opt for mediation as an alternative dispute resolution to resolve any copyright disputes in Singapore. This effort is driven by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS), in a strategic collaboration with WIPO Center, to strengthen the Republic’s position as the region’s alternative dispute resolution hub. The goal is for the diverse stakeholders in the copyright and creative industries to gain greater access to more efficient and cost-effective routes to resolve their copyright disputes, including those relating to collective management and orphan works, a press release by IPOS stated.
Currently, parties with an existing dispute before IPOS involving patents, registered designs and trademarks enjoy reduced rates when they choose the WIPO Center as their mediation provider. With this new development, parties in any copyright dispute in Singapore will also enjoy these rates.

Through its office in Singapore, the WIPO Center has administered arbitration and mediation cases in Singapore since 2010. 35% of the cases administered by the WIPO Center relate to copyright disputes. Such disputes relate to, among others, licensing agreements, broadcasting agreements, collecting societies, TV formats, IT agreements, co-production agreements as well as infringements, with an increasing number of cases involving parties based in the Asian region.

Singapore has made significant strides at all levels to cement its standing as a hub for alternative dispute resolution over the years. The Republic had its first signatories today, for the Singapore Convention on Mediation, with close to 70 countries in attendance. The landmark Convention gives innovation-driven enterprises the confidence that mediated settlement agreements can be enforced in cross-border disputes. At the same time, under IPOS’ Enhanced Mediation Promotion Scheme, businesses and entrepreneurs who submit their patents, registered designs, and trademarks disputes at IPOS for mediation stand to benefit from enhanced terms of funding for their mediation-related expenses.

Mark Lim (林方前), Director, Hearings and Mediation, IPOS (新加坡知识产权局聆讯与调解司长) said: “The creative community is a key sector driving innovation and economic output. Inevitably, disputes can arise over the use, licensing and ownership of intellectual property. With WIPO Center’s reduced rates now extended to copyright disputes, stakeholders in the creative industries will enjoy a practical, efficient and cost-effective avenue to resolve their disputes, with the assurance that settlements can be readily enforced. This strategic partnership further enhances Singapore’s appeal as the preferred IP dispute resolution destination for innovators and enterprises.”

Erik Wilbers, Senior Director, WIPO Center said: “As an alternative to court litigation, mediation and arbitration have proven highly effective in assisting parties to resolve copyright disputes. Over the past five years, WIPO's copyright caseload has increased by 8%. At the WIPO Center, we assist the parties in selecting specialised mediators and arbitrators and administer all procedural aspects of the case – thus allowing parties to focus on the merits of the dispute and their interests. WIPO's experience shows that, by offering parties more control over the dispute resolution process and its outcome, mediation helps parties to save time and money in an informal and less adversarial forum. The extension of the WIPO Center’s collaboration with IPOS to copyright disputes aims to increase awareness in Singapore of the particular advantages that mediation brings for resolving copyright disputes.”

Kenneth Wong, Vice President of the Professional Photographers Association (Singapore) [PPAS] applauded this move. He said: “At the most basic level, mediation is always preferred as it allows for both parties to learn more about and understand each other’s rights and needs. It provides the possibility for relationships to continue growing and become stronger. The exclusive fees extended to mediation cases in Singapore comes as great news, especially for business entities which have limited resources. My association welcomes IPOS’ initiative as it validates the significance of creative ideas and authorship."
 
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