As part of the WIPO ADR Services for Specific Sectors, the WIPO Center provides dispute resolution advice and case administration services to help parties resolve disputes arising in the area of research and development (R&D) and technology transfer, without the need for court litigation.
R&D and Technology Transfer Disputes
International and domestic R&D and transfer of technologies involve a rich variety of contracts and transactions, including research contracts, collaborative projects, licensing, joint ventures, alliances, spin-offs and buyer-supplier relationships. Such collaborations can involve complex legal, commercial or management issues, often including related intellectual property rights. Also, research partners from different institutional backgrounds may have diverging expectations and understandings of creating, using and exploiting intellectual property rights.
Efficient dispute avoidance and resolution practices are key in such complex situations. Providing time- and cost-effective options, ADR may help parties to find solutions to their disputes, without the need for court litigation, contributing to the continuation of research activities and commercialization of research results.
Selected Areas of Dispute
A careful choice of dispute resolution framework should feature in negotiations of sometimes multiple contracts at different stages of R&D activities, commercialization and technology transfer processes.
Where several contracts relating to R&D collaborations are concluded at different stages of a project, consistent dispute resolution provisions should be considered to enable an efficient dispute resolution process and, if necessary, the potential consolidation of disputes.
Potential Stakeholders to Dispute
WIPO ADR Services for R&D and Technology Transfer
- Administration of R&D and Technology Transfer Disputes
The WIPO Rules are flexible and can also be applied in disputes that are not limited to intellectual property. In its role as administering institution, the WIPO Center maintains strict neutrality and independence.
The WIPO Center has administered a number of R&D and technology transfer related disputes under these Rules.
Examples of WIPO mediations in this area include:
- WIPO Mediation in the Area of Research and Development
- WIPO Mediation of a Biotech Dispute
- WIPO Mediation of a Pharma Patent License
- WIPO Mediation of a Software/IT Dispute
- WIPO R&D and Technology Transfer Panel of Neutrals
Effective proceedings to a large extent depend on the quality of the mediator, arbitrator or expert. The WIPO Center maintains an open-ended Panel, including mediators, arbitrators and experts from around the world with expertise in R&D and technology transfer. They can be appointed by parties in cases under WIPO Rules but parties are also free to select mediators, arbitrators or experts from outside the WIPO Panel.
- Procedural Guidance and Training
The WIPO Center makes available recommended contract clauses and submission agreements that parties can use to submit their disputes to ADR.
Upon request, the WIPO Center provides procedural guidance to interested parties and organizations in R&D and technology transfer sector. This includes advice on the drafting and adaptation of ADR clauses in R&D and technology transfer related contracts and submission agreements, as well as helping to bring disputing parties to ADR.
The WIPO Center also organizes training and workshops on mediation, arbitration and related topics.
- Establishment of Adapted ADR Frameworks
Where appropriate in light of the needs of the relevant stakeholders, the WIPO Center provides guidance in the establishment of adapted ADR frameworks, including Rules, fees and clauses, and provides administrative services thereunder.
Collaboration with Concerned Stakeholders and Entities
To optimize dispute resolution in the R&D and technology transfer sector, the WIPO Center collaborates with relevant stakeholders and organizations. This may include organization of joint events and training on ADR in R&D and technology transfer, covering discussions on best practices and model agreements, open innovation, contract negotiations, intellectual property and dispute resolution, intellectual property valuation, comparative legal analysis of key contract provisions and case studies.
Collaboration leading to the provision of specific conditions for case administration services involves in particular the following:
- Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM)
- DESCA 2020 (Development of a Simplified Consortium Agreement) Model Consortium Agreement is a comprehensive Model Consortium Agreement for the European Union research funding program Horizon 2020 which recommends WIPO Mediation Followed, in the Absence of a Settlement, by WIPO Expedited Arbitration
- IPAG (Intellectual Property Agreement Guide) Model Agreements recommend WIPO Expedited Arbitration and WIPO Mediation followed, in the absence of a settlement, by WIPO Expedited Arbitration
- WIPO University Initiative Program
- Creative Barcode
The WIPO Center offers a 50% reduction on its fees under the WIPO Rules to institutions employing AUTM members, to users of the DESCA model consortium agreement and to partner institutions in the framework of the WIPO University Initiative Program.
Further collaboration involves in particular the following:
- European Association of Research and Technology Organisations (EARTO)
- European Industrial Research Management Association (EIRMA)
- European Liaison Office of the German Research Organisations (KOWI)
- Licensing Executives Society International (LESI)
- ProTon Europe
- IP Intermediary Singapore
The WIPO Center is available to collaborate with other interested stakeholders.
Collaboration with Other WIPO Divisions
In the R&D and technology transfer sector, the WIPO Center collaborates in particular with the WIPO Innovation and Technology Transfer Section.
- Training - Arbitration in Disputes on R&D and Related Commercial Agreements
Brussels, Belgium, November 28 and 29, 2013
- Training Seminar - Mediation in Disputes on R&D and Related Commercial Agreements
Brussels, Belgium, November 22 and 23, 2012
- Conference on Licensing, Transfer of Ownership and Dispute Resolution - Commercialization of Intellectual Property Generated in International R&D Projects
Vienna, Friday, June 1, 2012
- Training Seminar - Mediation and Arbitration in Disputes on R&D and Related Commercial Agreements
Brussels, Thursday and Friday, December 8 and 9, 2011
- Managing Intellectual Property, Dispute Prevention and Technology Transfer in Fusion
Barcelona, November 28-29, 2011
- Seminar on Open Innovation, Intellectual Property Rights and Dispute Resolution in European Research Collaborations, Cologne, June 28, 2011.
- Workshop on International R&D and Technology Transfer Contracts – Negotiations, Intellectual Property Rights and Dispute Resolution, Alicante, March 11, 2011.
- Seminar on Collaboration and Negotiation of Cross Border Research and Development and Technology Transfer Agreements, Singapore, December 6, 2010.
- Workshop on Negotiating International R&D and Technology Transfer Contracts – Intellectual Property Rights, Valuation and Dispute Resolution, Brussels, November 12, 2010.
- Workshop on Alternative Dispute Resolution in Research and Development Collaborations, Leuven, Belgium, November 13, 2009.
- Conference on Dispute Resolution in International Science and Technology Collaboration, April 25-26, 2005.
- Results of the International Survey on Dispute Resolution in Technology Transactions,
WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center, March 2013
- Efficient resolution of disputes in R&D collaborations, licensing and other technology transfer, by Judith Schallnau, IPR Helpdesk, November 2012
- Resolving IP Disputes – costs in court litigation, WIPO mediation and arbitration, by Judith Schallnau, IPR Helpdesk Bulletin No. 7, October - December 2012
- Efficient Dispute Resolution – Multiple Parties and Contracts in R&D and Related Commercial Transactions, by Judith Schallnau, IPR Helpdesk Bulletin No. 5, April - June 2012
- Efficient Resolution of Disputes in Research & Development Collaborations and Related Commercial Agreements, by Judith Schallnau, IPR Helpdesk Bulletin No. 4, January - March 2012
- Technology Transactions: Managing Risks Arising from Disputes
by de Castro, Ignacio / Schallnau, Judith / Blaya, Alicia
WIPO Magazine, September 2011
- Alternative Dispute Resolution in Research & Development collaborations – the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center, by Judith Schallnau, IPR Helpdesk Bulletin No. 41, January – March 2009.
- Mediation in Research & Development Projects – the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center, by Judith Schallnau, IPR Helpdesk Bulletin No. 42, June 2009.
- Arbitrating Disputes in International and Domestic R&D Collaborations, by Judith Schallnau, IPR Helpdesk Bulletin No. 43, July – September 2009.
- Bibliography on Intellectual Property Arbitration and Mediation
|Arbitration and Mediation Center
|Arbitration and Mediation Center
|34, chemin des Colombettes
P.O. Box 18
1211 Geneva 20
T +4122 338 8247 or 0800 888 549
F +4122 740 3700 or 0800 888 550
32 Maxwell Road #02-02
T +65 6225 2129
F +65 6225 3568
General queries: firstname.lastname@example.org