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EUIPO Launches New Mediation Center for IP Disputes

23-Nov-2023 | Source : The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) | Visits : 729

ALICANTE - Executive Director João Negrão has officially launched the European Union Intellectual Property Office - EUIPO’s ground-breaking Mediation Center. The Mediation Center will provide alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services for intellectual property disputes free of charge, a press release stated by EUIPO.

Commenting on the launch, the Executive Director of the EUIPO, João Negrão, said  

“The establishment of Mediation Center is a major step in supporting citizens and businesses in managing their intellectual property rights effectively and helping avoid expensive, unpredictable litigation processes when disputes arise. With 42 % of EU trade mark applications coming from non-EU companies, cross-border disputes have become more and more common, highlighting the need for global and cost-effective dispute resolution services.  

Services provided by the EUIPO’s Mediation Center 

The Mediation Center offers a range of ADR services, including mediation, conciliation and expert determination. These services are available to all parties involved in inter partes proceedings before the EUIPO at second instance.

Additionally, SMEs may request ADR for first instance proceedings (oppositions, cancellations and invalidities). This service will be gradually extended to all users in a phased approach during 2024 and 2025.

All services are delivered by experienced, multilingual mediators and case managers, who offer users a wide choice of languages for greater convenience in negotiations.

An online ADR platform has been created to enhance accessibility, allowing mediators and parties to interact virtually in a secure and confidential environment and ensuring convenience for all parties involved in the dispute resolution process.  

Advantages of Mediation

The Mediation Center will support parties to resolve a wide range of disputes in a single process, effectively avoiding the expense and complexity of litigation. Additionally, ADR tools offered aim to facilitate swift and efficient global settlements. Other advantages include flexibility, confidentiality and the option to Involve IP experts as evaluative mediators. This shall be especially beneficial for small businesses, making dispute resolution more affordable, especially in cross-border cases.  

The Mediation Center aims to provide complementary, voluntary, confidential and accessible dispute resolution options to users so they can choose the most appropriate path in the event of an IP dispute.

Background of the EUIPO Mediation Center

The EU Trade Mark (EUTM) Legislative Reform of 2017 paved the way for the possibility of setting up a Mediation Center at the EUIPO to offer ADR for conflicts between parties involving EUTMs and registered Community design (RCD) disputes.   

The launch of the Mediation Center follows the EUIPO’s successful IP Mediation Conference 2023 which took place last month, on October 19-20, 2023, at EUIPO’s premises in Alicante. Participants included key stakeholders such as IP offices, EU institutions, legal professionals, judges and ADR training providers. 


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