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Workshop  |  11/09/2017  —  11/10/2017

WIPO ADR Workshop 2017

8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center, Munich IP Dispute Resolution Forum and Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, Munich, Room E10

In cooperation with WIPO, LES and the Munich IPDR Forum, we will be hosting the 2017 WIPO ADR Workshop on 9 and 10 November 2017. The event will have the character of both an academic conference and an instructional workshop.

On the first day we will discuss general arbitration and mediation issues that have relevance for IP disputes. Among these are, besides the basic procedural processes, topics like arbitrability of IP disputes, competition-law related ordre public concerns and the tension between the public interest in transparent arbitration procedures on the one hand and the interest of individual parties in privacy and confidentiality on the other hand.

The focus of the second day will be on disputes regarding the calculation of FRAND licensing fees for use of standard-essential patents. Standard-essential patents have so far had their greatest impact on the telecommunications industry. In view of the increasing connectedness of the industry, discussed under the key words Internet of Things and Industry 4.0, and the growing degree of automation and digitalization of a wide range of products, such as self-driving cars, standardization will be a topic with even greater fundamental significance in the future. It is established that the owners of standard-essential patents have to make the standard technologies for which they hold exclusive patents available to interested standards users on FRAND terms. What is unclear and controversial, however, is how to calculate FRAND-consistent terms and fees, and how to conduct related dispute resolution procedures. In view of the complexity of the calculation of FRAND licensing fees, the European Commission has made repeated reference to arbitration as a possible dispute-resolution instrument. The Court of Justice of the European Union in its landmark decision of 16 July 2015 (C-170/13, Tz. 68 – Huawei) likewise identifies the possibility of a private-autonomous resolution of disputes, though limiting its statement on procedural design to the vague reference that “the amount of the royalty [may] be determined by an independent third party, by decision without delay”. To promote legal clarity in this economically important area and to provide a contribution to increasing the efficiency of dispute resolution, we are currently, in a series of preparatory workshops, putting together a proposal for guidelines on designing alternative dispute-resolution procedures in conformity with FRAND principles (FRAND ADR Case Management Guidelines). We will present a first draft of the Guidelines at the ADR Workshop.

Contact person: Dr. Axel Walz