The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) originally promulgated its mediation and arbitration rules in 1994, providing speedy, flexible and cost-effective services through methods besides courts for parties to resolve intellectual property and technology disputes. In recent years, considering the revisions of UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules and the development of practice of arbitration, WIPO starts to revise old rules to guide parties, decreasing costs and promoting efficiency. The newly-revised rules shall enter into effect on 1st of June in 2014. Besides emergency remedy, the new rules shall be applied in all WIPO mediation, (expedited) arbitration and expert determination after the 1st of June in 2014.
The new revisions of the WIPO new rules are as follows:
- Outsider Attending Arbitration. Arbitral tribunal may decide to allow outsider to attend arbitration after obtained agreement of each party (including participant).
- Merger of Arbitration. The Center has the right to decide to merge the new arbitration to an existing arbitration under certain conditions. The conditions include, agreement of every party and arbitral tribunal, and the subject matter has material relations or the parties of old and new arbitrations are the same.
- Appointment of Arbitrator. The way that parties select arbitrators from the recommended list of the center has been widely used in mediation and (expedited) arbitration.
- Preparation Meeting. The new rules compulsorily require that the arbitration and (expedited) arbitration must held preparation meetings within 30 days after the organization of tribunal to promote efficiency.
- Emergency Remedy Procedure. The new rules regulate that each party may require to start emergency remedy procedure. The Center may appoint one from the expert database with 1,500 experts in total as the emergent arbitrator. Through face-to-face hearing, conference call or exchange of written documents to listen to the opinions from both parties immediately after receiving the application and fees paid in advance, the arbitrator may decide on the emergency remedy measures. After the organization of the tribunal, the tribunal may revise or revoke any measures decided by the emergency remedy arbitrator upon one party’s request.