Alternative Dispute Resolution services for intellectual property disputes in Trinidad and Tobago

Intellectual Property Office of Trinidad and Tobago-WIPO Collaboration

Although commercial disputes can be resolved through court litigation, with increasing frequency, parties are submitting such disputes to alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedures, such us mediation and arbitration.

In December 2018, the Intellectual Property Office of Trinidad and Tobago (TTIPO) and the WIPO entered into a collaboration through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to make available ADR options, in particular mediation, for intellectual property (IP) and technology disputes in Trinidad and Tobago and the region, through the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (WIPO Center).

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What types of disputes can be resolved through WIPO ADR?

Parties can refer most contractual and non-contractual commercial disputes to WIPO ADR procedures. Such disputes may also relate to IP rights (copyright, trademarks, patents, designs, software and trade secrets), technology and domain names.

For example, IP contractual disputes may arise in licensing agreements, distribution agreements, franchising agreements, broadcasting agreements, research and development agreements, technology transfer agreements, software-related agreements, among others. Non-contractual disputes may be related to infringement of IP rights.

Mediation

What is mediation?

Mediation is an informal process in which a neutral intermediary, the mediator, assists the parties in reaching a settlement of their dispute, based on the parties' respective business interests. The mediator cannot impose a decision. The settlement agreement has the force of a contract.

The TTIPO supports the WIPO Mediation Pledge, a WIPO initiative to promote the use of mediation for IP and technology disputes.

How to refer a dispute to WIPO Mediation?

a) In the absence of a mediation agreement, a party that wishes to propose submitting a dispute to mediation (Unilateral Request) shall:

i. Complete and sign the Request for WIPO Mediation.

ii. Send the Request to the WIPO Center by email to arbiter.mail@wipo.int, and to the other party.

iii. Upon receipt of the Request, the WIPO Center would be available to provide information on the WIPO Mediation process to the other party. Should the other party be interested in participating in the WIPO Mediation process, such party shall sign and send the Request to the WIPO Center by email to arbiter.mail@wipo.int.

b) If both parties agree to refer a dispute to WIPO Mediation (Mediation Agreement), the parties shall:

i. Complete and sign the Request for WIPO Mediation.

ii. Send the Request to the WIPO Center by email to arbiter.mail@wipo.int.

Appointment of the mediator and mediation procedure

The parties may agree in relation to the appointment of the mediator. Otherwise, the appointment shall take place in accordance with Article 7 of the WIPO Mediation Rules. The WIPO Center maintains a list of specialized mediators, including from Trinidad and Tobago. The WIPO Center will confirm the mediator’s impartiality and independence before appointment (Article 8 of the WIPO Mediation Rules).

The mediation shall be conducted in the manner agreed by the parties (Article 10 of the WIPO Mediation Rules). If, and to the extent that, the parties have not made such agreement, the mediator shall, in accordance with these Rules, determine the manner in which the mediation shall be conducted. Mediation meetings may take place in person or remotely, via teleconferencing or videoconferencing facilities, at the parties’ choice. The mediation will be confidential (Articles 15 to 18 of the WIPO Mediation Rules).

How much does WIPO Mediation cost?

Reduced administration and mediator’s fees apply in light of the TTIPO-WIPO collaboration.

WIPO's Administrative Fee Mediator's Fees
USD 50 per party* USD 100 per party (includes 4 hours of preparation and mediation).
Additional hours: USD 50 per hour per party.

* To be paid after all parties agree to refer the dispute to WIPO Mediation. The filing of a Request for Mediation in accordance with Article 4 of the WIPO Mediation Rules is not subject to administration fees. If the parties agree to continue with the mediation process, the administration fee required by the WIPO Center's Schedule of Fees and Costs will be applicable.

Payment Details Information

1. Payments to the WIPO Center shall be made by any of the following means only:

Bank transfer: Payments in USD – WIPO Account IBAN CH6804835063039782000, Credit Suisse, CH-1211 Geneva 70, Switzerland, SWIFT Code CRESCHZZ80A.

Credit card (for more information please contact arbiter.mail@wipo.int).

2. Payments by check or in cash will not be accepted.

3. All bank charges, transfer fees or other amounts that may be levied in connection with a payment made to the Center shall be the responsibility of the party making the payment.

What other WIPO ADR options are available for IP and technology disputes?

Arbitration and expedited arbitration

A procedure in which the parties submit their dispute to one or more arbitrators, for a binding and final decision (award).

Expert determination

A procedure in which the parties submit a specific matter (e.g., technical question, valuation of IP assets, establishment of royalty rates) to one or more experts who make a determination on the matter.

Domain name disputes

Procedures available to resolve disputes related to the bad-faith registration of domain names corresponding to third-party trademarks.

Contact Details

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center Intellectual Property Office of Trinidad and Tobago
Chemin des Colombettes 34
1211 Geneva 20
Switzerland
T + 4122 338 8247
   or 0800 888 549
F + 4122 740 3700
   or 0800 888 550
W www.wipo.int/amc
E  arbiter.mail@wipo.int
11-13 Frederick Street
Port of Spain
Trinidad and Tobago
T (868) 625-9972 
   (868) 625-1907 
   (868) 627-0706
   (868) 624-1221
W www.ipo.gov.tt
info@ipo.gov.tt

Videoconferencing facilities:
Level 12
Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs (AGLA Tower)
Government Campus Plaza Corner of London and Richmond Streets
Port of Spain
Trinidad and Tobago