The EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has launched a new Mediation Centre offering free alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services including mediation, conciliation, and expert determination to qualifying parties involved in proceedings before the EUIPO.
The service opened on 22 November 2023 via an online ADR platform which whereby the mediator and the relevant parties to a dispute can interact virtually. The initiative has been implemented with the aim of providing a more streamlined and cost-effective process and thus allow parties to deal with disputes without the need for litigation. The service will likely prove particularly useful in cross-border disputes.
ADR services are available to all parties involved in proceedings before the EUIPO at second instance. Further, SMEs can request ADR to deal with first instance proceedings (oppositions, cancellations, and invalidations). The service is to be gradually extended to all users throughout 2024 and 2025.
EUIPO executive director, Joao Negrao, described the development as a “major step” in supporting individuals and businesses in managing and enforcing their intellectual property rights, continuing that “With 42% of EU trademark 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.”
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