Esther van Zimmeren (University of Antwep), “The Creation of the Patent Mediation and Arbitration Centre as Part of the Unitary Patent Package: A Comparative Case Study Analysis of Various IP Arbitration and Mediation Institutions”
The unique attributes and potential advantages of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) for dealing with intellectual property (IP) disputes are increasingly being recognized by both companies and policymakers. Several institutions with special expertise in IP law are now offering ADR services, including for instance the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Arbitration and Mediation Centre in Geneva, the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) in Alicante and several national IP offices. In December 2012, the EU Member States adopted the “Unitary Patent Package” aimed at fundamental reforms of the European Patent System consisting of the creation of unitary patents and the establishment of a specialized patent court (the Unified Patent Court, hereinafter UPC), including a Patent Mediation and Arbitration Centre (PMAC). The current paper focuses on the PMAC, which until now has been basically ignored within the gradually growing academic literature on the Unitary Patent Package. The research question of this paper relates to the lessons that can be learnt from a systematic comparative analysis of a number of key International, European and national institutions specialized in IP mediation and arbitration for the future operations of the PMAC.