Funding Available for Resolving IP and Technology Disputes for ASEAN Businesses

SINGAPORE: Enterprises within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) now have the opportunity to utilize subsidized mediation for the resolution of their Intellectual Property (IP) or technology disputes through the WIPO-Singapore ASEAN Mediation Programme (AMP).

Key Highlights:

  1. Under the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)-Singapore ASEAN Mediation Programme (AMP), individuals or entities facing IP or technology disputes, or requiring mediation support to finalize an IP or technology agreement, are eligible for funding of up to SGD 8,000 per mediation case. The funding will be evenly divided between the involved parties, unless mutually agreed otherwise.
  1. The AMP is a collaborative initiative between the WIPO Singapore Office (WSO) and the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS), established within the framework of the WIPO-Singapore Government Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The AMP receives support from the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center.
  1. Ms. Thitapha Wattanapruttipaisan, WSO Director, acknowledged the increasing global trend in IP or technology disputes and highlighted the growing interest in alternative dispute resolution, particularly in the ASEAN region. She expressed enthusiasm about the launch of the pilot WIPO-Singapore ASEAN Mediation Programme (AMP), aiming to provide businesses with increased access to mediation. The goal is to enable more ASEAN businesses to benefit from mediation as an effective and economical solution for their IP or technology disputes.
  1. Mrs. Rena Lee, IPOS Chief Executive, expressed the hope that the WIPO-Singapore ASEAN Mediation Programme (AMP) would encourage enterprises to prioritize mediation as their preferred method for resolving IP or technology disputes. ASEAN businesses can also leverage this initiative for mediating the terms of IP or technology agreements. She emphasized the partnership between IPOS and WIPO in offering this valuable service to stakeholders.
  1. The AMP provides an additional mediation avenue for businesses, supplementing existing schemes such as the Revised Enhanced Mediation Promotion Scheme (REMPS), which was an extension of the Enhanced Mediation Promotion Scheme (EMPS).
  1. A multi-jurisdictional case involving a dispute over Singaporean and foreign IP rights, between the American company Aftershokz, LLC and Thai businessman Mr. Suravit Kongmebhol, was successfully mediated under the EMPS. The case was resolved within 19.5 hours and concluded with a settlement agreement. This mediation approach proved to be more time- and cost-effective compared to litigation, which could have taken over two years across multiple jurisdictions and potentially resulted in uneven outcomes.
  2. Interested applicants can apply for AMP funding by notifying the WIPO Center when making a Request for WIPO Mediation or subsequently. The pilot phase for the AMP is set to conclude on December 31, 2023, or when the allocated budget is fully utilized, whichever comes first.

In conclusion, the WIPO-Singapore ASEAN Mediation Programme (AMP) offers a valuable opportunity for ASEAN businesses to resolve their IP and technology disputes in a cost-effective, efficient, and collaborative manner. By enhancing access to mediation and providing financial support, the AMP contributes to the growth and success of businesses in the region while promoting a culture of alternative dispute resolution. Contact Pintas IP today to learn more on Intellectual Property protection in Singapore and other countries within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.