As noted on 21 February 2022, Petter Rindforth, LLM, member of FICPI’s Study & Work Committee and Managing partner at Fenix Legal in Sweden is participating as FICPI’s representative in EUIPO’s Working Group 4 SAB on Criteria for suitability of cases for Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR).
The 5th Plenary Meeting of ADR-SAB was held on April 8, 2022, and Petter presented the draft guidelines for online Mediation for the full ADR-SAB, including representatives of the EUIPO Board of Appeal.
The document and list of examples is meant to be a guideline both for the Boards of Appeal in connection with their Alternative Dispute Resolution Service, as well as for lawyers and business representatives of SME’s.
- Although the guideline is focused on EUTM and RCD disputes, these criteria can also be applicable to other IP rights such as copyright, patents as well as national rights.
- Another important element of the context is the notion of the “user”, identifying the fact that a “user” is not strictly referring to a person with legal/IP knowledge, but also cover users with all different types of backgrounds, such as company owners or individual entrepreneurs, who may or may not have legal or IP knowledge. It is important for all parties in a dispute to have the possibility to read and understand the criteria in order to make their own decisions if their dispute is a suitable case for mediation.
- The document has checklists of the criteria for identifying cases 1) more suitable for mediation, and 2) for identifying cases where mediation may not be feasible. These checklists are complementary, meaning that both the plus and the minus list of examples will serve to help the user to identify whether his or her case is suitable for mediation.
- The checklists can serve not just as the first step in a dispute, but also in a mid of a dispute when the parties may come to the conclusion that some topics of the dispute are identified as better solved by mediation.
A pilot application of the Criteria will now take place, meaning that the Members of the 4th Board of Appeal of the EUIPO will use the Criteria as a screening tool for assessing the suitability for mediation of the cases they have been assigned. The lessons learnt and the conclusions drawn from this pilot will be presented for the WG, which will then prepare a final version to be presented for endorsement in the 6th ADR-SAB meeting in mid-November 2022.
If you'd like to discuss the draft guidelines or other aspects with Petter, please contact him via email: [email protected]