The role of technology continues to rise especially in this time of the pandemic, where people are advised to work and learn from home and minimize face-to-face contacts and instead communicate through remote arrangements. Even settlement of legal disputes is now being encouraged, if not mandated, to be done online.
With this, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) has mandated the conduct of mediation services online from end-to-end to settle IP disputes. While parties may still opt for face-to-face mediations, this is subject to the Bureau of Legal Affairs (BLA) Director’s approval.
IPOPHL may be the first government agency to implement an end-to-end online mediation from referral or filing of requests up to the submission of settlement agreement or termination, according to BLA Director Nathaniel Arevalo.
IPOPHL has also said that the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Option for mediation has been revived, which would benefit those with IP-related disputes in multiple jurisdictions. The WIPO-Arbitration and Mediation Center (AMC) has waived its $100 administration fee and reduced the mediators’ fee to Php 4,000, same rate as IPOPHL’s mediation fee, to encourage more parties to avail of the WIPO option.
Please check these out:
Memorandum Circular (MC) 2020-047 or the Amendments to the Revised Rules on Mediation: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1m7-_yVLLc1cDI-jC1o06fv6r7ofoYkY6/view
MC 2020-048 or the Amendment to the Rules of Procedure for IPOPHL Mediation Outside of Litigation: https://drive.google.com/file/d/18JHl6_oqkkVa7Zf-ZBoQZ6H4_e-taHr_/view