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Singapore and WIPO to provide alternative dispute resolution services for Asia Pacific

F. Y. Teng | July 29, 2009
The Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts, and the Ministry of Law of Singapore, have inked separate agreements with the World Intellectual Property Organization to formalise the partnership.

SINGAPORE, 28 JULY 2009 The government of Singapore and the Geneva-based World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) have announced that they will be jointly promoting and providing alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services across the region. To formalise the partnership, two Ministers signed agreements with WIPO on Tuesday (July 28).

The first of these between the Minister for Law K. Shanmugam and WIPO Director General Dr. Francis Gurry enables the establishment of the Singapore Office of the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (AMC). Set for official opening sometime January 2010, the AMC is housed in Singapore's international dispute resolution centre Maxwell Chambers and will see to the administration and facilitation of hearings in cases conducted under the WIPO rules in Singapore, as well as provide training and advice on procedures such as arbitration, mediation and expert determination. The Singapore Office of the AMC will also be working at making WIPO's experience and expertise in intellectual property (IP) ADR more accessible across the Asia Pacific region.

The second, a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts Rear Admiral Lui Tuck Yew and WIPO's Gurry, paves the way for cooperative efforts to do with the protection of IP, starting with the establishment of an international WIPO Mediation and Arbitration Scheme for Film Related Disputes (WIPO Film ADR Scheme).

At the signing ceremony Tuesday (July 28), Shanmugam stressed the importance of the expanded Singapore-WIPO partnership, in particular with respect to two key aspects of [Singapore's] economic policy. First our MoU with WIPO reinforces the importance we place on the role of IP in a modern economy. Singapore is a reasonable and responsible partner of WIPO in the efforts to increase protection of IP. We wish to grow as a knowledge economy, an attractive place for companies to emplace and develop their IP, a place for innovation for both foreign and local companies. For that, we recognise IP protection as a key, he said. The AMC…will help develop IP dispute resolution services in Singapore and help us enhance Singapore's reputation as a centre for IP protection.

At the same time, [the agreement] reinforces a second aspect, which is the continuing rise of Singapore as an important international arbitration centre, said Shanmugam. In this context, [our agreement] with WIPO for the AMC to be located in Singapore will add to the expert and specialised services offered out of Singapore.

According to Lui, the WIPO Film ADR Scheme, which will be run by the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts (MICA) and WIPO, is a programme that would help drive and ensure the continued success and growth of the media industry and its complementary industries, not just in Singapore but internationally.


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