April 14, 2010
Posted by Mark Reichel / 10:04 AM /
On April 7, 2010, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) announced that its Arbitration and Mediation Center and the Format Recognition and Protection Association (FRAPA) will be combining their efforts to provide "alternative dispute resolution services to address problems of format plagiarism or the unauthorized copying of television (TV) formats, such as those used for game, reality or talent shows and sitcoms." As noted in the WIPO announcement (available HERE), "the format industry is flourishing and the trade in TV formats is growing, the industry is characterized by fierce competition and frequent disputes," and that "[t]hese disputes often relate to the unauthorized use of formats owned by third parties and can be difficult to resolve in court because of differences in relevant national laws in this area." Specifically, the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center will take on the existing mediation activity of FRAPA and will administer disputes relating to TV formats filed under the WIPO Mediation and Expedited Arbitration Rules for Film and Media, which were launched this past December and are "tailored to the specific characteristics of disputes arising in the film and media sectors." Additional information on this new service offering, as well as links to the two organizations and the applicable rules, are available at the link above.