Tuesday 5 April 2011

United Nations And Online Dispute Resolution

What is common between United Nations, online dispute resolution (ODR) and India? In the future one may see the collaboration between these three factors. As far as United Nations is concerned, United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) has constituted a working group on ODR. This establishes the relationship between UNCITRAL and ODR. India is going to play a major role in this entire process as an important regional ODR initiative provider, hence UNCITRAL, ODR and India are interconnected.

UNCITRAL has to come in to picture as international harmonisation of ODR is the need of the hour. It has the primary responsibility to ensure international legal standards for ODR. Similarly, online dispute resolution in India is also having its own share of discussions. However, success of ODR in India is still doubtful. To be successful, ODR in India needs urgent rejuvenation. This has happened because legal enablement of ICT systems in India is missing.

ODR and cross border e-commerce transactions are also interrelated. E-commerce is global in nature and nothing can solve disputes arising out of e-commerce more effectively than ODR. Similar is the case regarding dispute resolution of cross border technology transactions.

Individuals and Organisations are exploring the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) mechanisms to resolve Technology Related Disputes, informs Praveen Dalal, managing partner of New Delhi based IP and ICT law firm Perry4Law and leading techno legal expert of India.

While drafting and vetting contractual agreements involving Technology Transfers and Licensing, we specifically and consensually incorporate an ADR/ODR clause mandating “Institutional Arbitration” through Institutions like WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center or UNCITRAL based Arbitration Institutions, informs Dalal.

Dispute Resolution of Cross Border Technology Transactions is the latest trend in international commercial arbitration, informs Dalal. Further, Domain Name Dispute Resolution Services in India would also see an increase in near future, says Dalal.

Even the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) has recently announced that cyber squatting cases have increased significantly in the recent years. So almost every aspect of technology has a dispute element attached to it. Organisations like WIPO, UNCITRAL, etc must play a more active role for strengthening ODR mechanism in general and technology related dispute resolution mechanisms in particular.