WIPO’s Arbitration and Mediation Center (WIPO Center) and the Format Recognition and Protection Association (FRAPA) are to join forces later this month in providing 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. Programs using these formats are often remade in different markets using local parties.
While the format industry is flourishing and the trade in TV formats is growing, the industry is characterized by fierce competition and frequent disputes. These 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.
Under the new collaboration, the WIPO Center will take on FRAPA’s existing mediation activity and will administer TV format-related disputes filed under the WIPO Mediation and Expedited Arbitration Rules for Film and Media.
Launched in December 2009, these Rules are tailored to the specific characteristics of disputes arising in the film and media sectors. They foresee appointment of a specialist from a dedicated international WIPO Panel of film and media mediators, arbitrators and experts. The WIPO Center and FRAPA also envisage providing specialized training and information sessions on format dispute resolution.
The WIPO-FRAPA collaboration will be officially launched at FRAPA’s 10th anniversary event on April 11, 2010 at 6:30 p.m. at Plage le Goéland in Cannes, France.