Sunday, April 3, 2011

Dispute Resolution Of Cross Border Technology Transactions

Praveen Dalal

Dispute Resolution in Cross Border Technology Transactions is an area that has tremendous potential. There are diverse natures of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) related disputes that can be effective solved using Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) or Online Dispute Resolution Mechanisms.

However, the crucial question is whether India is ready for Dispute Resolution of Cross Border Technology Transactions and E-Commerce Transactions? I am not talking about use of traditional Litigation Methods for the same. Of course, they are sufficient to resolve these Technology Related Disputes. What I am discussing here is use of ADR and ODR by Individual Panelists and Institutional Arbitration Institutions of India.

The present ODR Regime of India is facing severe Legal Roadblocks. We have neither Legal Framework nor Technical Expertise to engage in high profile and highly technical Technological Disputes. We have no Domain Name Protection Law in India and even Cyber Squatting cases are decided under the Indian Trademark Act, 1999. Even Institutional Arbitration Framework has not been adequately developed by India to resolve such disputes.

Even Domain Name Dispute Resolution in India through ODR is not very popular in the absence of International Harmonisation of ODR Framework. International Harmonisation of ODR is required that is presently governed by different sets of Rules and Procedures.

Just like Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) is a Standard for resolving Domain Name Disputes, similar Standards and Norms must be established for all Technology Related Disputes resolvable by using ODR mechanism. Institutions like WIPO, United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), etc must think and work in this direction. We must also either amend the Indian Trademark Act, 1999 or enact a separate Cyber Squatting Law of India.

With a pro active approach at both National and International Levels, Technology related disputes can be effectively and economically resolved. We at Perry4Law and Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB) are working in this direction. Collectively, the exclusive E-Courts Training and Consultancy Centre of India manage the issues of ADR, ODR, E-Courts, Domain Name Dispute Resolution in India, etc.

We hope our initiatives would prove useful to all concerned, especially to WIPO and UNCITRAL.