Alternative dispute resolution

An IT project or data-sharing collaboration can involve a certain degree of technical expertise. In the event of disputes, the ordinary courts are often ill-equipped to resolve points of disagreement quickly and efficiently. It may be appropriate to submit a dispute of this nature to an out-of-court institution, staffed by experts who are perfectly familiar with the issues raised not only by the law, but also by the technical aspects of an IT project or industrial data transactions.

In Switzerland, the Zurich-based Institution for IT and Data Dispute Resolution (ITDR) offers dispute resolution services in the field of IT and data. Such proceedings offer the parties considerable freedom, particularly as regards choosing the language of the proceedings, where they will take place and whether to initiate mediation prior to arbitration.

The model contracts provide for the possibility of using the services of the ITDR. Users of the model contracts may choose one or three arbitrators, depending on the importance of the case. 


There are six good reasons to opt for alternative dispute resolution when it comes to sharing industrial data: 



Arbitration proceedings are generally much faster than legal proceedings. The first negotiations can take place within just a few weeks. The arbitration decision is final and binding.



The arbitrators involved in arbitration proceedings are legal experts who also have in-depth technical knowledge as a result of their work.



The ITDR's mediation and arbitration proceedings are confidential, unlike ordinary court proceedings, whose judgments are published. Confidentiality is important when information critical to the company is involved.

International applicability

Data sharing often involves companies working across national borders. Arbitration is recognised internationally by the United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.


Flexibility and transparency

Arbitration offers the parties greater flexibility in terms of the organisation and conduct of the proceedings. They can determine for themselves the language, conduct, stages and pace of the proceedings, which contributes to the predictability of costs.


Choice of arbitrators

The parties can choose the arbitrators or participate in their selection. This increases confidence in the neutrality and professional competence of the arbitrators.


Source: Swiss IT Reseller, October 2023, p. 61