ASP security and dispute resolution guidelines released

New global procedures for improved security and efficient dispute resolution for application service providers (ASP) were announced Friday to help solidify the future of the emerging industry.

After a year's work, the ASP Industry Consortium (ASPIC) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Friday released final recommendations and guidelines that will be used by WIPO's Arbitration and Mediation Center to resolve disputes between ASPs around the world.

WIPO is a Geneva-based United Nations agency specializing in intellectual property matters.

Jim O'Reilly, an ASPIC spokesman, said the new rules and procedures are needed because ASP vendors and their customers can be located in different countries, making fair dispute resolution procedures much more difficult because of differing laws and customs.

A key to the guidelines will be its dispute avoidance recommendations, he said. They're aimed at helping to keep problems from escalating into full-blown disputes.

Traver Gruen-Kennedy, chairman of ASPIC, said in a statement that "cyberspace has no borders, yet the world still operates under a system of cultural and historic borders, meaning a process is required to address business disputes that may occur in a cross-border relationship."

The global dispute avoidance and resolution guidelines are available on the Web sites of both groups, which announced the project a year ago.

An early version of the rules and guidelines were released in November.

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