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How Does Mediation Impact IP Disputes?

Mediation is a form of dispute resolution that focuses on negotiations over litigation. Instead of waging a costly courtroom battle, those who choose mediation to resolve their legal issue collaborate to produce a resolution. This is applicable to a wide array of disputes, including those involving intellectual property (IP) matters.

Why Should I Consider Mediation For My IP Dispute?

One of the key benefits of mediation is privacy. Courtroom litigation can enter the public sphere, making it very difficult to keep the details of the dispute private. This is of particular concern for IP matters, when privacy is often paramount to success within one’s market. Mediation also provides an opportunity for extra protection as the parties can also agree to keep the process and results confidential.

Additional benefits can include:

  • Expertise: Parties can choose a neutral third-party mediator to guide the process. This creates an opportunity to choose an individual that has some expertise in the area at issue.
  • Efficiency: Mediation is also often much more efficient compared to traditional litigation. This is due to many factors, including the need to consider the party’s schedules and not rely on a court schedule.
  • Reputation: Mediation can also help to protect the business’ reputation in two ways. First, it keeps the matter private so the parties can focus on the issue and not public perception. Second, it encourages negotiation instead of contentious arguments to reach a resolution.

It is important to note that this process can be used even for disputes that extend across borders. Enforcement of an agreed-upon resolution is protected through the United Nations Convention for the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards of 1958.

When is Mediation Not an Option?

This option works best when both parties cooperate. In situations where both parties are interested in finding a resolution through mediation to IP disputes, this option has proven successful in over 70% of the time. However, if one or both parties are adversarial, litigation may be a better option.

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