The use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) such as mediation, arbitration and expert determination to settle disputes between private parties outside the courts has a long tradition in legal systems around the world. IP and related disputes have distinctive characteristics in that they often span multiple jurisdictions and involve highly technical matters, complex laws and sensitive information. Consequently, the disputants often look for flexible dispute resolution processes that can be customized to their needs and that enable them to control the time and cost of proceedings.
ADR processes have a number of advantages. They are flexible, cost-efficient, time-effective, and give the parties more control over the process and the results. Parties who resolve their disputes through ADR are generally more satisfied because they may directly participate in working out the terms of their settlement.
When appropriate settlement processes are available, many disputes can be resolved more efficiently and with greater satisfaction to all parties. Lengthy, costly litigation can be avoided, divisiveness minimized, and productive results achieved.
- Mediation which is a consensual process in which a neutral intermediary (the mediator) assists the parties in reaching a settlement based on the parties’ interests. The mediator does not impose a settlement but a settlement agreement has force of contract. Mediation does not preclude any subsequent court or arbitration options.
- Arbitration defined as a consensual procedure in which the parties submit their dispute to one or more arbitrators of their choice for a binding and final decision (an “award”) based on the respective rights and obligations of the parties and enforceable under arbitral law. Arbitration normally forecloses any subsequent court options.
- Expedited Arbitration which is a procedure that involves a sole arbitrator and which is carried out in a shorter time frame and at reduced cost. Expedited arbitration is especially suited to less complex cases involving lower disputed amounts and where speedy resolution is needed.
- Expert determination. A consensual procedure in which the parties submit a specific matter, such as a technical question, to one or more experts who make a determination on the matter. The parties can agree for the determination to be legally binding.
[Send us your details using the form below for more details or guidance on using ADR for your IP Dispute]