In Focus: IP Mediation

  • Mar 23 2018
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  • Category: Blog

If you are involved in an intellectual property dispute, litigation in the federal court system may become inevitable. In fact, thousands of intellectual property lawsuits involving patents, trademarks and copyrights are initiated each year. Due to the complexities, costs and time involved with litigating an IP dispute, however, parties are often better served by resolving their disputes through mediation.

What is intellectual property mediation?

Today, federal district courts often require parties to pursue mediation to reduce the caseload in the court system, particularly in cases in which emergency relief, such as a preliminary injunction, is sought to stop infringing conduct. In short, mediation clears up court dockets and also saves the parties time and resources. Mediation also allows the parties and their attorneys to focus on resolving their dispute before embarking on a lengthy and costly litigation.

At the same time, the parties can engage in frank and confidential discussions, which can help to open the lines of communication and resolve the dispute. Additionally, mediation affords the parties in an intellectual property dispute more control of the process. Rather than being tied to court appearances at set times and dates, the parties can schedule the time and location of negotiating sessions.

Additionally, the parties also have the opportunity to select the mediator, who is ultimately responsible for helping them reach an agreement. Often, a mediator in an intellectual property dispute also has extensive experience in this practice area, which means that they do not need to be educated about the details of intellectual property law.

The other benefit of mediation is that the parties are more likely to come up with creative solutions than they could agree to in a court trial, where they are bound by applicable rules and procedures and available legal remedies. In an informal mediation setting, the parties can more readily move toward the mutual goal of reaching a solution.

Even if the mediation is not successful, the parties’ attorneys can discover all types of useful information that may allow them to better manage the litigation if the case proceeds to trial. In the final analysis, successfully resolving patent, trademark and copyright disputes, whether through mediation or litigation, requires the guidance of experienced intellectual property attorneys.