Aldrich Law Firm, Ltd.
Aldrich Law Firm, Ltd.

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Using mediation for intellectual property disputes

People facing intellectual property disputes in Nevada may find that mediation is a better method than litigation. The subject matter surrounding IP cases can be technical and challenging to fight, and alternative dispute methods are commonly recommended for both parties.

The American Journal of Mediation discusses a number of reasons why litigation is not the best route for those with IP issues, and a big one is money. Depending on the situation, litigation costs for IP disputes can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some of the justifications for these charges include a burdensome discovery process, the production of evidence and expert witnesses to give clarity to the matter.

Because of their complexity, intellectual property trials can be very lengthy. With the initial trial and the appeal process that commonly comes with IP litigation, the average time it takes for final judgment to be made is around 7.5 years. Even for the winning party, the time and money involved may not be worth the final verdict. This is why many parties choose mediation as a quicker and easier way to decide on IP disputes.

According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, mediation offers a variety of advantages. These include:

  • Quick settlement that preserves reputations
  • Ability to control the process
  • Preservation of the relationship between disputing parties 

Typical areas in which mediation is preferred include franchises, trademark licenses, multimedia contracts, patents, employment contracts regarding technology sensitivity, joint ventures and computer contracts. Mediation is also common in music, film and publishing contracts as well as sports marketing agreements.

John P. Aldrich
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