Intellectual property (IP) litigators are sometimes hesitant to take their disputes to mediation. Some of them think that proposing mediation or a settlement discussion will be perceived by the other party as a sign of weakness. However, this need not be the case considering how typical mediation is now. There are many reasons for mediating IP disputes, even when a client has a strong case.
Reasons to mediate
By choosing mediation as a method of solving your IP dispute, you:
- Avoid excessive legal fees, cost of experts and wasted time
- Avoid bad publicity for the company you are representing
In addition to the many benefits that come with mediation, it allows the parties’ attorneys to evaluate the strength of their case and determine whether a settlement is appropriate.
What does IP counsel do in mediation?
If your client agrees to take their case to mediation, having IP counsel participate in mediation is helpful, practical and very often the case. An IP attorney knows the ins and outs of intellectual property law and has enough experience to know what would happen if the parties failed to settle.
Intellectual property attorneys are excellent negotiators, which can be of tremendous benefit to both parties when they are mediating their cases. Expertise in negotiation and managing disputes between parties can be vital in mediation.
Choosing the right mediator
Even though mediators do not make decisions for the parties, and their role is to be an impartial third-party, many mediators have extensive knowledge of the laws involved in IP cases, which can be helpful.
Understanding what is at stake and facilitating a conversation between the parties, where they evaluate their positions and what they believe the outcome may be if they choose to litigate the case, can be extremely effective in settling the matter.
Mediation is a highly effective form of alternative dispute resolution. The practice of mediation provides the parties with an opportunity to negotiate, discuss the issues and make decisions for themselves about what is most important to them.