The Intellectual Property Office has called for observations on the relatively low use of its mediation service for IP cases. It is keen to understand the reasons for this and what more can be done to assist SMEs in resolving disputes before they reach the court system.
IP is an area with great potential for mediation. Mediation's private, quick and efficient working can give parties (especially SME's) the opportunity to find a pragmatic, commercial and realistic solution to what otherwise can become protracted and costly.
In a recent example, two companies had been in dispute for some time over use of patent rights, having fought a High Court action and then raised further claims in Scotland. A day of mediation enabled the parties and their respective lawyers and experts to get to the real heart of the matter -- and to resolve it with new commercial arrangements including licenses and assignations of rights. Once the true nature of the problem was identified in the mediation process, a solution could be found. And at a fraction of the cost of litigation.
For the IPO call for observations, see:
Click here to read more about IP and mediation.