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Mediation- the solution to your IP problems?

Written by Ellis Sweetenham on 01 April 2016

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When you find someone is infringing your intellectual property, it is gutting. You are in need of a solution.

A way to do this without going through the courts and building up costs is mediation.

While it may not be the best course of action for everyone, in many cases it has brought any potential IP infringement to a close without the need to take the matter to court.

Mediation as a concept is a form of alternative dispute resolution and its found to be cheaper and quicker than court proceedings. It allows you and the other party to come together to discuss the situation that has developed with the aid of a neutral third party that may help you to see each other sides. While the mediator is there to help come to a consensus, they will not make any decision for you. Any resolve will come from you and the other party.

To initiate a mediation session, you can either find a mediator yourselves, as long as they are a neutral party, or use an established. The UK Intellectual Property Office does offer their own mediation service where they can provide a mediator that can help with IP disputes.

The UK IPO has gained the opinion of a IP owner in relation to mediation and how it has helped them.

To maintain anonymity, the party has been identified as Mr Smith.

Mr Smith after submitting an application to register a patent and received a patent pending found that another business had claimed to invent the product in question. While he was sure that the product had not originated from the other party, action needed to be taken to prevent any further infringement.

His first step was to send a letter to the other party to highlight that the protection lied with him. Following this, he sought advice from a patent attorney. However, after taking this advice it became clear the process of taking the matter to court was going to be very costly and time consuming. Being a newly established business, the costs being mentioned were not achievable.  

When mediation was suggested, it seemed to be the best solution. It allowed both parties to come together and move the situation forward. The dispute was then resolved.

While Mr Smith is relieved that the situation has been resolved, he regrets that he was not aware of mediation before. He explains that “Had I been able to get to mediation at an earlier stage I would’ve saved money, time and effort. If I had been offered the option straight away it would’ve been a lot better for all concerned and we would have had a better idea of where we stood.”

Many businesses do not know that mediation can be an option for them that can be time and money saving.

For more guidance or advice, contact Lawdit Solicitors.

If you'd like to know more about this article please send an email to Ellis Sweetenham quoting the article title and any questions you might have, alternatively call the office number on 02380 235 979 or send an enquiry through our contact form.

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