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Alternatives To Litigation Can Save Money And Headaches

In the legal world, there is a push to resolve civil disputes through means other than litigation. Intellectual property disputes are no exception. In fact, mediation and arbitration clauses are a common component of many intellectual property contracts and settlement agreements.

Hovey Williams LLP, an intellectual property firm in metro Kansas city, embraces alternative dispute resolution (ADR) as an effective means to resolve intellectual property disputes. Our attorneys are accomplished litigators who are always prepared to represent clients in court. However, as intellectual property rights continue to gain economic importance for many companies, drawn-out litigation can seriously interrupt the normal course of business for extended periods. Mediation and arbitration often allow parties to reach an equally effective resolution in a fraction of the time it takes to litigate a dispute.

The lawyers at Hovey Williams also are available to serve as arbitrators or mediators in disputes, and may be certified before the U.S. District Court of Kansas or the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. They bring extensive experience and technical expertise in a wide range of intellectual property disputes to this important third-party role.

Advantages Of Arbitration

Arbitration is not the right solution for every intellectual property dispute, but there are numerous reasons why it makes good sense in many instances. In addition to cost and time efficiencies, the benefits of arbitration include:

  • Increased control over the process — The parties involved can decide how a dispute is resolved.
  • Confidentiality — Parties can agree to keep the proceedings and settlement terms confidential. When the subject of a dispute is carefully protected intellectual property, maintaining confidentiality is obviously important. Confidentiality also allows both parties to focus on the merits of the case and not be concerned about public perception of the outcome.
  • Expert decision makers — The parties involved in a dispute can select an arbitrator or mediator who has expertise in the type of intellectual property dispute being resolved.
  • Binding decisions — Most court decisions can be appealed, which increases the cost of litigating and prolongs the time it takes to resolve a dispute. An arbitrator’s award is final, binding and enforceable in court.

Advantages Of Mediation

In mediation, a mediator facilitates communication between the parties in an attempt to reach a settlement to all or some of the disputed issues. Unlike arbitration, mediation is a non-binding process. A mediator’s role is not to determine whether one party infringed on the other party’s patent or the rightful owner of a trademark.

Mediation may not produce a final resolution, but it can provide clarity regarding the dispute and reduce the number of issues that are in dispute. Many courts will require parties to mediate prior to litigating.

In private mediation, the parties can select an expert whom both sides trust and respect. In fact, co-mediators can be used to provide additional expertise to the mediation process.

Is ADR Right For Your Dispute?

We help our clients navigate the ADR process, ensuring that their interests and rights are protected. We also welcome the opportunity to serve parties in a mediator or arbitrator role and help them avoid the costly and lengthy litigation process. Call 913-647-9050 or use our online contact form to schedule a consultation.