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Alternative Dispute Resolution

Litigation is not always the best solution, as it can become costly and is driven by a complex set of procedural rules that must be followed. Alternative Dispute Resolution, or ADR, provides other options. If for at least a period of time, both parties can agree that litigation is not a constructive way to resolve a dispute, that presents an opportunity for the ADR process. There are numerous forms of ADR; which is applicable typically depends on the situation. Our attorneys know the various ADR processes and can help you craft a forum for resolving your IP dispute that operates outside the regular constraints of the court system.

The benefits of ADR are numerous — why it is increasingly used and even formally integrated into the legal procedures that courts require litigants to follow. The main benefits of ADR are:

  • Flexible Procedures — The process is controlled by the parties to the dispute.
  • Lower Costs — Both parties save on costs that would otherwise be expended to comply with court procedures.
  • Less Complexity — The rules for ADR are simpler than for matters in court.
  • Expert Resolution — Parties have their choice of a neutral third party to facilitate a resolution, and they can select someone with expertise in the field. For complex IP matters, this ability to involve a qualified, neutral party is critical.
  • Confidentiality — The matter can be kept out of the public record.
  • Binding Outcomes — If the parties consent, the outcome is binding; durable agreements result.

The ADR process is rather straightforward:

Step 1. Select which ADR mechanism to utilize. The choices are:

  • Negotiation: The parties resolve the dispute without legal counsel.
  • Mediation: Legal counsel present the matter to a third party for a decision. In Collaborative Law, the attorneys for each side facilitate the resolution process.
  • Arbitration: The matter is presented to an arbitrator, usually a retired judge or an expert in the field.

Step 2. Select the people best suited to resolve the dispute. In IP matters — inherently technical and complex — the choice of people involved in the ADR process is critical. Their technical background and experience play a key role in resolving the dispute with efficiency.

Step 3. Present the facts and legal arguments in the selected forum and work to agree upon a resolution to the matter.

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