Litigation is often a necessary component of working in intellectual property. The proof is in the ever-increasing number of suits filed. But heading to court doesn’t need to be your default answer for every problem that arises.

Patent lawsuits have risen 9% from the same stretch last year, and indicators suggest that trend will continue. Going to court is sometimes a necessary step, but you could use other methods to come to terms.

Alternative measures

The impact arguments can have on relationships, business deals and innovations can be hard to convey in a courtroom.  This is where alternative dispute resolution can come into play. Mediation and arbitration within the world of intellectual property (IP) can offer many benefits:

  • Experience: Your average court audience may not have much experience with patent law, and your case might rely on a nuanced approach. You and your legal aid could exercise more of a say through the process while working with like-minded professionals.
  • Privacy: Keep business details private by working behind closed doors and using non-disclosure agreements that can benefit both parties. Most information that comes up in court becomes part of the public record.
  • Comprehensive: Sometimes litigation has to handle a range of jurisdictions and courts, while alternative means could provide a blanket decision. This can save you from inconsistent judgments and appeals.

Mediation

Mediation is usually a more collaborative approach than the strict formalities of a courtroom allow. A mediator presides in place of a judge. Their job is to find a settlement rather than levy a ruling. You could enforce any agreements as a contract.

Arbitration

Arbitration is a process where you submit your case to an individual or panel who can then render an informed decision. You rely on the arbiter’s knowledge to hand down a final, binding decision for your situation. Committing to arbitration may leave you unable to seek litigation on this specific matter in the future.

Jumping to a lawsuit may not always be your best option, but heading unprepared into resolution without a plan may not be much better. Work closely with experienced help, and you could develop answers to your questions concerning IP disputes.