The Use of Mediation in Settling Patent Disputes
Thorsten Bausch, Partner, Hoffmann Eitle, Germany
Friederike Heckmann, Senior Patent Counsel, Bayer Intellectual Property GmbH, Germany
Multinational patent disputes are highly complex as they frequently deal with complicated technical facts and arguments that must be presented in numerous jurisdictions with different legal systems and jurisdictional traditions. Court proceedings are often lengthy and expensive, and frequently there is a considerable risk of obtaining an unfavorable decision in at least one jurisdiction. Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods are an attractive and powerful alternative to traditional patent litigation. Mediation, as one of the ADR methods, offers the involved parties the opportunity to settle all related disputes with the assistance of a mediator in one fell swoop, reaching a global settlement and achieving immediate legal certainty in all jurisdictions involved. Despite these obvious advantages, it remains that mediation is not as extensively used in patent matters as it could be. This article aims to illustrate the characteristics of mediation in a patent dispute, as well as the advantages of mediation over traditional patent litigation as well as its limitations.
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