The number of IP disputes resolved in mediation has continued to increase as more attorneys make efforts to find a speedy resolution and cut litigation time and cost for their clients. Only a small percentage of costly patent infringement cases actually go to trial, and approximately 90 percent of them are settled, often by entering into a licensing agreement covering future use.
Businesspeople and their counsel recognize that mediation is a cost-effective, low-risk process with a remarkably high success rate when conducted by an experienced mediator. In mediation, the parties avoid the risk of trial and remain in control of the resolution rather than turning it over to a third party, a judge or jury. Also, mediation is a good way to preserve business relationships, something that often is important in a licensing dispute. In order to have the best opportunity for settlement, counsel should consider the following three points: