We have been witnessing an IP explosion for the past five years looking at the number of patents filed at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Corporate and business communities indeed consider intellectual properties like patents and license agreements among their most valuable assets. It is also becoming increasingly essential to safe guard one’s intellectual property. There are laws to protect trade secrets and confidential information and we see non-disclosure agreements and job agreements with technical employees becoming quite common.
There has also been an increase in patent infringement law suits. Lawyers and law firms now specialize in patent infringement law suits. It is often a challenging task as IP disputes are usually complex and technically intensive and it takes effort to explain in court the specialized doctrines of IP law. Arbitration is often preferred these days especially when the company feels that litigation is an expensive option that cannot be risked or when they want to avoid the publicity of a law suit. Arbitration in the US is administered through the American Arbitration Association at http://www.adr.org/. Unlike in mediation legal arbitration can also involve depositions, motions practice, and hearings with live testimony. Arbitrations usually end with a decision in favor of one of the parties and an award of damages /relief, with an injunction.
IP arbitration has its advantages and disadvantages. One of the biggest advantages is that in arbitration one can select the person who will preside over the private dispute. In court judges are assigned at random. Among the chief disadvantages of arbitration is the fact that one does not have any meaningful right to appeal an arbitration award.
Being able to screen and select the person or persons presiding over a private dispute is one of the most important benefits of choosing arbitration. In court, the parties are assigned a judge seemingly at random. If the client has the fear that they may be stuck with an incorrect ruling they will hesitate to agree for an arbitration and might choose litigation.
Managed Outsource Solutions (MOS) is a US based legal outsourcing pioneer and leader offering outsourcing services in legal arbitration, legal transcription, IP litigation, patent litigation support services, legal documentation, litigation support, legal coding, legal research and legal web design services for clients in the US, Canada the UK and Australia.