Lerner David is actively involved in the mediation of IP disputes. Leveraging a half century of litigating, arbitrating, and settling patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret cases, Lerner David partners also serve as neutral mediators and arbitrators. Indeed, as Lerner David maintains a robust litigation practice, our mediators have access not only to the best resources to assist in the evaluation of matters, but also the pulse of contemporary approaches by courts and litigators.
Many courts today urge—and sometimes require—litigants to participate in mediation. This is a non-binding process in which a successful mediator can enlighten both sides of a dispute so they can appreciate not only the strengths of their cases, but also its weaknesses. If requested, a mediator can undertake an “early neutral evaluation.” Our mediators assist parties in identifying common ground upon which the parties may resolve their differences before incurring large expenses for discovery, experts, and motion practice. Lerner David’s highly experienced mediators can often result in the parties establishing a rational business-based solution, in some cases beyond a benefit that could be obtained in the litigation. These have included cross-license or technology sharing arrangements.
In contrast to mediation, arbitration relies on selected lawyers to definitively decide the dispute. This allows a dispute to be resolved outside of court, which can be important to timing and expense. To facilitate such advantages, the parties can agree to more streamlined discovery and trial procedures. Often, such streamlining is already in place in a provision within an agreement between the parties. Arbitration is also attractive to some businesses as it provides a confidential venue for resolution, rather than a public trial.
Several on our ADR team have been selected by the U.S. District Court of New Jersey for its panel of designated mediators who can be tapped for mandatory mediation.