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Its good to talk – Anti Copying in Design

Anti Copying in Design (ACID) launches a new IP mediation service today! MEDIATE TO RESOLVE

Intellectual property issues? Why litigate when you can mediate? Mediate to Resolve is a new alternative dispute resolution initiative, based on ACID’s grass roots exhibition mediation protocol.

ACID mediations over the last 15 years have proved to be an effective way of resolving mainly design disputes without the need to go to Court. ACID’s statistics broadly reflect this trend; of the 3500+ Exhibition  mediations that ACID has handled to date only 30% were not settled on the day, with the vast majority settling very quickly afterwards, and only 3 going to Court.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe DBE CMG, Minister for Intellectual Property commenting on the ACID scheme said, “Mediation and other Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms offer many advantages over litigation and can be particularly valuable in IP cases. ACID’s ‘Mediate to Resolve’ service gives access to a quicker, cheaper and better means of resolving problems. My congratulations to ACID for this vital piece of work and all they do to improve their service.”     

Nick Kounoupias, ACID’s Chief Legal Counsel and also a mediator said, “Mediation is generally pretty under-utilised in IP disputes but in the vast majority of cases mediation offers a quicker, cheaper, less stressful, less distracting and far more satisfying solution to a dispute than litigation, and importantly enables parties to craft a settlement that works for them rather than one imposed by a Court”.

Dids Macdonald, OBE ACID’s CEO added, “This process and the trust placed on the mediator by all parties provides the framework within which to reach a solution and helps defuse some of the tension and upset that persists in litigation through correspondence. At a mediation between two designers and manufacturers this year the mediation ended a few hours later having settled their differences and sharing a taxi and a drink on the way back to their respective train stations. So it does work. Give it a try.”

Whilst mediation isn’t suitable for all IP issues by any means, this is a mediation service without IP lawyers but with a highly skilled intellectual property mediator. The parties jointly appoint a mediator, who is an independent third party, to act as a catalyst to assist the parties to craft their own solution to the dispute. This enables the parties to construct their own solutions rather than have one imposed upon them. The mediator cannot force the parties to accept his decision and the mediator will not offer one. Mediation offers a user-friendly alternative to the cost and time consuming experience of having to go through an often debilitating legal process. So, whether you are a claimant or defendant, the trick is to encourage parties to come to the table and talk before either gets too entrenched in the legal process!


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