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Arbitration and Mediation

It is becoming more and more common for contractual arrangements between companies or between employer and employee to contain arbitration clauses. Moreover, a good amount of disputes over intellectual assets arise from or are related to such contracts. In response, Altera has developed a dispute resolution practice that not only focuses on battles over intellectual property, but also focuses on the battlefield of arbitration strategy and procedure.

Arbitration, in which an impartial arbitrator decides a case after a short hearing instead of a judge or jury after a formal trial, was designed as a less costly and less time intensive alternative to traditional court litigation. But those who engage in arbitration without the proper knowledge of the process can oftentimes produce bills for their clients that are every bit as steep as if the dispute was being decided in traditional litigation. Altera’s team has the experience and know-how to steer you through the arbitration process in order to ensure your litigation budgets are not spent in vain and that the procedures available in arbitration are used to your advantage.

In addition to arbitration, mediation is an increasingly common form of alternative dispute resolution used in the area of intellectual asset enforcement and management. Mediation is a process whereby an impartial mediator helps the parties come to a resolution, although the mediator’s decision is not binding on the parties.

Approximately 95% of intellectual property disputes settle out of court. With this statistic in mind, mediation can oftentimes be an excellent tool in effecting such a settlement early on, before incurring the costs associated with initiating an unnecessary and avoidable court action. Because mediation can be scheduled at an early stage in a dispute, settlement can oftentimes be reached much more quickly, thereby reducing your legal costs. Moreover, it is more likely for disputing parties that were once aligned to continue their business relationship with mediation, as mediators have the flexibility of promoting creative solutions and have the flexibility of accommodating special needs of the parties which can become part of the settlement.

Guided by a desire to deliver these advantages to our client base, our team has amassed years of practical experience and hands-on knowledge about both the arbitration and mediation processes to deliver these options to clients as appropriate. Altera will partner with you early on to evaluate arbitration or mediation as potential tools toward early settlement of your dispute, and can leverage these tools to save your company the time, money and business interference often experienced in more traditional litigation.