Many experienced mediators know that the crucial part of dispute resolution is in getting all the right people in the mediation room. Unless all interested parties are willing to meet at the same table to discuss resolution, very little actual progress can be made.
Depending on the key players in the case, this might mean more individuals than a typical two-party dispute. For example, in a patent infringement concern, this may mean getting the patentee, any individuals authorized to negotiate, and possibly even lead counsel. Additionally, having a mediator who is familiar with patent infringement is also crucial for success.
This kind of case is known for adding a layer of complexity when a patentee has sold off interests to investors. Lately, this type of patent infringement litigation is on the rise, frequently in conjunction with a contingent fee agreement with representatives of outside counsel. Settlement in this situation is relatively rare.
This is because there's no real opportunity for investors to be represented by anyone other than the patentee. As a result, if no representative of the investors is available, settlement discussions are stalled when frequent phone calls have to be made back and forth to such a person.
The other downside of this is that the investors or the investor representatives are not direct and physical parties to the negotiation and therefore lose out on crucial discussions and the overall tone of the negotiation forum. Therefore, they may be less likely to compromise or understand where various agreements and suggestions are coming from, an exemplification of the old "you had to be there to get it" adage. Likewise, a mediator who shared particular insight about the implications of each kind of ruling is lost on those people who can't be there to discuss and understand it.
In some cases, these investors or their representatives want to work with their own counsel, too. If these parties are not at the table, there's a real stalemate that could happen. This is why it's so important that you work with a mediator who not only understands patent infringement but also someone who understands how to get all the invested parties together and on the same page. An experienced mediator who is skilled at this will give you the opportunity to close out your dispute much more quickly and allow you to move on with your life and business.
(This blog article is based on the article entitled "Implications for Mediation of Patent Infringement Suits" written by James M. Amend published on http://www.mediate.com/articles/AmendJbl20140231.cfm)
James F. Page is a certified electronic discovery specialist. He is also approved as a certified mediator and has been helping individuals throughout Florida settle their disputes using mediation. Call 407-341-0069 to learn how mediation can help you or visit http://www.pagemediation.com for more information.