A licensing deal allows parties to mutually benefit from the sharing of information, products or services. However, it is not uncommon for technology licensing disputes in Beverly Hills California to arise when the parties interpret their language in different ways or an unanticipated change comes up. Such technology licensing disputes in Beverly Hills California can be resolved, often much more effectively, through mediation.
Mediation is a widely sought after alternative to litigation. Because the mediation session can be scheduled at any time that accommodates the parties’ schedules and that of the professional mediator, conflicts can be resolved much more quickly since there is no need to wait on a crowded docket and the outcome of other cases. This saves considerable time, which can be particularly important when determining fees and royalties to pay based on the licensing agreement. It can also save substantial sums on legal expenses since attorney hours are likely to be drastically reduced if the case can be settled through mediation.
Additionally, mediation is often much better at coming up with a solution that will work for both of the parties over a generic order made by the court. The parties play a pivotal role in developing an agreement that is mutually satisfactory. Mediation focuses on cooperation so future problems can also sometimes be avoided and the parties learn that this method of resolving a problem is available.
Technology disputes and other intellectual property disputes have the potential to wreak havoc on a business. These disputes can take years before litigation is concluded, costing the business great time and expense. Furthermore, this situation can keep your client’s technological invention or business in limbo, causing it to lose out on an untold number of opportunities. Rather than litigating a case, you may better serve your clients’ needs through technology dispute mediation in Beverly Hills California. By using technology dispute mediation in Beverly Hills California, you may be able to help protect your clients’ interests and propel them to future growth.
You and the other party’s attorney can offer recommendations on which mediator you should select for your technology dispute mediation. Look for someone with experience in intellectual property law and who has credentials that you can easily validate. Having someone who is somewhat of an expert in this field can make a tremendous difference due to the experience he or she can rely on.
During mediation, the mediator you select will work with the parties to determine possible resolutions of the dispute. This may include an agreement between the parties to purchase technology or to license it. It may also be a start for companies to work together on a new project. The parties are not bound to the limited remedies available in a courtroom, so they can truly work out an agreement that takes all of their interests into consideration. The mediator will facilitate communication and point out aspects of the case that the party has not considered. Although you may have provided your client with similar information, he or she pays for your opinion. A mediator is an objective person who can look at the situation from a different perspective and can provide a candid outlook to the client.
Many savvy inventors make the decision to license out their new technology while it is a fresh idea, rather than wait for the longer period of time that would be necessary to build the infrastructure to create their own products to use this technology. This provides a win/win situation for both parties because the inventor receives a steady revenue stream while the investor has the ability to maximize its own capital. However, technology licensing disputes in Beverly Hills California can arise when the terms of the licensing agreement were not clear or the result of the licensing is different than the parties imagined. Going through mediation can help resolve technology disputes in Beverly Hills California. A strong mediator will help set the table for an agreement at the outset of this process.
Most mediation sessions begin with a joint meeting between the parties, their counsel and the mediator. The mediator may begin by discussing the framework of mediation. He or she may ask each party to summarize their version of events that led to the dispute. The mediator may summarize the key issues that will be resolved during mediation.
During this joint session, the mediator may also discuss the inherent risks of not resolving the dispute, such as the possibility of litigation. Litigation has the potential of being a time-consuming and expensive process. Additionally, the remedy may be limited to money damages when a different agreement may have better served the parties. The mediator may discuss the benefits of reaching a compromise and coming up with a certain agreement.
In many situations, a well-articulated discussion at the beginning of mediation serves as a good jumping off point that establishes parameters for the discussions that will comprise mediation. The parties may think back about what the mediator said during the joint session if conversations become turbulent.
Even though technology dispute mediation in Beverly Hills California seeks to make the process more pleasant when compared to litigation, technology disputes can be heated procedures. They often involve intensive work and time that has been put into creating new technology or licensing it. Technology dispute mediation in Beverly Hills California can be a positive experience when the parties and their legal representatives:
Oftentimes people “listen” only so that they can formulate a counter-argument. This isn’t really listening. By truly listening, meaning to take in what the other person is saying and truly reflect on it, parties and their counsel can understand the other perspective of the case. Additionally, active listening can help uncover the party’s interests, which can be used to help inform settlement negotiations.
See Behind the Anger
Technology disputes may involve parties who are expressing themselves through anger. However, anger is often a cover for another, more intense emotion. This underlying emotion may be one of feeling betrayed, hurt, afraid or confused. By allowing the other party to exhaust anger without responding in kind, the true feelings may be unearthed. Then, this information can be addressed in a productive manner.
Try to find common ground between the parties, whether it be their mutual interest in working together in the future or simply the goal of both parties to avoid costly and public litigation. This helps the parties align their interests and consider the negative repercussions of not resolving the dispute.
Focus on the Future
Even if there is currently bad blood between the parties, focus your input on the future, rather than on rehashing the negatives of the past. Instead of focusing on how things deteriorated, spend your time thinking of creative solutions to the problem.
If one party believes that the other is not abiding by the terms of the licensing agreement, technology licensing disputes in Beverly Hills California may arise. In some cases, litigation may be necessary in order to effectively provide clients with the remedy that they desire. However, many technology licensing disputes in Beverly Hills California are resolved through mediation. Mediation offers the following advantages:
Mediation can usually be scheduled shortly after an intellectual property dispute arises. Rather than draw negative or unwanted publicity to an affected licensing dispute, the parties can shortly be on their way to resolving a claim. Litigating a licensing dispute may take months or even years to completely resolve.
Confidentiality is paramount in these types of proceedings. Licensing disputes may involve proprietary information, trade secrets and other confidential matters. Usually, court cases are available to the public. Mediation provides confidentiality to the parties. After litigation, a party may experience an influx of infringement after the case is publicized and decided. Mediation allows the parties to freely discuss the licensed technology without sharing its founding secrets with the world.
Mediators and the parties may suggest innovative remedies that would not otherwise be available to them through litigation. These remedies may be based on a royalty structure, cross-licenses or other ideas in which both parties’ interests can be mutually served. The parties have to agree to a resolution for it to be included in the mediation agreement. Therefore, they have an incentive to brainstorm unique ways to resolve the licensing dispute.
Generally, lawyers have limited say over who will decide the case. They can exercise some power during the voir dire process, but this is limited. Attorneys and parties can decide together who will serve as the mediator. This allows the parties to pick someone who has an understanding of intellectual property law and related issues.
Placing the power to decide a technology dispute is risky for you and your clients. Quite simply, juries are unpredictable. Trying a complicated case regarding complex technology may be particularly risking when the technology involved is difficult for lay people to comprehend. Therefore, technology dispute mediation in Los Angeles California may be a preferable alternative. This option allows the parties to have a confidential session to discuss potential solutions regarding their issue. Technology dispute mediation in Los Angeles California may be the preferred method of handling cases involving:
Negotiation of Contracts
Whether the contract is first being formed or one of the parties has breached the contract, mediation can often alleviate these issues. Since mediation is premised on the idea that the parties can work out their own solution, many cases involving IP or IT contracts are resolved by the parties agreeing to a limited-use of intellectual property or an extended license agreement. Both parties are often able to mutually benefit from such arrangements.
It is the rare technology company that has not had to worry about cybersecurity breaches. When a breach occurs, a business can face frustrating effects. It must disclose breaches to its customers, which may affect its professional reputation and profitability. When a breach occurs, other companies that have worked with the company before may be hesitant to continue work. Mediation solutions may include additional requirements for safeguards and action plans that will help reduce the risk of similar breaches in the future.
As technology continues to develop at a rapid pace, some businesses are having difficulty keeping up. They may be facing economic distress due to a competitor in the market. Mediation between companies may result in a new partnership, a change in payment terms or the purchase of a struggling business.
Technology dispute mediation in California is a method or resolving disputes which seats afflicted parties at the same table as a neutral party trained in negotiation methods and techniques to reach reasonable resolutions—all in an effort to keep the parties out of court.
In the tech world, these disputes are often high-profile, high-dollar and high stakes in Beverly Hills. To specifically meet the demands of these disputes, technical mediation is the act of applying expertise and subject-specific knowledge to a complex, contested matter.
But how do you know what to look for when you’re researching a technology dispute mediator? Here are two tips to get you started:
- Be specific about your case
Really narrow down your issue and define whatever niche it might fall in. Unlike other areas of law that might be more general and not demand very specific knowledge, technology requires real, honest expertise. By the time a case reaches a point where options include either litigation or mediation, it’s often far beyond black and white, cut and dry issues. You’ll need a verified, experienced expert to lead the negotiation and you’ll need to research past cases, education, professional associations and memberships as well as any further training a potential mediator has undertaken to stay abreast of the ever-changing world of technology.
- Research a range of possible solutions
As you move forward in mediation, understanding the possible paths the resolution can take and how it affects your case is vital. Look into past disputes and publicized cases similar to the one you’re facing and take note of solutions, decisions and opinions. Should a mediator suggest any of these, how would it affect your standing, your product or your finances?
If you’re facing a technology dispute in Beverly Hills, consider mediation services as an alternative to lengthy, expensive litigation.