They are an all-too-common side effect of the speed-of-thought world known as modern business. As new developments in technology enable even traditional, industrial businesses to quickly launch new products, implement streamlined processes and manage key data, human errors and intellectual property infringements are becoming increasingly frequent — and the costs of resolving these disputes through litigation have become immense.


It is a time- and resource-consuming process that not only pits parties against each other in an adversarial setting, but can lead to significant lost opportunity costs. In some cases, the very future of a new venture can hinge on the success of a trademark-, patent- or copyright-infringement case. And as cases drag out over time, even a favorable judgment may arrive too late to prevent the collapse of a promising new venture or initiative.


For many disputes, there is an effective alternative to litigation: mediation. Whether voluntary, court-ordered or part of an existing license or assignment contract, mediation is a process outside of the traditional court system that enables parties to sit down under the guidance of a trained mediator and mutually resolve their disputes. The mediator acts as a facilitator, not a judge, helping parties toward licensing and settlement rather than making a win-lose decision. At its best, when both parties are motivated and understand the value of a negotiated, rather than litigated, solution, the result is often a win-win scenario that minimizes costs, needless waste of time and other resources, and allows both parties to get back to the business at hand.