Arbitration: A Quick and Effective Means for Patent Dispute Resolution

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Volume 12, Issue 2 (Jun 2012)

Entering into a contract containing a carefully crafted arbitration clause provides a level of predictability with respect to the investment and liability associated with patent license and/or research agreements, thereby providing the respective companies a better estimation of the risk factors associated therewith. Specifically, when parties enter into an agreement to arbitrate they have the opportunity to obtain assurance through the careful drafting of the arbitration clause that any dispute arising out of the contract will be decided by a technologically knowledgeable neutral arbitrator in a manner that will be relatively inexpensive. Having this assurance can provide stability of the business relationship which is further strengthened by the knowledge that the proceedings will be confidential and the awards rendered will be final and non-appealable, so that the companies can quickly resume with their business transactions without concern for negative publicity or the uncertainty of appeals. Accordingly, using arbitration as a means to quickly and effectively settle patent disputes, not only can be beneficial for both parties should a dispute arise, but can also provide pre-emptive benefits that remain even if the agreement to arbitrate is never enforced.

Anne Louise St. Martin & J. Derek Mason, Arbitration: A Quick and Effective Means for Patent Dispute Resolution, 12 N.C. J.L. & Tech. 301 (2011), available at

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