This page provides an outline of our process for managing trademark and branding disputes in the brewing industry. It is not rigid, and its flexibility responds to several aspects:
- Presence or involvement of legal representation from one or both (all) parties
- Status or progress of the dispute prior to OvalOptions introduction
- Involvement of any other parties affected or influenced by (or upon) the dispute
For more detailed process, please email or call for a free consultation and discuss your unique situation in more detail.
Why Would I Need, or Want, Services from OvalOptions?
Important question, with several aspects in the answer. We understand that alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods are widely unknown or misunderstood. Consequently many people feel only three options are available to them during a dispute: avoidance, live with it, or litigation. These are all zero-sum approaches–somebody loses. While the main reason for the dispute may be solved, these options do not address consequential, residuals or peripheral damages. We understand that disputes wield multiple heads, and our ADR services aims to address all of them.
- Disputes, in any area, field or industry, rarely stay on topic. Disputant energy flows to other areas. It is not hard to find examples of this in the craft brewing industry. Several cases have made headlines, and comments social media highlight the negative effect on reputation of disputing parties. OvalOptions’ services embraces the community atmosphere and uses personal communication to help parties collaborate on sensitive matters
- Some cases have dragged on for years, some with no end in sight. This can cost enormous sums of money, not to mention time, distress and energy. Our services do not depend on court dates or attorney schedules. We work around your schedule. We also help parties come to solutions quicker to save time and money. Once both parties agree to our services, solutions can arrive in less than a week
- Sustainable solutions. We do not adjudicate or dictate solutions. The parties control the solutions they generate and agree upon. As such, they are significantly more “sold” on these solutions.
- If the disputants do not reach an agreement using our services, then the legal avenue is still open. Some courts look favorably on parties who have attempted non-legal paths prior to litigation.
What Does OvalOptions Process Look Like?
Depending on the factors mentioned above, the typical process is as follows:
Communication with OvalOptions. All information remains confidential throughout the process unless otherwise stipulated by the parties. Either party may contact us with the dispute. It is best to contact us early in the process so we understand how the dispute started and has evolved thus far. More entrenched or heated disputes may take more time, but are certainly not unsolvable.
OvalOptions will explain our services to the party who contacts us first. We will go over or fee structure, how we proceed, and what we think the best service is based on the information availed to us. Usually this is mediation, but sometimes other approaches are more appropriate. In a few cases, our services may not be the most appropriate, and we will communicate that to the party.
We will contact the other party of the dispute and explain the situation thus far. We will go over our services and the direction in which the first party wishes to pursue. We will give them all the appropriate information we have on the dispute and detail the benefits of using our services. It is important to note that both parties must agree on our services for us to go forward. We do not, cannot, force either party to use our services; this would violate our policy and the effectiveness of our service.
Once parties agree to use OvalOptions, we will set up a meeting with each party separately (by phone, or preferably, in person) to discuss their situation, stance, interests and goals in more detail. We will also discuss pricing and payment options.
We will engage the service that is most appropriate for the situation. Most of the time, this will be mediation. Ideally, in-person mediation is used, but may be prohibitive by distance. Video-conferencing is available as an alternative.
Solution agreement. If parties come to an agreement, OvalOptions will write up a Collaborative Solution Pact, which can be legally binding if both parties agree. Sometimes this may be necessary, and attorneys from each party would want to review it.
Making a public announcement helps all parties involved. By using ADR services to come to an amicable solution, and avoiding the steely, impersonal court approach, while avoiding social media fighting, the parties can enjoy positive feedback from social media and consumers.
How Much Are Your Services?
The way our company is set up requires us to charge an administrative fee. Once a service is engaged an hourly rate applies, which differs depending on the service and practitioner. To deliver the most appropriate service to our clients, we match each case with a specific practitioner. Since each dispute is unique, and in various stages of conflict, we cannot predict which practitioner will be assigned to a case.
What About Legal Counsel and Advice?
If you have already retained legal counsel, this is fine. We will need to speak with your attorney, and they will want to speak with us, about our services and how they are involved. We do not, cannot, provide legal advice.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.