OvalOptions provides mediation services in trademark dispute cases. Our trademark mediators have trademark legal expertise as as certification by the International Trademark Association. While they strive for the best outcome for both/all parties, they do not represent or advocate for them; they represent the process of dispute resolution. While most of our trademark mediation services focus on the brewing industry, they are just as applicable elsewhere.
Isn’t mediation a “soft” approach to resolving disputes? No. Mediation is a strategic resource to utilize when disputes threaten finances, relationships, business and communication. It can save parties hundreds of thousands of dollars and deliver amicable solutions.
Do I have to use mediation? Of course not. Mediation is voluntary (unless ordered by a judge). It is an option that can be engaged at any time.
Why would I want to use mediation? The better question is, why would you not? Mediation can save you money, time and stress while you retain 100% control of the process. Mediation is an opportunity to avoid expensive, lengthy and public arguments.
There are many benefits to using mediation in trademark disputes, with few…if any…detractors.
- Enhance legal preparation – Mediators can act as a sort of neutral attorney; they can give opinions as to how each party’s case may be viewed by the courts. That is, is a party’s case as strong as it thinks?
- Our mediators are trademark experts and can give clients information about their trademark rights that legal representation may not possess (in many past cases, parties’ legal representatives were not trademark law experts)
- Manage disputes – Help parties keep things civil and private. Social media is a poison in such situations. Mediation is confidential
- Good Faith/Publicity – The craft beer world despises lawsuits and doesn’t understand why parties cannot work it out. Just by trying mediation sends a “good faith” image that repairs and improves public image
- Information – Many craft beer clients go into a trademark dispute not knowing their rights and the full implication of trademark law. Our mediators can give them a sort of “discovery” synopsis of each parties’ rights and strength of case: how might a judge rule if it goes to court.
- Resolution – Mediators help uncover possible resolutions, brainstorm ideas, clear communication lines and settle disputes
- Time – Once a mediation begins, very few go beyond 10 hours (two days)
- Money – While our fee resembles an attorney’s, the billable hours are significantly fewer
- Peace of Mind – An unresolved causes sleepless nights and distress.
- Good Press – A mediated resolution helps all parties’ images, as well as craft beer’s
Trademark mediation does not remove your rights to court or legal proceedings. The goal is to prevent such from happening through an agreed upon solution, thus avoid expensive, divisive and lengthy procedures. If no mediated solution is reached, the legal/court path remains open.
Mediation can save parties tens of thousands of dollars, months or even years of stress and maintain positivity within the relationship and the brewing industry. Furthermore, the cost of mediation is divided equally between the parties.
A trademark is a valuable business tool, so it should not be overlooked or taken for granted.
For more information, please contact Jason: Jason@OvalOptions.org 720-295-7119
Does the mediator dictate terms or agreements?
No. Mediators do not offer solutions or adjudicate any agreement or settlement. That is arbitration (which OvalOptions also offers). The critical aspect of mediation is that the parties own the process and the solution. A mediator does not force agreements.
Does the mediator offer suggestions?
In some cases, yes. A mediator can offer suggestions based on what the parties have told her/him and with experience the mediator brings.
How much does mediation cost?
Mediation has a per/hour fee schedule, with the first four hours set as a minimum once the Agreement to Mediate is signed. Fees vary among mediators, but most are similar or less than attorney fees.
How long does mediation take?
Not long. Compared to many litigation processes, mediation is quick. Typical, non-Trademark cases are mediated within four (4) hours. Trademarks can be a bit most complex and take up to 2 weeks.
Who pays the fees?
Mediation is a two- (or multi-) party engagement, but there’s only one fee. This fee is divided equally between the parties. This helps ensure impartiality and that neither party is perceived as offering influence.
Why not just litigate?
– Litigation is always available. Mediation does not trump anyone’s rights to legal process. However, parties could voluntarily opt out of further legal action in a mediated agreement.
– Many trademark cases settle out of court anyway, but only after months or years of legal maneuvering and expenses.
– While attorneys control the legal process, the parties control mediation. They are kept informed and involved.