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Mediation of Intellectual Property Disputes: A Critical Analysis

New Zealand Business Law Quarterly, Vol. 17, pp. 51-67, March 2011

17 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2011 Last revised: 15 Mar 2013

Susan Corbett

Victoria University of Wellington

Date Written: January 27, 2011

Abstract

Many intellectual property disputes have common features that suggest mediation could provide the parties with a more satisfactory resolution than litigation. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that the number of intellectual property disputes in which parties choose to go to mediation remains low. Although the indiscriminate recommendation of all intellectual property disputes to mediation should be avoided, this article argues that the potential efficacy of mediation for many intellectual property disputes should be more widely acknowledged and could be explicitly mentioned within New Zealand's intellectual property legislation. As Mary Vitoria states: "In very many small to medium cases the point is rapidly reached where the costs incurred are larger than any likely award of damages. To give an extreme example, in one patent case heard in the Patents County Court [UK], the claimant's costs were US$530,000 and the defendant's costs were US$725,000 in what the judge called "a very simple patent case involving one of the simplest patents I have ever seen". Each party's turnover was about US$85,000 per year."

Keywords: intellectual property, mediation, New Zealand

Suggested Citation

Corbett, Susan, Mediation of Intellectual Property Disputes: A Critical Analysis (January 27, 2011). New Zealand Business Law Quarterly, Vol. 17, pp. 51-67, March 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1802207

Susan Felicity Corbett (Contact Author)

Victoria University of Wellington ( email )

PO Box 600
New Zealand
+64 4 4635480 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.victoria.ac.nz/sacl/staff/susan-corbett.aspx

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