Mediation is favoured method of resolving international technology disputes.

A recent international survey shows that mediation is the preferred way to resolve disputes in the technology, media and telecom fields. While arbitration is preferred over litigation, especially for international disputes, companies would rather avoid the cost and uncertainty of court or arbitration.

Pre-empting and Resolving Technology, Media and Telecom Disputes, International Dispute Resolution Survey, 2016, School of International Arbitration, Queen Mary University of London.

View and download the survey here

The survey cites an unnamed arbitrator as saying:

“I am a greater believer in mediation: things are not necessarily ‘black and white’, especially in the international arena: different interests, cultures…mediation has a lot to offer…”

Here are some of the survey highlights:

  • Most common areas of dispute are intellectual property, followed by disputes over collaborations (e.g. joint ventures and partnerships), licensing, confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements, implementation and outsourcing projects.
  • 75% of organizations surveyed have a dispute resolution policy.
    Of those, mediation is the most-favoured policy, followed by arbitration.
  • 51% of those surveyed expected IP ownership to be a likely source of future disputes.
  • 44% licensing disputes.
  • 75% said disputes over collaborations, joint ventures or partnership are somewhat or very likely.
  • Most companies encourage mediation in their dispute resolution policies, as a preferred step before litigation or arbitration.
  • There is an interesting split in opinion between arbitration and litigation: suppliers tend to favour litigation; customers lean toward arbitration. There were also differences in preference based on geography and industry sectors.

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