What is Intellectual Property Arbitration?

R. Kimball
R. Kimball
Businessman with a briefcase
Businessman with a briefcase

Intellectual property arbitration is a legal technique used to resolve intellectual property disputes outside of a court system. The parties to the dispute work with one or more arbitrators, and the parties to the dispute agree to be bound by the decision of the arbitrator or arbitrators. Many intellectual property disputes are international in nature. Arbitration simplifies the dispute resolution process in these instances.

In intellectual property arbitration, the parties might agree upon which law is to have jurisdiction over the dispute despite the fact that several jurisdictions might have coverage over the dispute. This ability to decide on the law simplifies the dispute resolution process. If the dispute was to go in front of a court, it is possible that there would be several different dispute resolution processes, whereas with arbitration, it is complete in one round of resolution.

Intellectual property arbitration can also be neutral with regard to the location of the parties and the resolution process. The arbitrator might be selected from a neutral location. The choice of law might be determined to be from a neutral location. The language in which the arbitration is to occur might also be determined to be neutral.

The parties to the dispute select the specific arbitrator in intellectual property arbitration themselves. This allows the parties to decide on an arbitrator with appropriate experience to decide the technical issues in the case. Intellectual property disputes tend to be very technical, and in a court proceeding, the judge generally does not have the technical background necessary to address all of the issues in the case.

Arbitration processes can proceed quickly. The parties might decide upon the procedural processes to be followed in the intellectual property arbitration. These procedures can be shortened or limited in nature in order to speed up the process.

Confidentiality can be protected in an intellectual property arbitration proceeding much more easily than in a court case. In the arbitration process, the proceedings are private. Each party can protect its trade secrets by keeping them out of public court documents. Both the proceedings and the decision are private in intellectual property arbitration.

With intellectual property arbitration, however, the parties have limited ability to appeal a decision. If the parties have agreed to arbitration, the parties know as they enter into the process that they have a very limited ability to appeal to a higher court. In a court process, if the decision is not in one party’s favor, that party can appeal to a different court.

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