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ACID’s (Anti Copying In Design) national Mediate to Resolve service for dispute resolution is based on the organisation’s extensive experience handling mediations. Over 3500+ ACID mediations have taken place, of which less than 30% have required further legal intervention. ACID’S national network of Accredited Mediators offer a wealth of intellectual property dispute resolution experience. Their mix of negotiation style and skill provides a comprehensive service to those seeking mediation as a real alternative to litigation.
Many organisations are not familiar with the stages of the mediation process – and there is no reason why they should be – until they need it! At ACID, we are frequently asked “What mediation is and how does it work?”. Mediation is a confidential meeting between two parties who are in dispute which enables them to retain control over the outcome. They are guided through the process by a skilled mediator who will use his or her expertise to restore or rebuild a harmonious relationship, but has no authority to impose an outcome.
These days the demands on businesses to succeed and grow are severely hampered by the increase in intellectual property infringement. Taking action against those who seek the fast track to market through IP theft places huge fiscal and time restrictions on the day-to-day running of organisations. ACID has spent the last decade encouraging parties in disputes to seek mediation sooner rather than later and Government is now sending a strong message to judges to look more favourably on disputing companies who seek mediation prior to any court applications.
To apply for the Mediate to Resolve service or find out more about the mediation process, use our enquiry form to submit your initial brief. A member of our team will contact you to take the details and circumstances of the particular case, and make a note of your preferred mediator.
This is a cost and time effective way to solve member-to-member disputes. All ACID members have signed the ACID Code of Conduct which requires each member not knowingly to copy the products of another company. Despite all precautions, disputes can arise between fellow members of ACID concerning origin or ownership of one or more designs or products. Where such a dispute arises and the members are unable to resolve their dispute between themselves, the Code of Conduct requires them to resolve their disputes by mediation rather than through the Courts.
An ACID mediation is a means by which members can attempt to resolve disputes amicably in a non-confrontational manner and with a minimum cost to all those involved. It is designed to facilitate negotiations between parties by a neutral third party with no decision-making power (usually a barrister with experience in this type of dispute). The neutral party helps the parties to reach their own settlement voluntarily by structuring negotiation, enabling each party’s needs and the issues involved to be identified clearly and discussed, and if requested, making confidential recommendations on disputed issues. Find out more by getting in touch.
Mediation is considerably less expensive than litigation and occupies less management time. A mediator can bring value to the process, giving the parties the best opportunity to have a constructive discussion at an early stage, before legal costs escalate and become a stumbling block.
Mediation offers a great degree of flexibility allowing for a remedy to be agreed between the parties, such as apologies, amendments to contracts and payments of money in instalments and grant of licenses. In contrast, a judge is constrained in the remedies he can award.
Recent cases have shown that the Court may deny winners at trial their costs and expenses if they have unreasonably refused to mediate.
Litigation by its very nature is adversarial and often irreparably damages relationships, whereas mediation encourages communication and co-operation between the parties and can often preserve relationships and generate future business.
By entering into mediation, neither party loses their right to pursue other dispute resolution methods such as litigation. It can take place at any time, including during litigation. The mediation takes place in a confidential environment, unlike litigation, which is open to public scrutiny, and is ‘without prejudice’ which means that the information disclosed during mediation cannot subsequently be used in court. The settlement reached by the parties sets no precedent so is ideal if a party wants to treat the dispute as a one-off.
For ACID members, mediation is charged at £1,500+VAT per party for a three-four mediation session without legal representation. If one of our Legal Affiliates is able to provide rooms there will be no charge, otherwise there will be an additional charge for room hire and refreshments.
Unless otherwise informed, the fees and expenses will be shared equally between both parties, at £2,000+VAT per party.
The fixed fee quoted will include up to three hour’s preparation time, though, depending on the case if more time is required, this will be charged on an agreed hourly basis. The fixed fee starts from a time agreed by both parties until 6pm that day. Should further time be required either at the mediation or by continuing to mediate by telephone or by further attendance this will be charged on an hourly basis as agreed. If the mediation is without lawyer participation, the fees will be charged to each individual party. If the mediation is with lawyer representation, the invoices will be sent to each lawyer.
There will be additional fees for room hire, refreshments, the mediator’s travel expenses and these can be estimated. Should mediation take place over a longer period than one day it may be necessary to charge for overnight accommodation. The mediation fee, which will include the number of days booked, together with the estimated additional costs (room hire etc) is payable 10 days in advance of the mediation. Receipt of the mediation fee together with the Agreement to Mediate signed by all parties will confirm the booking. Any additional costs following the mediation will be invoiced and are payable within 14 days.
If a date has been confirmed, mediator booked and the period is more than one week before, there will be a cancellation fee of £750. Within one week 50% of fees are payable. Less than 48 hours, full fees payable. Any cancellation fees involved for room hire and other third-party charges will be charged at cost.
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