Mediation

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 download our Mediate to Resolve brochure please click here

ACID Mediation

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.

Please contact the Membership Office for more information.

What does mediation offer?

Flexibility:

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.

Selection of neutral:

The parties can select their mediator, who can be trusted and respected by both parties and is an expert in his field.

Cost and time:

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.

Nothing to lose:

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.

Maintains relationships:

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.

Court expects mediation:

Recent cases have shown that the Court may deny winners at trial their costs and expenses if they have unreasonably refused to mediate.

When is mediation appropriate? Mediation is appropriate in any dispute situation!

Lawyers and their clients are sometimes reluctant to engage in mediation, specially when they consider they are in the right! Parties should always identify what their objective is before embarking on litigation. Mediation is one strategy to achieve this objective. Even if a party is successful, a Court is limited in the remedies it can award. In mediation, the parties have complete freedom and control over the outcome and the settlement terms. Mediation is considerably less expensive than litigation and occupies less management time. Mediation should be considered as part of the litigation strategy early on, before the parties have become too entrenched in their positions or incurred legal costs, which could be a barrier to settlement.

How does a mediator help?

Very often the mediator can help with negotiations that would otherwise breakdown if the parties were to try to resolve issues between themselves. The mediator can also help break down barriers to a successful settlement by helping the parties think through the risks of litigation and to honestly address the question of what would happen if they did not.

Application to mediate

To apply for the Mediate to Resolve service please download the Microsoft Word document here and return it to us when completed.

Please note that both sides listed on the application form must already have agreed to take part in a mediation.

To get started, download and complete the Mediate to Resolve application.

To contact us please use the contact us page.

Mediate to resolve – Terms and Conditions

The mediation panel includes a number of experienced, accredited mediators. All are dedicated supporters of mediation as a viable alternative to litigation, which forms part of ACID’s core strategy.

For further information on the services offered by our panel please contact us by email or call ACID’s mediation hotline and you will be connected to trained personnel. As soon as a brief is received we will take the details and circumstances of the particular case and take a note of your preferred mediator. Should you need any help or guidance in selecting a mediator, ACID will be pleased to discuss this with you. As soon as we have all the information and you have selected a mediator we will be in a position to quote terms.

T&C

For non ACID member fees: Unless otherwise informed, the fees and expenses + VAT will be shared equally between both parties. 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.

ACID member fees: £1500.00 + Vat per party for a three hour mediation 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.

Non member fees: £2000.00 plus Vat per party, terms as above.

 

Cancellation

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 etc will be charged at cost.