Law suits are easy to file and difficult to win. In addition, litigation (or even an opposition at the USPTO) can be expensive and leave your client with years of uncertainty as to whether they can use a particular trademark without infringing upon the rights of another. Most suits (and many of the oppositions) are never completed because the parties settle the dispute before trial.
Mediation is a viable and valuable option for your client to consider. According to the International Trademark Association (INTA), “…mediation settlement rates for intellectual property disputes are as high as 70%.” A mediator, serving as a neutral third-party, assists both sides in the process of negotiating a settlement to a dispute. The mediator will arrange a confidential meeting in a neutral environment so that open discussions can be held to discuss settlement options. Using a mediator does not foreclose your option of litigating the matter but it does present an alternative that can often be less costly, less time-consuming and usually can inexpensively and quickly bring a matter to resolution. Working with a trained trademark mediator can help.
Not all trademark mediators are created equal. Some have many years of experience practicing law but have little experience in running a business and, therefore, do not easily understand the constraints or issues that business leaders face on a daily basis. Some mediators are exceptional mediators but they don’t understand the many complex issues surrounding trademark law. They are not conversant, for instance, with issues such as likelihood of confusion, dilution or fame.
Bob Frank has successfully completed the INTA Mediation Training program. He has worked in the trademark research world for nearly 30 years and often can discuss the strength of a mark (or potential problems with a mark) simply by being informed of the mark. (Having conducted over 5,000 trademark search reports and having reviewed tens of thousands of trademark search reports affords Bob with a knowledge-base that is not common in the trademark world.) Not only does Bob have a solid understanding of many of the essential trademark issues and trends but he also has over 30 years of business leadership that provides him with a perspective not often found among mediators. Bob’s solid foundation (with decades of experience in both business and trademarks) is a the combination that can be pivotal to ensuring a satisfactory resolution to the dispute.
If you are interested in learning more about our Mediation Services simply send Bob an email or give him a call. All initial consultations are without charge or obligation.