On 2 February 2017 the CIArb London Branch examined 'Intellectual Property Disputes and ADR'. Wedlake Bell LLP generously hosted the seminar, which was introduced by Irvinder Bakshi (London Branch Chairman).
Chaired by Daniel Djanogly (CVR Global LLP), a distinguished panel comprising Clive Thorne (Partner, Wedlake Bell LLP), Sir Robin Jacob (Professor of IP Law, UCL) and Raja Sengupta (Principal, Equal IP) addressed the attendees.
Clive Thorne began by explaining that the scope of resolution of many IP disputes by arbitration is limited in the absence of further agreement due to their tortious nature. Providing a clear summary of benefits and disadvantages of arbitrating to resolve different types of IP dispute, Clive offered practical advice on how to work with the arbitration rules of various institutions and adopt ad hoc processes when beneficial to enable the process to be tailored to best address the nature of different types of IP dispute. .
With particular emphasis on the benefits of enforcement of arbitral awards under the New York Convention, Sir Robin Jacob considered the potential for arbitration to be used to address IP disputes instead of multinational litigation, highlighting the need for clear and structured clauses to be used in agreements and the importance of balancing the potential benefits of arbitration against any potential disadvantages in individual cases. Sir Robin highlighted a number of risks, including the potential for arbitration awards in IP disputes to be seen as anti-competitive.
Raja Sengupta concluded the seminar by providing a fascinating insight into royalty licence audits, addressing issues arising in respect of contracts of this nature and the value of ADR in their resolution. Drawing on his experience, Raja identified the main reasons for disputes and provided a number of practical examples of potential outcomes and the use of ADR in this area.
The speakers’ presentations were followed by a lively question and answer session, in which the use of forms of dispute resolution other that litigation in IP disputes was praised and Sir Robin addressed the importance of controlling expert witnesses.
Concluding the seminar, Irvinder Bakshi thanked the host and speakers, after which Wedlake Bell LLP generously hosted a reception for the speakers and attendees.
Author: Amanda Lee, PRO, CIArb London Branch