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CIArb News

Discussing the future of Intellectual Property disputes in England and Wales

14 February 2017 News

On Thursday 9 February, the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) held a roundtable to discuss the future of intellectual property (IP) disputes in England and Wales.

Chaired by Mr. Justice Birss, High Court (Chancery Division) and Patents Court, the lively discussion featured Clive Thorne FCIArb, Special Counsel, Baker Botts LLP, and Dr Ruth Taplin, Editor of the Interdisciplinary Journal of Economics and Business Law.

Presenting his expertise on the state of play in England and Wales, Mr. Thorne outlined the benefits and drawbacks of the way IP disputes are currently dealt with.

Commenting on the benefits of ADR as a way of resolving IP disputes, Mr. Thorne said:

One shouldn’t ignore the flexibility of arbitration rules. An advantage is that you can devise rules specifically for an IP dispute… Parties can also agree on their own speed which has ramifications for cost saving.

Dr Ruth Taplin added international examples to the discussion, explaining that in some cultures arbitration and mediation are preferred methods of dispute resolution.

Elaborating on these examples, Dr. Taplin said:

Certain cultures actually have a predisposition to arbitration and mediation because litigation is viewed as public wrangling and inappropriate behaviour which causes shame. For example, in Japan arguing about money and airing disagreements in public is considered anathema.

Dr Taplin also discussed how the flexibility of Arbitration could help assess how to value IP. She said:

To me it has emerged that IP valuation is more of an art than a science, so valuation of intangible assets such as IP are harder to assess. Arbitration offers flexibility to reach a point of agreement, especially when new forms of value creation such as co-creation or crowdsourcing are being contested.

CIArb’s Director General, Anthony Abrahams, who was present at the event, said:

I believe passionately that the time to mediate is now. This has been a very useful discussion, and one that opens the door for further discussion in the near future.


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Notes to editors:
The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb)

The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) is a leading professional membership organisation representing the interests of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) practitioners worldwide. With over 14,000 members located in 133 countries, CIArb supports the global promotion, facilitation, and development of all forms of private dispute resolution.