Alternative Dispute Resolution

Along with the IP ADR Blog’s Victoria Pynchon, I am giving an ALI-ABA continuing legal education teleconference discussing alternative dispute resolution as a low-cost alternative for intellectual property disputes — click here to register. The program is at 12 pm CT on this Wednesday, February 18. Here are ALI-ABA’s program highlights:
Why Attend?
In a difficult economy, intellectual property protection and assertion is more important than ever. The combined stressors of a poor fiscal climate and shrinking legal budgets place a significant strain on any business dependent upon IP assets. as companies face difficult economic decisions, it is increasingly difficult to fit the expense and extended uncertainty of copyright, patent and trademark litigation into a forward looking business plan. This one-hour seminar explores the use of alternative dispute resolution as a means of protecting intellectual property and business activity, while minimizing the expense and devotion of time related to traditional IP litigation.
What You Will Learn
This program examines how to move an IP dispute toward alternative dispute resolution; best practices for controlling the expense and length of the process; and best practices for successful alternative dispute resolution. Whether you are an experienced IP practitioner or simply one grappling with IP issues in your general commercial practice, knowing how to offer your clients a wide array of ADR options might make the difference between a practice that survives and one that thrives. The seminar will cover the following topics:
How to choose between litigation and ADR.
The most successful strategies for guiding your dispute into the best ADR forum at the most productive time.
The five basic rules of “distributive” or “fixed sum” bargaining that will give you the “edge” in all future settlement negotiations.
The five ways to “expand the fixed sum pie” by exploring and exploiting the client interests underlying your own and your opponents’ legal positions.
The Ten Mediation/Settlement Conference Traps for the Unwary.
Invest just 60 minutes at your home or office to learn about alternative dispute resolution in the IP field from this duo of experts. This audio program comes to you live on Wednesday, February 18, 2009, 12:00-1:00 pm CST, via your phone or your computer. Materials corresponding to the course may be downloaded or viewed online.
Planning Chair
R. David Donoghue, Esquire, Holland & Knight LLP, Chicago, IL
Faculty
Victoria Pynchon, Esquire, Settle It Now Dispute Resolution Services, Beverly Hills, CA

Continue Reading Continuing Legal Education: Alternative Dispute Resolution in Intellectual Property Cases

Along with the IP ADR Blog’s Victoria Pynchon, I am giving an ALI-ABA continuing legal education teleconference discussing alternative dispute resolution as a low-cost alternative for intellectual property disputes — click here to register. The program is at 11 am CT on February 18. Here are ALI-ABA’s program highlights:
Why Attend?
In a difficult economy, intellectual property protection and assertion is more important than ever. The combined stressors of a poor fiscal climate and shrinking legal budgets place a significant strain on any business dependent upon IP assets. as companies face difficult economic decisions, it is increasingly difficult to fit the expense and extended uncertainty of copyright, patent and trademark litigation into a forward looking business plan. This one-hour seminar explores the use of alternative dispute resolution as a means of protecting intellectual property and business activity, while minimizing the expense and devotion of time related to traditional IP litigation.
What You Will Learn
This program examines how to move an IP dispute toward alternative dispute resolution; best practices for controlling the expense and length of the process; and best practices for successful alternative dispute resolution. Whether you are an experienced IP practitioner or simply one grappling with IP issues in your general commercial practice, knowing how to offer your clients a wide array of ADR options might make the difference between a practice that survives and one that thrives. The seminar will cover the following topics:
How to choose between litigation and ADR.
The most successful strategies for guiding your dispute into the best ADR forum at the most productive time.
The five basic rules of “distributive” or “fixed sum” bargaining that will give you the “edge” in all future settlement negotiations.
The five ways to “expand the fixed sum pie” by exploring and exploiting the client interests underlying your own and your opponents’ legal positions.
The Ten Mediation/Settlement Conference Traps for the Unwary.
Invest just 60 minutes at your home or office to learn about alternative dispute resolution in the IP field from this duo of experts. This audio program comes to you live on Wednesday, February 18, 2009, 12:00-1:00 pm CST, via your phone or your computer. Materials corresponding to the course may be downloaded or viewed online.
Planning Chair
R. David Donoghue, Esquire, Holland & Knight LLP, Chicago, IL
Faculty
Victoria Pynchon, Esquire, Settle It Now Dispute Resolution Services, Beverly Hills, CA

Continue Reading Continuing Legal Education: IP Alternative Dispute Resolution

Nilssen v. MagneTek, Inc., No. 05 C 2933, 2008 WL 1774984 (N.D. Ill. Apr. 16, 2008) (Der-Yeghiayan, J.).
Judge Der-Yeghiayan confirmed an arbitration award and denied plaintiff’s motion to vacate it. The arbitrator awarded plaintiffs (collectively “Nilssen”) approximately $23M for defendant Magnetek’s patent infringement. MagneTek argued that the Court lacked jurisdiction because the arbitration agreement did not expressly confer the right to confirm the arbitration award. But the Court held that the Seventh Circuit only required that the right to confirm be inferred from the arbitration agreement. While the arbitration agreement did not explicitly allow confirmation, the parties evidenced their intent to allow confirmation:
The parties’ American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) submission provided for confirmation;
The parties agreed to be bound by the AAA’s Commercial Arbitration Rules which provide for court confirmation; and
MagneTek’s post-arbitration press release said that the parties conducted binding arbitration which was not subject to appeal.
MagneTek also argued that certain prior art patents were new evidence which required vacating the award. But the Court held that MagneTek was aware of the patents during the arbitration. In fact, at least one patent was marked as an exhibit in the arbitration. Furthermore, MagneTek’s post-arbitration prior art search could have been performed before the arbitration. And the Court would not reward MagneTek’s late search with a second shot at invalidity.

Continue Reading Evidence Must Be Newly Discovered to Vacate Arbitration Award

Dime Group Int’l, Inc. v. Soyuz-Victan USA, LLC, No. 07 C 4178, 2008 WL 450825 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 13, 2008) (Darrah, J.).
Judge Darrah stayed plaintiff’s trademark infringement-related claims pending international arbitration in Russia pursuant to Ukranian law, as required by the parties’ liquor distribution agreement. Plaintiff argued that the arbitration clause was prohibitively expensive, but the Court held plaintiff’s proof was not sufficient. Plaintiff failed to show it was financially incapable of bearing the arbitration costs. All plaintiff offered was that it had a $13,000 operating loss in 2006. But, that was balanced by plaintiff’s $7 million in sales and good credit rating. Additionally, if plaintiff prevails, defendants would bear all arbitration costs.

Continue Reading Court Upholds International Arbitration Provision

Last week the intellectual property world obsessed over injunctions – specifically, a preliminary injunction hearing in the Eastern District of Virginia resulting in an injunction against the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office’s (“PTO”) new continuation rules. There was a lot of analysis about the injunction, including live blogging by Patent Practice Center Patent Blog and a lot of post-injunction analysis by, among others: 271 Patent Blog; FileWrapper; Patent Baristas; Patent Docs (and here); Patent Prospector; PHOSITA; Patently-O; WSJ Law Blog; and Washington State Patent Law Blog. For those of you who have no idea what a continuation is or just do not care about the particulars of the rules, I promise that I am done with patent continuations for this post. Honestly, I find the rules rather tedious myself. I prefer to focus on litigating patents, rather than the PTO’s prosecution rules. So, today we talk about injunctions:
According to TechCrunch, Patent Monkey received a permanent injunction when it was sold to the Internet Real Estate Group. But Patent Monkey’s patent search technology will see its injunction lifted when it is used on www.patents.com. Hopefully, for those like me who enjoyed it, Patent Monkey’s Infinite Monkey Theorem Blog will also see its injunction lifted.
Virtually Blind has an interesting report on Second Life’s* new Patent & Trademark Office, the SLPTO. No word on whether the SLPTO and the Second Life legal system generally will allow for any permanent injunctions. Right now it appears that the SLPTO will be heavily skewed toward copyright and trademark, which makes sense in a virtual world. And before we learn whether the SLPTO has any enforcement mechanisms, Blawg IT is offering to represent virtual clients before the SLPTO. I would get a retainer up front Brett – virtual clients can be difficult to track down when the bills are due.
The Patry Copyright Blog shows why Second Life injunctions may be necessary. Six Second Life players have sued a Queens man in the Eastern District of New York for trademark and copyright infringement based upon sales of goods in Second Life. I wonder if the trademarks and copyrights were registered with the SLPTO or the US PTO/Copyright Office. And does the E.D.N.Y. have authority to issue cyber-injunctions?
Promote the Progress provides an interesting piece on the long-term effects of last week’s injunction against the PTO on shaping patent reform.
SportsBiz explains that plaintiffs who were bilked out of millions in attorneys’ fees by their now-jailed lawyers were not irreparably harmed. A Kentucky court awarded them a 20% ownership interest in Curlin, the prize race horse and Breeder’s Cup Classic winner partially owned by the jailed lawyers.
Adams Drafting issues its own injunction against using virgules. Using what? The virgule, or the forward slash. He explains that it is frequently used to mean: 1) “per” – 50 miles/hour; 2) “or” – and/or; and 3) “and” – all parents/subsidiaries/affiliates are bound by the obligations. The problem is that the various uses create ambiguity. Adams acknowledges that he cannot find any litigation specifically about the virgule. But the best solution is to remove the virgule from your writing before you become embroiled in the first litigation over one. And when it comes to rules of writing and grammar, the best solution is to listen to Adams.
What if you do not want an injunction or just want a faster, cheaper resolution? The IP ADR blog is talking about last week’s big settlement between Vonage and Verizon. They suggest that you consider using contingent agreements to control for changing future conditions and charitable contributions. They also point out that creativity and out-of-the-box thinking are important elements for reaching settlements.
Another way to avoid an injunction is to understand how best to argue against the opposing party and their counsel. The Center for Internet & Society discusses how men and women in the United States and in other cultures communicate and suggests that understanding the nuances of how different people communicate around the globe could advance legal discourse.
Lowering the Bar reports on a Michigan man sentenced to sixty days in jail for a home invasion that ended in him throwing two large pickles at residents of the home. No word on whether he will be enjoined from pickle ownership. Okay, that is a weak tie-in, but who can resist a pickle invasion story.
Deliberations discusses one of the basic truths of trial law – you must connect with your jury about basic truths of your case. That is equally true when seeking an injunction – if the judge senses something is not right about your argument, you will not get your injunction.
The writers’ strike that is expected this week is not an injunction, but it will mean an end to new scripted television and movies. Concurring Opinions has an interesting post about a brewing legal dispute between the studios and the writers’ union, the Writers Guild of America (“WGA”). The WGA is requiring that members provide information on all unproduced projects and an update on the status of those projects, as per the labor agreement between the WGA and the studios. But the studios, based upon their individual agreements with writers, are warning writers that the studios own the scripts and the writers are barred by contract from giving the WGA any information about the projects. These conflicting contracts place the writers in quite a pickle (I could not resist), and it poses an interesting legal question as to which contract controls.
And I end with a post that is actually about an injunction. The Maryland IP Law Blog (another LexBlog creation) posted about a District of Delaware court that upheld a jury verdict of patent infringement and plans to enter a permanent injunction against Lonza, Ltd., Nutrinova Inc. and Nutrinova Nutrition Specialties & Food Ingredients GmbH prohibiting the U.S. sale and use of a fatty acid product currently marketed under the brand name Lonza DHA for use in functional foods and dietary supplements.
Thanks for reading. And for the Blog’s regular readers, I will be back to my usual Northern District of Illinois focus tomorrow.
* Second Life is an internet-based virtual world where “residents” interact through avatars. For example, the Seventh Circuit’s Judge Posner appeared in Second Life with an avatar closely resembling him to answer questions from, among others, a DC IP lawyer using an avatar of a humanized raccoon. Check out the New World Notes blog for a transcript and some screenshots.

Continue Reading Blawg Review #133

DeVore Family Partnership LLP v. McDougal Littell, No. 06 C 3484, 2006 WL 3393844 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 22, 2006) (Conlon, J.).

Having already refused to dismiss this case (here), Judge Conlon held that defendants had not waived the arbitration clause in the parties’ Agreement and stayed the case pending the results of the arbitration.  Plaintiff argued that defendants waived the arbitration clause by their delay in seeking arbitration.  Defendants countered that they had not delayed because when their counsel sought copies of the agreement on several occasions, defendants’ employee sent copies of the front pages of the agreement, but omitted the back pages which included a set of preprinted terms and conditions including the arbitration clause at issue.  Defendants’ counsel received the full agreement several months after the case was filed and sought arbitration and a stay of this proceeding within two weeks of reading the full agreement.


Continue Reading Arbitration Clause Not Waived by Counsel’s Delay In Seeking Arbitration Because Counsel Did Not Have Actual Knowledge of the Provision

Jim Amend, a founder of the Kirkland & Ellis intellectual property group and longtime Chicagoan, was recently appointed the Federal Circuit’s Chief Circuit Mediator.  Jim will take charge of the Federal Circuit mediation program in January 2007, shortly after it was changed from a voluntary to a mandatory program.
Continue Reading Chicago IP Litigator James Amend Appointed Chief Federal Circuit Mediator