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What Is Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)?

USPTO Alternative Dispute Resolution

An alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is any procedure, agreed to by the parties of intellectual property disputes, in which they use the services of a neutral party to assist them in reaching agreement and avoiding litigation. Types of ADR include arbitration, mediation, negotiated rulemaking, neutral factfinding, and minitrials. With the exception of binding arbitration, the goal of ADR is to provide a forum for the parties to work toward a voluntary, consensual agreement, as opposed to having a judge or other authority decide the case to reach a settlement.

Implementation of proceedings is through the USPTO’s Office of Dispute Resolution (ODR) administers three main types of ADR: arbitration, mediation, and the Pilot Neutral Evaluation Program.

Patent disputes can be confusing and difficult to navigate. Mediation is a confidential, nonbinding process in which a mediator helps the parties to reach their own settlement.

The Pilot Neutral Evaluation Program is a new ADR program that is based on the successful Early Neutral Evaluation pilot program. In this program, a panel of three neutrals will review the facts and law of a case and give their nonbinding opinion on how they believe the case would be decided by a judge.

World Intellectual Property Organization

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is a specialized United Nations agency that administers 24 international treaties concerning different aspects of intellectual property (IP).

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center

The WIPO Mediation and Arbitration Center is an international dispute resolution service provider, offering arbitration, mediation, and other ADR services to for reasonable IP disputes.

The WIPO ADR Center has a team of experienced IP professionals, including mediators, arbitrators, and technical experts, who are familiar with the complexities of IP disputes. The WIPO Center also offers online dispute resolution (ODR) services. Leveraging existing WIPO arbitration can lend efficiency to resolve their disputes increases efficiency.

The WIPO Center’s dispute resolution services are available to parties from all countries, irrespective of their membership in any international treaty or convention.

The WIPO Center is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

Patent and Trademark Office

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is a federal agency that grants patents and registers trademarks. The USPTO is part of the Department of Commerce.

The USPTO’s mission is to promote innovation, competitiveness, and economic growth by administering the patent and trademark laws of the United States.

The USPTO examines applications for patents and grants patents to inventors and businesses for their inventions. The USPTO also registers trademarks for products and services, which helps to protect the brand names of businesses from being used by other businesses.