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CPR Institute’s New Patent Mediation Task Force To Deliver An ‘Effective Practices Protocol’ For Mediation Of Patent Disputes

New York, NY, December 15, 2011 – The International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (CPR Institute), a nonprofit alliance of global corporations, law firms, scholars, and public institutions dedicated to the principles of commercial conflict prevention, announces the formation of a Task Force to explore ways to improve the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in patent disputes. The Chair of the Task Force is Manny W. Schecter, IBM Chief Patent Counsel.

Current patent settlement rates demonstrate that mediation is underutilized in patent disputes.  Therefore, the first project of this group will be the development of an ‘Effective Practices Protocol’ (EPP) for promoting mediation of patent disputes.  

The Task Force has formed three subcommittees to begin to examine mediation best practices from each of five stakeholder perspectives: in-house counsel/business people; outside counsel; mediators; judges; and provider organizations.  Each will be analyzed within three distinct areas: 1) pre-mediation; 2) mediation; and 3) issues unique to patent cases.  The work of the subcommittees will be to gather information, conduct surveys and lead focus groups with the goal of completing the protocol in 2013.

The subcommittee members are:
Harrie Samaras (Chair)
Jason Burwell
Robert F. Copple
Anne B. Kiernan
Russell E. Levine
Jay Stewart
S.I. Strong
Phillip C. Swain               
Hon. Mary Pat Thynge 
Kevin Casey (Chair)
Kenneth R. Adamo
Mark Edwards
Hon. Edward N. Cahn
Dennis Crouch            
Hon. John S. Martin
Robert T. Tobin 
Unique Issues in
Patent Cases

John M. Delehanty (Chair)
Bruce G. Bernstein
M. Scott Donahey
Don W. Martens
Hon. Paul R. Michel
Steven W. Miller
Maxim (Mac) H. Waldbaum
Michael Walker
John K. Williamson 

According to Kathleen A. Bryan, President and CEO of the CPR Institute, “The CPR Institute has been a pioneer in seeking improvements to private resolution in disputes involving intellectual property and patents.  This new protocol has the potential to find solutions to earlier resolution of patent disputes, which are the most costly cases for many companies.”  Mr. Schecter of IBM agreed, saying “The important work of this Task Force to identify and overcome barriers to mediation of patent disputes could save businesses from wasteful litigation costs.”

Since 1987, CPR has convened technology leaders in the U.S. and Europe to consider mediation and other non-binding ADR techniques.  In 2004, CPR created the International Commission on Patent Disputes and significant work was completed in three parallel tracks focused on mediation, arbitration and assisting the judiciary.  In 2006, the mediation subcommittee published a book entitled “Master Guide to Patent Mediation: Better Solutions for Business.”  

About the CPR Institute
As a think tank and educational not-for-profit organization, the CPR Institute provides thought leadership and innovation as the global resource for conflict management and resolution of complex business-related disputes. Our wealth of intellectual property and published material has educated and motivated General Counsel and their law firms around the world toward an increased reliance on alternative forms of dispute resolution rather than litigation. CPR Institute’s membership is comprised of general counsel and senior lawyers of Fortune 1,000 organizations, partners in the top law firms around the world, as well as leading judges, government officials, neutrals, and academicians. Our proprietary panel of esteemed arbitrators and mediators has provided resolutions in thousands of cases, with billions of dollars at issue, worldwide.

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