Computers & IT

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Computers & IT

Whether it is computers, automated production and distribution, or communications the world gets both smaller as the technology gets more sophisticated. Disputes crop up – perhaps it is a relatively simple software dispute which is crying out for on line mediation where the mediator simply liaises with the parties by videolink, phone or email. Perhaps it is more complex. We have technical mediators from electrical engineers to members of the London Patent Court mediation panel.

Technology Disputes

Disputes involving technology are increasing as our lives become more and more dependent on it. From Biotechnology through to ICT and all the exciting varieties of New Media, all kinds of agreements and collaborations are made and sometimes things don’t go according to plan. Often the main monetary value in technology businesses lies in intangible or intellectual property assets (IP). These assets include registered trade marks, patents and design rights as well as unregistered copyright, designs, database rights, confidential information and know-how. This is often central to technology based disputes. The enormous potential value of Registered Trade Marks is evident in consumer luxury brands. Similarly the influence of patent value on the Pharmaceutical industry can be seen in the effect on share prices. However, even away from these extreme examples, all businesses own some IP and need to have the ability to be able to maintain it and where necessary deal with any related disputes which arise. For New Media businesses, unregistered IP particularly copyright is the most important intangible asset. Disputes over ownership are particularly common where there is no clearly defined paper trail to prove ownership. Software based IT companies again are largely built around the ownership or licensing of copyright material. Traditional methods of resolving IP disputes have often proved to be expensive and protracted. Often businesses fail to adequately protect their IP proclaiming that they couldn’t afford to defend it in the event of a dispute. Mediation and conciliation can be used as effective alternative means to resolve technology, ICT and IP disputes often preserving and improving existing business relationships. ANM Technology, ICT and IP Special Interest Group Although mediation is a skill-based process it is often helpful to have mediators with particular knowledge and expertise to assist. This is the reason why the Association of Northern Mediators has formed a Special Interest group for Technology, ICT and IP. Our group of Technology, ICT and IP mediators includes PhD scientists, innovation specialists, ICT specialists, IP lawyers and professional technology specialists. Together they have a very varied experience of dealing with Technology, ICT and IP issues and disputes. Their industry experience ranges from Bioscience to IT, Telecoms, and New Media. Their IP expertise covers all types of IP and they have experience in many different countries. There is no specific panel for this section. Users are recommended to contact Bill Lister.

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Stephen Barker


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