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  • Mediation
  • Experts
Dorota Rzążewska
attorney at law
Marta Krzyśków-Szymkowicz
patent & trademark attorney
  • Files to download
Mediation is an alternative, out-of-court means of resolving disputes. Mediation is designed to quickly, effectively and amicably end a dispute. The pace of mediation proceedings, their less formal nature, and lower costs, are but a few benefits which make mediation the increasingly popular way of resolving disputes. Due to new legal regulations which have taken effect on 1st January 2016, mediation is available for all types of cases: criminal, civil, business, and those related to intellectual property.

Mediation is voluntary, confidential, and impartial. It is conducted by a mediator accepted by both parties to the dispute, who conducts the mediation meeting in such a way so as to enable the parties to reach an agreement and amicably resolve the dispute. The mediator must not suggest or impose any solutions. Instead, he or she should use their skills and experience to conduct the mediation in such a way so as to enable the parties themselves to identify the essence of the problem and, in the course of mediation proceedings, address any issues related to the dispute, reach an agreement, and accept settlement conditions to allow for ending the dispute.

Another important aspect of mediation proceedings is their low cost. Mediation centres independently set the amount of mediation fees. In practice, they are relatively lower than the costs of court proceedings. The Act on Supporting Amicable Dispute Resolution Methods is taking effect on 1st January 2016. It encourages parties to a dispute to take advantage of mediation proceedings by providing a number of benefits, such as significant reduction of court-related costs by charging mediation costs into the costs of court proceedings or exempting the request for approval of out-of-court settlement from court fee. In addition, when adjudicating the amount of costs of court proceedings awarded to a party, the court will also take into account whether the party, already before the start of the proceedings, undertook efforts to amicably resolve the dispute, even if unsuccessful. Therefore, even if the case is referred to mediation proceedings and the other party refuses to take part, or if the mediation ends without signing a settlement, then higher costs of court proceedings may be awarded to the party which made an attempt to resolve the dispute as part of mediation.

If mediation ends in signing a settlement prior to the start of proceedings before a court of first instance, then the court will ex officio reimburse the entire fee paid upon filing the suit. If the agreement is reached during court proceedings, the court will reimburse three-fourths of the fee to the party, and if the proceedings end in a court settlement – half the amount.

It is also worth noting that mediation enables a much faster dispute resolution than as part of court proceedings, since it is only up to the parties of the dispute how fast they will reach an agreement. This is also facilitated by the flexibility of scheduling meetings.

Effective resolution of any disputes related to intellectual property rights is particularly important nowadays as these rights constitute an integral element of a company’s strategy, contribute to building the company’s image on the market, and are part of the company’s assets, very often of significant value.

As patent attorneys providing professional advice on industrial property rights in an enterprise, we have noticed that for the last several years the number of disputes concerning these rights has been on the rise, which generates costs and takes up time. What is more, the time needed for the court to resolve a dispute is a time of uncertainty as to whether the incurred costs related to promoting a given product or solution will not be in vain, without the desired effects. Thus a court’s ruling is never fully beneficial to both parties.

The solution is to engage in mediation. It can play a crucial role and lead to reaching a solution allowing for resolving the conflict between the parties. Mediation in cases related to intellectual property may concern a wide range of issues, such as infringement of trademarks, patents, industrial designs, utility models, geographical indications, names of plant varieties, domain names, and copyright.

Mediations are conducted by specialists from JWP Patent and Trademark Attorneys in line with standards set by the Social Board for Alternative Conflict and Dispute Resolution Methods established by the Minister of Justice.

New regulations, which have taken effect on 1st January 2016, set out both rights and procedural and organisational obligations to the extent of conducting mediation. These include, among others:

  • Introducing an obligation for the plaintiff to indicate in the lawsuit whether the parties made an attempt to end the dispute amicably as part of mediation or another alternative dispute resolution method.
  • Introducing an obligation for the court to assess whether the case may be resolved as part of mediation. The judge will be able to order the parties to take part in a meeting at which they will be provided with information on mediation. The court will also be able to refer the parties for mediation at any stage of the case.
  • Extension of duration of mediation proceedings instituted as a result of referring the parties for mediation by the court, from 1 to 3 months.
  • Exempting from court fee the request for approval of out-of-court settlement made before a mediator.
  • Charging the costs of mediation conducted as a result of referring the parties for mediation by the court into the costs of court proceedings, which will allow for exempting indigent people from mediation costs.
  • In the event of unreasonable refusal of a given party to take part in mediation, the court will be able to charge to the party the part of costs incurred as a result of reprehensible and disloyal conduct of the party towards the court or their opponent.

In order to ensure high quality of mediation proceedings, only mediators with relevant knowledge and skills will be listed in the register of permanent mediators kept by President of the District Court.

The JWP Patent and Trademark Attorneys team includes persons with relevant background who, after passing relevant exams, become listed in the register of permanent mediators of District Courts in Warsaw.

Mediators are entitled to handle any business cases, including those related to intellectual property. The people include patent attorney Marta Krzyśków-Szymkowicz and legal counsel and patent attorney Dorota Rzążewska. These people may help you in any intellectual property cases referred to mediation proceedings by the court or as part of out-of-court mediation.

Our mediators are listed in the registers of the Centre for Mediation and Arbitration of Lewiatan Confederation and of Polish Mediators Association.

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