Intellectual Property Disputes

International business contracts often involve intellectual property (IP) rights such as patent licensing, trademarks, technical assistance, transfer of technology and/or of know how. Various types of IP disputes can arise like:

  • Are royalties payable?
  • What amount of royalties is due?
  • Are new product developments covered by the licence?
  • Under what circumstances may a licence be terminated?
  • What compensation should be awarded for breach of the licence?
  • When do restrictions on the use of the IP violate competition rules?
  • When does an employee have the ownership of an IP right?

The methods of settling IP disputes must be carefully considered. Under the laws of some countries, these disputes may be settled by MCN ADR procedure. For example, in most countries, an arbitrator’s ruling on whether a patent is valid or not will be binding, but only on parties in the dispute. It will not be binding on third parties because the decision may deemed to be under the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where the patent was issued.

IP disputes do not arise solely from pure IP contracts. They could arise from a variety of agreements: IP licensing agreements, including agreements where licensing is only part of a wider commercial venture such as franchising or agency contracts; agreements for the transfer of IP in an acquisition or a joint venture. The agreements involving research and employment.

If a contract is mainly or exclusively concerned with IP, the parties may wish to select a dispute resolution system run by MCN.

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