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It's not hard to find an example of a long, drawn-out court case. The law files are filled with them because there are so many ways to delay court decisions through appeals and other legal maneuvers. If the court case in question is a patent infringement both parties can suffer greatly in terms of court costs, lost production time, lost profits and a stoppage of continued product development. Fortunately, there are a variety of strategies to consider that will keep the patent dispute out of court. Before you embark on any of these strategies, you should hire the services of a patent law firm. It's unlikely you can handle this type of dispute all your own, even if it's not your first invention patent.
One possibility for avoiding court is called a cross-license. In this case, both parties would be unable to proceed otherwise because marketing their respective patents would be impossible without such an arrangement. Because of the tremendous cost of patent litigation, some people are also choosing patent arbitration or mediation. Neither of these approaches utilizes a judge or jury. While arbitration decisions are made by a specially designation third party, in mediation both parties involved work together to resolve the dispute with the help of a mediator. Sometimes the court can order those inventors involved in a patent dispute to try mediation in an attempt to avoid a court battle. Once you pay a lot of money to take your patent dispute to court, you might be likely to hold even tighter to your opinion, but always keep in mind the total cost of such a decision in the long run.
Some patent attorneys might advise you to consider all these additional options once the discovery phase of the case is complete. During this phase, each party exchanges information with the other and you'll be able to get a good idea of how strong your case is and whether you should pursue it in court or keep it out of the traditional legal system.