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‘MEDIATE TO RESOLVE’ is a National mediation scheme for designer/manufacturers, pan industry, offering mediation as a real alternative to litigation in intellectual property disputes.

Endorsed and supported by Baroness Morgan of Drefelin, Minister for Intellectual Property, ACID’s Mediate to Resolve service provides a highly cost effective and time effective route to dispute resolution bringing parties together with the support of a mediator to resolve alleged copying complaints whilst avoiding legal intervention.  Based on the organisation’s extensive experience handling mediation (ACID has handled over 2000 grass roots mediations at exhibitions with less than 30% requiring further legal intervention) ACID plans to make mediation both accessible and affordable to both ACID members and non-members. The Mediate to Resolve panel, chaired by former Appeals Court Judge Sir Jonathan Parker, provides both ACID members and non members with a countrywide network of leading accredited mediators, skilled in dispute resolution within the design industry.  ‘As a Judge, I have seen all too often how parties to a dispute can become locked into litigation when mediation at an early stage might well have resulted in a satisfactory compromise.   Having regard to the inevitable cost, time and stress of litigation – to say nothing of the risk of losing the case - mediation must always be worth a try which is why I am so committed to the concept of mediation.’  Many organisations are not familiar with the stages of the mediation process and ACID is frequently asked, “What is mediation and how does it work?” Mediation is a confidential meeting between two parties who are in dispute but who retain control over the outcome. They are guided through the process by a skilled mediator who will use his or her expertise to restore or rebuild a harmonious relationship but has no authority to impose an outcome.  These days the demands on businesses to succeed and grow are severely hampered by the increase of intellectual property infringement. Taking action against those who seek the fast track to market through IP theft places huge fiscal and time restrictions on the day-to-day running of organisations. ACID has spent the last decade encouraging parties in disputes to seek mediation sooner rather than later and Government is now sending a strong message to judges to look more favourably on disputing companies who seek mediation prior to any Court applications.  Dids Macdonald, ACID’s CEO, has been an outspoken advocator of mediation since the organisation’s launch in 1998. ‘So often mediation can result in realistic out of court settlements therefore avoiding potentially costly and often inflammatory legal disputes. Mediation, as an alternative to litigation can also result in commercial agreements being brokered. I know of many designers who have walked away from mediation with a royalty or licence agreement in their pocket rather than a hefty legal bill.’   ACID’s prime objective is to help designers appreciate and protect their IP equity. Much of the UK’s excellent design talent is being sucked dry by high street copycats and many designer/manufacturers can’t afford to fight their case through the courts when their products are ripped off.  ACID’s objective is to ensure that every designer in the UK understands the value of their IP rights, the multiple benefits of mediation and has access to our Mediate to Resolve service.

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