Guidance

Intellectual property mediation

Mediation is a type of alternative dispute resolution and may help you resolve an intellectual property dispute.

Mediation is a method of alternative dispute resolution which seeks to resolve intellectual property (IP) disputes without the need to go to court. The mediator’s role is not to make a decision on the dispute, but to help both parties reach an amicable solution.

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) offers a mediation service to parties involved in an IP-related dispute.

Benefits of mediation

There are many benefits to mediation such as:

  • quicker and cheaper than litigation - allowing you time to focus on your business and not be distracted by lengthy and costly litigation proceedings

  • high success rate - the large majority of mediations reach an agreement on the day and other disputes reach resolution as a direct result of the mediation process

  • confidential - whatever the outcome, it will remain private (preserving business reputations) unlike a court hearing which is open to the public

  • opportunities - mediation offers the opportunity to maintain existing commercial relationships, as well as the chance to forge new ones

The IPO’s mediation service

The IPO employs accredited mediators qualified to mediate matters relating to the full range of IP (patents, trade marks, designs, copyright, trade secrets, and related commercial matters).

The cost of the service is dependent on the type and length of session desired. The average session takes around 6 hours at a cost of £450 per party but the full mediation fees (PDF, 602KB, 1 page) schedule is available.

The session can be held at the IPO’s Newport and London offices at no extra charge, or elsewhere in the UK at your discretion.

The service can help you resolve disputes related to:

  • licencing
  • ownership/entitlement
  • infringement
  • trade mark opposition
  • technology/knowledge transfer between companies and/or Universities and Technology Transfer Offices

If your dispute type is not listed and you think mediation may be a good option for you, please contact the team at mediation@ipo.gov.uk who can advise further.

How to book a mediation session

If you wish to resolve your dispute via the IPO’s mediation service, you will first need agreement from the opposing party. You can do this yourself or via a legal representative if you have one.

You may wish to use these template documents to make initial contact (ODT, 4.73KB) and follow up contact (ODT, 6.52KB) if you do not get a response.

Once you have agreed to mediate, you should then contact the IPO at mediation@ipo.gov.uk with the following information:

  • contact details for each party involved in the dispute (including yourself)
  • a brief overview of the dispute
  • an indication as to when you would like the mediation to take place

The mediation team will then liaise with all parties and the mediator to arrange a mutually convenient date, location and time. You will also receive confirmation of costs for your records.

Contact the team

If you have any questions about the service or would like to discuss your suitability for mediation, please contact the team using your preferred method below.

E-mail: mediation@ipo.gov.uk

Telephone: 0300 300 2000

or write to:

Mediation Service
Intellectual Property Office
Concept House
Cardiff Road
Newport
South Wales
NP10 8QQ
United Kingdom

Please note that you must accept liability for the transmission of any information you send us or ask to receive from us via e-mail.

Other mediation providers

There are many other individuals and organisations providing a mediation service to the public. Some have contacted the IPO to say they can mediate IP related disputes. The IPO has listed these providers along with information they have provided about their service(s) mediation providers (PDF, 116KB, 9 pages) .

It is not appropriate for us to recommend particular providers but you may wish to assess their suitability while choosing a mediation provider.

Published 3 May 2014
Last updated 19 June 2018 + show all updates
  1. Mediation content updated.
  2. Revised content.
  3. Updated mediation providers list added.
  4. Mediator Philip A. Hannay details added to the Mediation Providers list.
  5. Updated details within mediation providers for, WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (Geneva).
  6. First published.