If you or your company hold a copyright, trademark, patent or other form of intellectual property, you will want to learn about your options for enforcing the protections associated with those in the event that you believe a violation has occurred. California companies often secure intellectual property protections to further their business and financial interests and defending these may at times be necessary.
As explained by Entreprenuer magazine, you may not always need to assume that a dispute will automatically end up with you facing a judge or jury in a courtroom. This may happen, but there are alternative dispute resolution methods that may provide other avenues for you. Some situations might be able to be resolved via mediation or arbitration. Some people might confuse these two options thinking they are the same but that is not true.
In mediation, you and the other party are fully responsible for definining the ultimate agreement or settlement. A mediator works with you to facilitate discussions but does not make or recommend decisions. Arbitration is closer to litigation in that you allow a third party to make the ultimate ruling but the process is generally less involved, less time intensive and less expensive than litigation. That said, there may be times when litigation is the best option.
If you would like to learn more about the different options available to you via which you may be able to protect your intellectual property rights, please feel free to visit the copyright, trademark and patent protections page of our California intellectual property website