Pierce Law Faculty Scholarship Series

Document Type



For the most part, parties with a legal dispute have either settled their differences or, when that wasn't possible, litigated them. However, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is increasingly urged as a supplement or substitute in a wide range of areas. ADR usually involves at least one third party who is employed by neither the judicial system nor one of the parties to the dispute. The third party may be a mediator, who helps the parties reach settlement, or an arbitrator, who renders a decision. While arbitration has been widely used for many years, until very recently, mediation (or conciliation) was more likely to be confined to labor controversies. Ironically, just as many patent attorneys began to appreciate arbitration's potential for being quicker and less expensive than litigation, a couple of cases created doubts about whether it could be used to resolve issues that are usually central to patent disputes.

Date of Authorship for this Version

January 1991