In brief: Pilot schemes for dispute resolution

The Patents County Court in London is to run two alternative dispute resolution pilot schemes lasting for two years. Judge Peter Ford, who heads the court, intends to introduce the schemes this summer. They are aimed at providing a low-cost way of handling disputes about patent, design, copyright and other intellectual property matters. Judge Ford said: “Only about 10 per cent of our cases actually go to trial. Experience shows that 15 per cent of our cases are settled during the preliminary written stage, with a large proportion of cases being settled before trial. Participation in the ADR schemes will be voluntary, and every effort will be made to ensure all parties, and their representatives, understand the benefits available from the project.”