Types of dispute resolution
Produced in partnership with Boyes Turner LLP

The following IP practice note produced in partnership with Boyes Turner LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Types of dispute resolution
  • Conciliation
  • Expert determination
  • Arbitration
  • Mediation
  • Benefits/disadvantages of ADR over litigation
  • Practical points on ADR

Types of dispute resolution

This practice note provides an overview of the main types of dispute resolution that are an alternative to litigation. As well as covering the main types of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) such as conciliation, mediation, arbitration and expert determination, this note considers the advantages and disadvantages of ADR over litigation and provides practical points relevant to ADR.

Litigation can be a costly and lengthy process producing uncertain results. For that reason alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is an attractive way of resolving all types of disputes, where informal negotiation has failed, including those relating to intellectual property (IP). ADR refers to mechanisms which sit outside the court system and enables parties to resolve their disputes with the assistance of neutral intermediaries.

Types of ADR include:

  1. conciliation

  2. expert determination

  3. arbitration

  4. mediation

ADR can be used to resolve issues relating to all types of IP from patents to domain names. It is relevant to any type of dispute, including alleged infringements, disagreements over licensing and disputes relating to development or even settlement agreements. See Practice Note: Which form of ADR?.


Conciliation is not very different to a straightforward negotiation between the parties. The key difference is that a conciliator will be appointed to assist both parties independently and help them to identify:

  1. key issues

  2. their main objectives, and

  3. areas where concessions to the other side may be

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