Court Says Patent Mediators Are Subject to Same Neutrality and Disclosure Rules as Judges

Leech Tishman Eye on IP

mediation alternative dispute resolutionThe US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that a mediator in a patent infringement dispute has a duty to disclose a relationship with the law firm representing one of the parties.

In the case of CEATS, Inc. v. Continental Airlines, et al., CEATS brought a patent infringement suit against Continental and other airlines and parties for alleged infringement of its patents.  After the parties failed to settle the case during court-ordered mediation, the case went to trial.

A jury found that CEATS’s patents were infringed but invalid.

CEATS filed a motion for relief from the judgment based on an undisclosed relationship between the court-appointed mediator and the law firm representing one of the defendants.

Previously, the law firm that one of the parties’ lawyers worked for had arbitrated a case before the same mediator and he had made an award of $22 million to the firm’s client. …

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