Mediator Harvinder Singh Bhurji
The lead Mediator and Director of Effective Dispute Solutions Limited is Harvinder Singh BhurjiREAD MORE
Dispute resolution; Professional negligence including Clinical Negligence; Product Liability; personal injury...READ MORE
Jane encourages people to take full advantage of the mediation process and the control...READ MORE
Dr Michael Butterworth
I am available to undertake all aspects of Commercial, Civil and Community mediationREAD MORE
Technological Mediation, typically revolves around new inventions, products or services. New or updated technological products and services, are constantly being released. Be it the latest iPhone, car or vacuum cleaner.
As credit and disposable incomes are readily available more than ever before, consumers are buying more and more. Therefore, every sector ranging from cosmetics to automobiles are competing in the global race to bring new products, the latest – to market. With advertising budgets increasing, social media tracking our every buying move. Individuals are wanting their new goodies first, regardless of whether they need them.
With global giants, partnering with businesses across the world to bring this technology to our hands constantly, disputes are inevitable.
Generally, the disputes under technological mediation concern;
- Contracts, breach of contract, defective goods, late or none delivery of goods, raw materials, labour, specific performance, economic loss
- Franchise agreements, company, director, shareholder, partnership & joint venture disputes
- Intellectual property disputes, to include stolen ideas
- Competition law
Our mediators can assist and help organisations and individuals resolve their technological disputes immediately. Saving thousands in years of litigation and legal fees. Avoiding jurisdictional barriers, wasted time and energy, which can be used to expand existing products and or develop further products.
Examples of recently mediated cases which have settled include;
A global household name, designed and marketed a washing machine which saved the consumer 4.5% electricity. Saved 6% water and washed clothes 5% more effectively than the leading market equivalent.
Although the cost of the new machine was slightly more than previous models. As well as the competition’s latest model, its efficiency savings, would be massive and quick return on investment. After all it was the technology that the consumer was purchasing.
Low and behold, their claims were completely true. Sales went through the roof; the company was struggling to keep up with demand. Backorder’s piled up. They could not manufacture them fast enough.
A competitor claimed that the technology used to create this new fantastic machine was in fact their idea. They were able to evidence this also. It was alleged that although the tech used was slightly different, it was based on their years of research, and product development, which they were just finalising.
In essence their claim was they owned the intellectual property for the technology, and a claim was brought for just over £59 million. Based on the sales of the product globally, as well as economic loss and damage to reputation.
The matter was listed in the High Court, with legal fees mounting, the parties entered into mediation. After a 3-day mediation, several private and joint meetings, listening to the leading engineering experts for both companies.
It was clear that although the design was very similar, it had actually been developed by a third-party consultancy firm. It was then sold, to both of these competitors at different times, but each version had been slightly altered. Therefore, the years of research, product development was not exactly correct as had been claimed.
The consultancy firm contested the foul play, stating what they had sold was two different pieces of technology, and they were in fact unique. They also relied on the terms of sale, the contract, and particular clauses which were slightly onerous, but if upheld by a court, would clear them of any wrong doing.
As both of the organisations had QC’s as counsel, the consultancy a leading barrister, who also was a Judge from their country, it was quite clear that the law could easily be interpreted in several ways. The litigation risk, legal fees the loosing party would have to pay was beyond scary.
A confidential agreement was drawn up between the three, simply because it made more sense to cut a commercial deal, which was in all their interests then take the gamble in the High Court!
Although both organisations were global giants. Having to pay a costs order in the millions, would not bankrupt either of them. But it would severely impact them, putting thousands of jobs at risk. Not to mention damage to reputation and future sales.
Technological mediation settles
It was finally and reluctantly intimated / agreed that the £59 million claim was ambitious and over inflated. Realistically it was not more than £40 million. The consultancy firm reimbursed each company 35% each, for the cost of the technology that they sold to each. The company paid £10 million to the competitor. They also agreed on a lucrative deal, going forward – a partnership in manufacturing the back orders, a deal which was in the millions. The competitor also agreed not to develop their version of the machine any further.