The ability to keep proceedings and outcomes confidential is one of the many attractive features of arbitration.
Patent infringement cases typically implicate confidential or business-sensitive documents. Most courts provide for protective orders (a.k.a., confidentiality orders) to safeguard the confidentiality of a party's competitively sensitive documents and information.
While this has the ability to shield such information from being disclosed to the opposing party, U.S. courts in particular disfavor shielding (i) court filings, (ii) the court's decisions, and/or (iii) trials/trial records from public view.
Indeed, some of the most patent-centric courts in the United States (e.g., Southern District of New York, Northern District of California, Northern District of Texas) are extremely reluctant to allow sealed filings. The ability to maintain technical or sensitive business information varies dramatically in other jurisdictions.
In sharp contrast, parties to an arbitration can agree to whatever degree of confidentiality they desire, save only for typical (and sometimes mandatory) carveouts for instances where disclosure may be required by law, to enforce the parties' rights, and the like.
Arbitration allows companies a full opportunity to enforce their rights without having to risk public disclosure of their confidential and competitively sensitive technical and business information.
Arbitration also provides the additional benefit of insulating the entire proceedings from public disclosure, thereby allowing the parties to disclose the outcome of the proceeding in an appropriately managed fashion, if at all.
Contact us for a free consultation and let us explain how we can help you successfully resolve your next patent dispute in a more timely and cost-effective manner.