Business disputes, especially intellectual property disputes, have the potential to turn into massive problems for New Jersey businesses. Without the right help and management, intellectual property disputes can become very expensive, time consuming and disruptive for businesses. But, they don't have to be. In some situations, alternative dispute resolution can be used so that New Jersey businesses can come to favorable resolutions.
Take, for example, a recent settlement between Meltwater U.S. Holdings Inc. and the Associated Press. Meltwater is a news compilation service that helps companies track how they are being portrayed in the news. The company -- founded in 2001 -- has around 20,000 clients. The AP, on the other hand, was founded in 1846 and is a non-profit news service composed mostly of journalists.
Last year, the AP sued Meltwater for copyright infringement. The company claimed that Meltwater was violating AP's copyrights by using AP's news stories without paying the licensing fees. Meltwater maintained that it use of AP articles was allowed under the fair use provisions of U.S. copyright laws. Despite Meltwater's arguments, a federal judge ruled in favor of the AP. Meltwater said it would appeal the ruling.
However, appeals are no longer necessary because the two companies have come to a settlement agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will actually work together in the future to generate profit. The AP and Meltwater announced that they will jointly produce products that use Meltwater's analytics tools for AP's articles. These new products will be sold through Meltwater. The companies also announced that they hope to move forward with a strong working relationship.
While some intellectual property cases can get messy, others can be solved so that both sides are happy. In these cases, deals can be reached so that intellectual property rights are not violated but both parties are still profitable.
Source: New Jersey Herald, "AP, Meltwater settle copyright dispute," July 29, 2013