Year started: 1998
Eligibility: All intellectual property cases falling under the Lanham Act
Free Mediation Services Available?: No
The Northern District of Illinois in 1996 adopted a voluntary mediation program under Local Rule 16.3 that applies to cases arising under the Federal Trademark Act of 1946 (the "Lanham Act"). Mediation in the Procedures for Mediation of Lanham Act Cases is defined as a "flexible, nonbinding and confidential dispute resolution process in which an impartial and qualified neutral facilitates negotiations among the parties in an attempt to help them reach settlement."
Cases are assigned to the program after being identified as Lanham Act cases by the Clerk of the Court. The clerk notifies the assigned judge and the plaintiff that the case has been assigned to the program. The plaintiff then is responsible for notifying the defense of the cases reassignment to the mediation program. Parties are required to submit, within 90 days of filing of the complaint, a joint statement indicating either their willingness to participate in the program or their reasons for declining to participate.
In preparation for the mediation conference, the mediator may require the parties to submit confidential memoranda, not to be shared with the other side, that address strengths and weaknesses of the case and settlement proposals. Parties with full authority to negotiate and settle the dispute along with their attorneys are required to attend the mediation session. After the mediation, the mediator submits to the court a report disclosing only whether required parties were present and settlement status. All other oral and written communications made in connection with the mediation are privileged and prohibited from being reported to the court.
Mediations are conducted by neutrals selected by the parties from the courts List of Lanham Act Organizations and Neutrals. The court maintains and makes available to the public a file containing the qualifications for these mediators. Criteria for inclusion on this list include five or more years of experience in the practice of Lanham Act law or three or more years of experience as a neutral. Fees for mediation are agreed upon in advance of the mediation by the neutral and the parties.
Illinois Supreme Court. Article I - Illinois Supreme Court General Rules, Oct. 10, 2001
Resource Type: Rules - Court
Abstract: This rule authorizes judicial circuits to undertake mediation programs. Circuits electing to establish mediation program are directed to adopt rules for the conduct of mediation proceedings and to submit them to the Supreme Court. The Rule specifies ...Sep. 30, 1996
Abstract: This rule establishes a voluntary mediation program for all cases filed under the Federal Trademark Act of 1946 (the "Lanham Act"). Appendix B "Procedures for Voluntary Mediation Program for Lanham Act Cases" provides information on how the program o...
Summary: This report describes the results of a study of the first three years of the Lanham Act Mediation Program in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The study explored how many Lanham Act mediation cases were being conducted in the program, how the program was working and how it might be improved. The study examined court records for 679 Lanham Act cases filed from the beginning of the Court's program on January 1, 1997, to December 31, 1999. It surveyed 1,102 lawyers who had filed appearances in the 359 Lanham Act cases that had been filed during the study period and had not been archived. It also surveyed the 56 neutrals on the Court's roster and collected other anecdotal information.
The authors of this report are RSI staff members.
Michael SerratoreJudicial Support Manager
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
219 S. Dearborn St.
Chicago, Illinois 60604
phone: (312) 435-5359