With effect from Wednesday 3 March 2010 mediation -- which has been available in Romania since 2006 -- has become mandatory for all civil disputes and simple criminal cases.
The parties involved in the dispute will be obliged to seek to resolve each issue through mediation before turning to court. If a trial has already been initiated, the parties may request its suspension for a maximum of three months in order to try to settle the case through mediation. If the parties bring the case to court directly, the judges will require them to attempt mediation first, resorting to court only if mediation fails.
This measure, mainly enforced to ease the courts’ caseloads, is advantageous for the parties involved in disputes, as it is shorter and less complex and costly.
While approaching the other party with the purpose of amicable settlement was often used by trade mark owners before initiating a court action, it was not always taken into consideration as a way of resolving a conflict.
Mediation should be seriously considered as an alternative to the traditional judicial system, especially because of the saved time and money.
With ordinary trials before the Romanian courts, on average two to three years pass before a definitive and irrevocable decision is reached. During this time, IP rights owners cannot fully benefit from their rights and they also spend the unnecessary money and energy.
The advantage given by the mediation procedure is that the disputing parties have complete control over the entire process. The procedure is informal, fast, efficient and low cost, which is especially favourable in light of the current economic crisis.
This item is based on an article in the IP newsletter of PETOSEVIC.