Intellectual Property Procedures

Dispute Resolution Procedure

Notwithstanding the grievance process provisions set forth in the Conflict Resolution and Grievance Policies, and not withstanding anything to the contrary set forth Policy 1.42 Employee Mediation Program and the Student Mediation Program, in the event a dispute regarding the ownership or use of Intellectual Property arises between the College and a Covered Individual. The parties shall first endeavor to negotiate the matter between themselves in good faith. If direct negotiations do not resolve the matter, either party may request in writing that the matter be submitted to mediation in accordance with the following procedure:

  1. Either the College or the Covered Individual may request mediation by submitting notice, together with any relevant supporting documents, to the other party and to the Director of Human Resources. Such supporting documents shall contain, at a minimum, a statement of the issues involved in the dispute, and the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all parties that are directly or indirectly involved in the dispute.
  2. The Director of Human Resources shall arrange for the mediation and notify the parties of the arrangements within 10 business days following the date on which the notice of demand is received by the Director of Human Resources. Such arrangements shall include, at a minimum, the date, time, and place of each mediation session.
  3. The Director of Human Resources shall select a neutral mediator who is capable of making an independent assessment of and rendering an objective decision with respect to the dispute. Such mediator:
    1. Shall be experienced in intellectual property matters;
    2. May or may not be an employee of the College;
    3. Shall not be a member of the department from which the dispute arises; and,
    4. Shall not be a member of the department for which the Covered Individual provides services.
  4. At least 10 days prior to the first scheduled mediation session, each party shall provide the mediator with a brief memorandum setting forth its position with regard to the issue that needs to be resolved. At the discretion of the mediator, such memoranda may be mutually exchanged between the parties. At the first session, the parties shall produce all information reasonably required for the mediator to understand the issues presented and to render a fair decision. The mediator may require any party to supplement such information as reasonably necessary from time to time. Additional sessions shall be held as necessary to reach a final resolution, at the times and in the manner prescribed by the mediator.
  5. The mediator’s decision shall be a non-binding recommended resolution. The mediator does not have the authority to impose a settlement on the parties, but will attempt to help them reach a satisfactory resolution of their dispute. The mediator is authorized to conduct joint and separate meetings with the parties and to make oral and written recommendations for settlement. Whenever necessary, the mediator may also obtain expert advice concerning technical aspects of the dispute, provided that the parties agree to such action and to share the expenses associated with obtaining such advice. Arrangements for obtaining such advice shall be made by the mediator or the parties, as the mediator shall determine.
  6. If the aforementioned mediation process does not resolve the dispute between the parties within 90 days after the written notice for mediation is delivered, either party may commence litigation proceedings in the state or federal courts, as applicable, located in Charlotte, North Carolina. Notwithstanding the foregoing, either party shall be entitled to seek an injunction, temporary restraining order, or other equitable relief pending final resolution through mediation or litigation of any controversy, dispute, or claim between the parties.

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