While today’s global business reach may lead to increased profits and rapid company expansion, it also increases the risk of international patent, infringement and intellectual property disputes. When litigation involves international parties and courts, things can get messy. Depending upon the country and the legal concern, disputes may be resolved through foreign arbitration, mediators, tribunals, court systems or other forums—and it’s critical that your company hires expert witnesses who are experienced in the nuances of these international arenas.
Issues Arising in International Litigation
There are a number of procedural and substantive differences between domestic and international litigation, including:
- Judicial system differences (common law, civil law, international law, etc.)
- Diverse background and experience of involved parties, attorneys, arbiters and witnesses
- Discrepancies between communication styles
- Differing cultural viewpoints and mores
According to Madge S. Thorsen, commercial litigation specialist, “…smooth sailing in international arbitration should start with cross-cultural analysis, strategy and awareness.” Along this line of thinking, your company—whether defendant or plaintiff in an international case—should seek counsel and consultants who are (1) equipped to communicate with clients unfamiliar with the U.S. legal system, and (2) prepared to offer expertise that resonates with different cultural points of view.
Tips for Choosing an International Engineering Consultant
Before you entrust your company’s well-being to an expert engineering witness, remember the following tips:
1. Choose an experienced litigation consultant who has testified in a variety of settings, such as the Federal District Court, the International Trade Commission and International Arbitration arenas.
2. Look for engineering witnesses who are adept at both written and spoken testimony. Depending on the type of international litigation setting, you may need one or both of these types of witness statements. In addition, experienced international consultants should be comfortable citing case laws, codes and commentary from different legal traditions to back their points.
3. Select a qualified engineering expert whose experience dictates a respectful approach to diverse cultural and communication styles. This also means taking care to avoid gestures, body language and words that could convey harmful generalizations, stereotypes & condescension.
4. Choose a consultant who is educated and patented in a number of areas. Glew Engineering Consultants are experienced in a range of fields, including semiconductors and semiconductor equipment, medical devices, energy management, fiber optics, telecommunications, turbo-machinery and fuel storage.
5. Rather than seeking the expertise of multiple consulting organizations, take a more cost-effective approach. Hire a firm versed in many common international litigation arenas—including patents and infringement, technology contract disputes, trade secrets, large-scale industrial accidents and insurance disputes.
Experienced in many areas of engineering, the team at Glew Engineering offers industry-leading IP litigation support and international arbitration consulting. To inquire about our expert witness services or request more information, call or visit our website today.