Obligatory mediation in trademark and other disputes

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By virtue of law 4512/2018 which was published on 17.1.2018, all disputes concerning trademarks, patents and industrial designs initiated before civil courts are subject to obligatory mediation. The same obligation is introduced for family, housing, remuneration, medical, and stock exchange disputes. Hearing of the cases shall be inadmissible if the obligatory mediation process stipulated in the law has not been followed. The provisions shall start to apply as of 17.10.2018. Plaintiffs are required to submit a request for appointment of a mediator from the list of mediators available on Ministry of Justice website and invite the other party to arrange for a mediation within the next 15 days following such invitation. The mediation as such shall not exceed 24 hours unless otherwise agreed by the parties. The mediation must be completed within 30 days following the initial invitation. This may be extended upon mutual agreement of the parties by 30 more days. What is important, mainly for foreign entities, is that physical presence is not required and mediation can be conducted via teleconference. In the mediation proceedings the parties are present together with their attorneys. The parties may decide at this first meeting that they do not wish to engage in the mediation process. This shall suffice for purposes of admissibility of the hearing. If parties reach an agreement, the respective minutes including the settlement agreement may be submitted to the court secretariat for certification by any of the parties and become an enforcement title. Interim measures are not precluded pending mediation proceedings.