Resolving Life Science Collaboration Disputes

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This article first appeared in Law360, May 11, 2012.

Life science companies frequently collaborate to develop drugs or devices. Some collaboration agreements refer disputes to arbitration. Others are silent so any disputes go to court.

On the whole, arbitration works better to resolve disputes that occur during the collaboration, while court litigation works at least as well and maybe better to resolve disputes that occur after the collaboration ceases.

As a result, collaborators should consider agreeing that disputes be submitted to arbitration if the arbitration request is filed before the collaboration terminates or to resolve a dispute about whether the collaboration has been terminated, but that any later disputes proceed to court.

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