I am often asked : "Do you recommend a mediation clause be placed in an agreement or contract being drafted between parties and relating to intellectual property subject matter?" My answer is an unqualified "Yes!"

Since mediation provides the parties "...a risk-free, non-binding opportunity to settle their disputes in a confidential, timely, creative way, by utilizing the services of an experienced mediator with intellectual property subject matter expertise" (to quote a passage from the website of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit), what reason would there NOT to oblige the parties to try to resolve through mediation a dispute arising from such an agreement or contract?

A simple mediation clause might be:

IF A DISPUTE ARISES BETWEEN THE PARTIES TO THIS AGREEMENT, THE PARTIES AGREE TO SUBMIT THE DISPUTE TO MEDIATION AND TO BEAR EQUALLY ITS COSTS. THE PARTIES WILL JOINTLY APPOINT A MUTUALLY ACCEPTABLE MEDIATOR, SEEKING ASSISTANCE IN SUCH REGARD FROM [NAME OF SERVICE PROVIDER] IF THEY ARE UNABLE TO AGREE UPON SUCH APPOINTMENT. THE PARTIES AGREE TO PARTICIPATE IN GOOD FAITH IN THE MEDIATION AND NEGOTIATIONS RELATED THERETO.