Absent contract language to the contrary, all intellectual property issues appear to be the proper subject of binding arbitration in the United States.
a. Patent Issues
The United States Congress has expressly provided for the voluntary, binding arbitration of patent validity, enforceability and infringement issues (35 U.S.C. § 294).
Congress has also expressly provided for the voluntary, binding arbitration of "any aspect" of patent interference disputes (35 U.S.C. § 135(d)).
Thus, virtually all issues concerning United States patents are properly subject to binding arbitration in the United States, absent limiting language in an applicable contract or statute.
b. Copyright Issues
In the United States, there is no statutory authority for binding arbitration of copyright issues. United States courts have held that federal law does not prohibit binding arbitration of copyright validity or infringement where such issues arise out of a contract dispute. It is likely that United States courts will also hold that such issues are properly the subject of binding arbitration in the absence of an underlying contract dispute.
c. Trademark Issues
Like copyrights, there is no federal statutory authority in the United States for binding arbitration of trademark issues. Nor are we aware of any statutory authority in all of the 50 states.
Binding arbitration of trademark validity and infringement issues is likely to be held by federal courts to be proper, notwithstanding outdated opinions which hold otherwise.