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Smartsettle ONE simulations deliver 62% settlement rate

Pravin Gandhi College of Law

Third Annual ODR Simulation

May19 to 23 in 2023

Smartsettle collaborated again with Dr. Suman Kalani at the Pravin Gandhi College of Law in Mumbai, India by giving her students access to the Smartsettle ONE platform during the Third Annual ODR Simulation in May of 2023. The objective was to give the students an opportunity to experience Online Dispute Resolution as if they were using the platform to settle a live case. The cumulative settlement rates for the simulated negotiations are illustrated by the following graph.

Negotiating only with the aid of Visual Blind Bidding, the participants in the study achieved a 62% settlement rate. In those cases that reached an impasse, an additional 23% was achieved with the Expert Neutral Decider. The settlement rates specified by the above graph were derived from the data in the following table, which illustrates in more detail how the students came to agreement using Smartsettle ONE.

​Method of Agreement


Median Sessions

Median duration (min)

Final Session

Contribution to Settlement Rate

​Visible Bids






Overlapping Secret Bids






Small Gap Closer






Expert Neutral Decider






No Agreement












Smartsettle ONE provides four pathways to agreement. A quick agreement can be reached by accepting the other party's visible bid. The most common path to agreement is to create an overlap using secret bids. If no overlap is created by secret bids in Final Session, the parties are given the option of mutually closing a remaining small gap by extending their secret bid to their Walkaway. The Small Gap Closer nudge technology increased the overall settlement rate to 62% in this trial. It is important to note that no human mediators were involved. Negotiators can be assured of a settlement if they agree to the intervention of Expert Neutrals in the case of a gap that is too large for the Small Gap Closer.

Of the total of 26 negotiations 2 of them settled using only visible bids, which seemed to take significantly longer. Most negotiations settled with secret bids. In about half of all cases, one of the parties declared Final Session. Of those cases, 2 were settled with the Small Gap Closer. One quarter of all cases went to the Expert Neutral Decider (END). The median duration for the END was longer because it took more time for the Expert Neutrals to attend the case. The following graph summarizes the additional detail.

Please visit this page to see what the students did last year. Comparing both years leads to the following conclusions for a simulation environment:

  • some negotiators still prefer to use only visible bidding

  • secret bids are the most significant factor in the settlement rate

  • the Small Gap Closer increases the settlement rate by a smaller margin

  • The END significantly increases the settlement rate

  • Smartsettle's methodology results in a high overall settlement rate (i.e. 85 - 97%)

An exit survey revealed an overall positive experience as depicted by the following graphs.

The twenty-two participants imagined many different types of disputes that Smartsettle could be applied to that would normally be handled by the court or a mediator.

  • tangible property division

  • contracts

  • consumer redress

  • online shopping

  • inheritance

  • family

  • corporation

  • shareholder

  • mergers & acquisitions

  • small claims

The majority opinion was that Smartsettle would be better than current processes. Almost all cited both time and money savings as the most important benefit.

Details of the Trial Design

The event included practice at the International eNegotiation Exhibition where everyone is welcome any time to join in continuous edutainment events.

(this link will take you to the International eNegotiation Exhibition)

Participation required different activities on each of two days:

DAY 1. Practice in a tournament at the eNegotiation Exhibition (May 21, 2023)

The rules for the tournament are summarized at the bottom of this article. This event used the following hypothetical case, which was modeled after a real-life dispute involving two similar parties.

Patent Infringement

Ferrika Spa is a large Italian confectionery company and one of the world's top four candy makers. They conduct business in India through their subsidiary, Ferrika India Private Limited, which was established in 2008. Ferrika's flagship product, Ferrika Rocher, has been available in India for a long time and has a loyal customer base.

Ferrika Spa has registered trademarks for its FERRIKA ROCHER mark and the trade dress elements worldwide, including in India. The company has been vigilant in protecting its intellectual property rights across the world, and courts have recognized and enforced these rights on numerous occasions, including in India.

Richi International, an importer and marketer of chocolates in India, sells Golden Passion chocolates, which are lookalikes of Ferrika Rocher. The Golden Passion chocolates are sold at half the price of Ferrika Rocher and primarily target rural areas in India.

Ferrika claims that Richi is infringing on their trademark. After some discussion, the parties have agreed to continue operating as they are, but Richi will pay Ferrika an appropriate amount for damages. Richi has offered 500 lakh rupees, but Ferrika is seeking 1100 lakh rupees.


Participation involved a few short visits to the site at each player's own convenience. The players took turns playing the roles of Ferrika and Richi and negotiated against other participants in the opposing role. Each participant negotiated the case several times. A total of 205 negotiations were settled in the tournament with a median outcome of 800 lakh rupees.

Students first achieved a score in the tournament at the Exhibition (as above). Their score gave them a ranking on the leaderboard if they were among the top scores. Students were then paired and instructed to use Smartsettle ONE to divide 200 rupees between them.(imaginary money) with the following instructions.

DAY 2. Pretend to negotiate your money prize using Smartsettle ONE (May 22, 2023)

  • Sign in at the designated site choose the practice case for this event

  • More practice (optional)

    • Choose "New Case" and "Practice with the robot"

    • Choose "Share of Tournament Prize" to practice a case similar to the assignment

    • Play as many times as you like

  • Receive your partner assignment

  • One of you should choose "Settle a case", set up the case and invite their counterpart

  • Negotiate your share of the prize

  • Do not agree on any prize amount less than five rupees

  • If Visual Blind Bidding does not result in an agreement then you may use the Expert Neutral Decider (END)

  • Both of you report the amount that you agreed on to the competition organizers

  • All of this is imaginary. Just pretend that the money is real.

There was a short exit survey at the end of the competition.


  • Enroll at the eNegotiation Exhibition

  • Join the free tournament event

  • Complete three learning modules

    • learn the basics about Smartsettle, mostly how Smartsettle ONE works, but also some general introduction to Infinity*

  • Choose "Negotiate with the Robot" (on the left side menu) if more practice is desired

  • Choose "Negotiate with Humans" (on the left side menu)

    • To start, click to play as one of the parties

    • If no one else is online, wait for another human or invite a friend to be your opponent

    • While waiting for your opponent you may start another negotiation

  • Play in each role at least two times to get on the scoreboard

    • Remember that collaboration is the best strategy

  • Come back as often as you like to play against others and improve your score


  1. Learn the difference between Avoidant, Compromising, Competitive, Accommodating and Collaborative and choose the latter. Do not be tempted to be too generous as a way of reaching agreement. Smartsettle can identify and will punish in low points.

  2. The best strategy is to play a few negotiations early to get on the leaderboard and then at least one more on the last day to avoid the no activity penalty.

* Smartsettle ONE is designed for the simplest possible negotiations (one numerical issue between two parties). It's also an excellent introduction to the concepts that are implemented in Smartsettle Infinity for complex problems.


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