IP Practices : 5 Ways to Enhance Collaboration Between Legal and R&D Departments

IP Practices : 5 Ways to Enhance Collaboration Between Legal and R&D Departments: – Collaboration between various units of an organization is vital for its overall productivity and success. In the intellectual property sector, there is a similar need for synergy between the legal department and the research and development (R&D) unit. Cooperation between both minimizes legal risks and allows innovation to thrive. This article explores five ways to ensure efficient collaboration between the two departments.

Legal and R&D Departments – Importance of Collaboration

The legal team of an organization often needs to collaborate with the R&D unit during the product development process to reduce the possibility of intellectual property disputes. Similarly, for better functioning, every establishment’s research and development wing should be aware of the policies required to function. Since both teams require collaboration, despite their individual goals, it is important that they work together efficiently.

There is more room for disputes when companies do not realize the importance and benefits of the much-needed cooperation between the two departments. When R&D and legal units work together proactively, the organization is more likely to have a proper IP strategy in place to ensure that IP is protected adequately.

5 Ways to Promote Effective Partnership Between Legal and R&D Units

  1. Secure Communication Method

A secure and confidential mode of communication is the foundation of legal matters and research and development. Therefore, while dealing with confidential information and data sets, an organized transfer of information is necessary. Every interaction should be secure and compliant to the policies. The ideas shared by the R&D team with the legal advisors or associates through a secure communication method can promote trust and collaboration between them. Furthermore, ensuring the development of a secure communication method translates into an efficient transfer of information between legal and R&D teams.

  1. Standard Communication Method

A standard communication method includes the language used and the software deployed for communication. When the members of the units are on the same page, the process is more convenient and practical, ultimately enhancing the collaboration between the R&D and the legal team. Furthermore, a common method of interaction and carrying out procedures will determine the goals set and the goals met.

For instance, R&D teams often operate under project pressure related to time, testing and prototyping. Amidst the pressure, it can often be difficult for R&D teams to be aware of issues and legal risks associated with intellectual property. A standard communication method will allow the team to effectively state their concerns, wherein the legal department can actively help.

  1. Cultivate Transparency

For many people, understanding new policies and procedures requires a detailed explanation. If the legal team expresses objectives in a transparent manner, the R&D team will find it easier to comply and vice versa. Similarly, transparency will also help in devising faster and efficient solutions to the problems faced by both the departments in maintaining effective collaboration.

  1. Significance of Context

Every procedure of a company is based on the context set by its business objectives. When a research wing submits a proposal to the legal team for validation, the context is essential, along with its documentation to reflect the matter at hand. If the context is not communicated correctly, a company’s efficiency drops, and so does the collaboration between the R&D and the legal department of an organization.

  1. Encourage Feedback

Every business function, legal procedure, and plan requires careful analysis. A great way to improve the collaboration between various departments is to encourage feedback. The same applies to the R&D and the legal team. It is beneficial for an R&D team to realise the legal wing’s expectations to ensure that intellectual property meets the standards. Similarly, the legal department should ensure that adequate feedback is collected from the R&D team to maintain productivity and compliance.


Effective collaboration between legal and R&D teams of an IP-centric organization is indispensable to meet deadlines and deliver high-quality output. Both units are entrusted with several strenuous tasks. Therefore, a collaborative environment is vital to achieving efficiency in an organization.

Sagacious IP’s intellectual property management solutions are designed to drive growth and increase revenue opportunities for businesses. Our team of qualified patent practitioners is adept at providing IP management services ranging right from patent docketing to patent proofreading.  

-The IPMS and Editorial Team

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