The Participation Problem for IP and R&D Teams

Evalueserve’s new white paper reveals best practices for IP and R&D collaboration

Active collaboration between intellectual property (IP) and Research and Development (R&D) teams is critical for innovation to thrive as well as to reduce legal risks. However, finding effective ways to synchronize Intellectual Property (IP) and Research and Development (R&D) departments is a constant challenge.  Having seen this participation problem for himself throughout his career in corporate IP management, Simon Carr, the head of IP and R&D Solution Delivery and Systems Design Consulting for Evalueserve in Europe, has an experienced view into the best practices that effectively engage IP and R&D teams. In Evalueserve’s new white paper, Simon explains the processes, tools and language that IP managers should use to keep R&D teams engaged in critical patent matters.

The importance of IP and R&D collaboration 

Is your IP team frustrated by a lack of coordination?

Especially in these days when many of our traditional workplace systems have been upended, effective communication and collaboration is more important than ever. For intellectual property and R&D teams who already speak different languages and often see different sides of a problem, this is a particularly important time to take stock of the collaboration process and determine how they can be improved.

Effective collaboration between Intellectual Property (IP) and Research and Development (R&D) teams is critical for business success, leading to greater innovation and reduced legal risks. When R&D teams and IP managers have regular involvement, they work together to improve IP processes such as landscaping, monitoring and have a better understanding of the potential risks and opportunities of new innovations. It’s especially important for IP Managers to have high quality engagement with R&D staff throughout the product development lifecycle to ensure Freedom to Operate (FTO).

The participation problem

However, this important collaboration between IP and R&D teams is not happening as it should in most companies. IP managers must compete for their R&D colleagues’ attention, who face project pressures such as time, testing and prototyping. Some R&D teams may not be as savvy about intellectual property issues. Other teams may not be as aware about the modern reaction times necessary to be competitive in this day and age.

Standard approaches for IP and R&D collaboration ultimately fail or are less effective than they could be. The good news is that there are a set of processes, tools and language that IP teams can use to keep R&D engaged in critical IP matters.

Evalueserve’s white paper: Best practices for effective collaboration between IP and R&D

While working in corporate IP management for ten years, I developed many training courses and delivered trainings to R&D colleagues. These R&D team members ranged from newly recruited scientists through to experienced managers, each bringing their own perspectives on the role of IP to their work. I found that while the trainings we provided to R&D teams generated enthusiasm at outset, that interest and enthusiasm quickly waned. IP matters became an afterthought once the reality of project deadlines and deliverables began to loom. As a result, companies missed important value creation opportunities and had some painfully close calls during Freedom to Operate Searches.

I realized that companies must shift their approach to increase collaboration throughout the product lifecycle. Instead of simply training R&D staff on IP matters, a more effective approach begins with training IP managers on how to better engage with R&D teams. By delivering valuable information in a language that R&D departments can understand, IP managers have an opportunity to show the value of IP, inspiring R&D to be active partners for shared goals.

Evalueserve’s new white paper describes the best practices for IP and R&D collaboration, beginning with finding common language and reframing project IP management in the language of product risk management. In this paper, we outline the five steps of IP management that are critical for effective IP and R&D collaboration. In each phase, when IP managers use a language and process that works for R&D teams, the collaboration yields more effective results.

Download Evalueserve’s white paper here

For companies that may not have an IP Manager or the capacity to manage this process, Evalueserve’s IP services, analysts and experience can help deliver these stages using Evalueserve’s Search Quality Index, Problem/ Solution approach and Insightloupe platform. In another recent blog post, my colleague Dolly Manish Mathews describes more about Evalueserve’s Problem Solution Approach (PSA) and Product to Patent Mapping to correlate IP with commercialized products.

Investing in an effective IP and R&D project framework is critical for business success.  Effective R&D and IP collaboration provides increased innovation, stronger IP value, improves the likelihood of successful project outcomes and mitigates risks.

Please contact us here if you have any questions or if you’d like more information.

Simon Carr
Simon Carr
Vice President of CPG Practice Posts

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