For any new product development project, it’s important for the R&D team and IP team to work together. However, the reality is that collaboration between the two departments can be very difficult as they come from different worlds. R&D are often risk takers but IP teams are usually more risk averse. What I wanted to find out is what the major barriers to R&D and IP team collaboration are - and how they can be avoided.
In many organisations, R&D and IP are considered separate departments focusing on different aspects of IP development. R&D focus on rapidly developing technology at the early stages of the innovation process whereas IP is usually involved at a later stage when patent protection is required.
There are numerous reports and plenty of anecdotal evidence from executives admitting that their organization has spent money on R&D, only to find that the developed product was already protected by a competitor’s patent. It leads to a huge waste of resource and can curtail the future scope of product development. On the other hand, setting up an organizational structure in which R&D and IP teams can collaborate effectively will save a company a significant amount of money and lead to overall better outcomes.