What is a joint development agreement?

A joint development agreement (JDA) sets the terms for two or more parties working together to develop a particular product or technology. The JDA is typically negotiated before or during the working relationship. Intellectual property is often a key issue in a JDA, so the agreement should clearly state who owns what.

Here are some key issues to consider in a JDA.


  • What is the project and/or product being developed?
  • If applicable, what are the fields of use for the product or technology being developed?
  • How broadly or narrowly should the technology relating to the project be defined?
  • How should each party’s preexisting technology, know-how and intellectual property be defined and excluded from the agreement?

Intellectual Property in Joint Development Agreement

  • Who will own what IP that arises from the joint venture?
  • Will exclusions be carved out for each party’s pre-existing IP?
  • What licenses and grants will be given to each party within and without certain fields?

Termination of Joint Development Agreement

  • What is the term of the agreement?
  • Under what conditions can a party terminate the agreement?
  • What rights and responsibilities will survive the termination of the agreement?

Cost Sharing

Confidentiality Provisions

  • What information may be disclosed and/or used by each party?
  • What information shall remain confidential, and for how long?

IP Rights

  • What rights and benefits do each party receive for bringing their contribution to the table?
  • What licenses are being conveyed to each party?

Need help protecting your IP in JDA?

Reach out to US patent attorney Vic Lin by email at vlin@icaplaw.com or call (949) 223-9623 to see how our firm can help you define and protect your IP.

The following two tabs change content below.

Vic Lin

Startup Patent Attorney | IP Lead Partner at Innovation Capital Law Group
We align ourselves with Davids fighting Goliaths. Our registered patent attorneys work as a team to equip startups and founders with solid IP rights that facilitate funding, growth and sales. Email or call us so we can get to work on your IP: (949) 223-9623 | vlin@icaplaw.com