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.

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Vic Lin

Startup Patent Attorney, Cofounder at Innovation Capital Law Group
We align ourselves with Davids fighting Goliaths. Our registered patent attorneys help innovators get IP that drives funding, growth and sales. Email or call us so we can get to work on your IP: (949) 223-9623 | vlin@icaplaw.com

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