In this professional analysis, Ankur Saxena elucidates the necessity of harmonizing Intellectual Property (IP) with Research and Development (R&D) to propel an organization's product development ambitions. It is paramount for the IP division to devise innovative strategies for making IP accessible and engaging to the R&D team, fostering collaboration. This article outlines two proficient methodologies: the Problem Solution Application Approach (PSA) and Product to Patent Mapping, which link IP with the product in the marketplace.

Identifying Core Issues in IP and R&D Collaboration

The alignment of intellectual property and R&D is crucial for a corporation's progress, though these departments often operate in isolation and face challenges in seamless collaboration. The core issues include:

  1. Objective Misalignment: The R&D department primarily solves technical problems, whereas the IP department focuses on legal aspects. A perceived hierarchy of objectives can lead to a reluctance to share information.
  2. Communication Barriers: The specialized terminologies used by R&D and IP departments can obstruct effective communication.
  3. Departmental Silos: The structural separation of these departments can result in reduced interaction and misunderstandings.

Benefits of Integrating IP within the R&D Framework

Integrating the IP function within the R&D framework will likely enhance teamwork, potentially leading to a more robust patent portfolio and enhanced legal safeguarding of innovations. This integration will allow the IP manager to be more involved with emerging ideas and ongoing research.

Challenges in Integration and Bridging the Gap

However, challenges persist, particularly when R&D perceives IP as an obstacle due to rejecting new ideas or delays in product development based on IP assessments. To bridge this gap, the IP department must creatively make IP tangible and relevant to the R&D team across various product development phases, especially during the ideation stage.

The IP team might implement technology alerts and compile comprehensive IP landscapes to facilitate this. However, they sometimes need help understanding the complexity of these resources and the time required.

Evalueserve's Strategies for Simplifying IP Data

Evalueserve IP and R&D, leveraging two decades of experience across diverse domains, excels at transforming complex IP data into digestible technical concepts. The firm employs two main strategies: the PSA Approach, which dissects patent documents into application, problem, and solution segments, and Product to Patent Mapping, which links IP directly to market products.

The PSA Approach, detailed by Evalueserve, demystifies patent documents, presenting them in a manner easily grasped by R&D personnel. This methodology simplifies the comprehension of patents and provides a matrix to explore alternative solutions to identified problems.

Product to Patent Mapping: Linking Patents to Market Products

Product to Patent Mapping, another strategic tool Evalueserve uses, elucidates the connection between patents and their market counterparts, offering tangible insights for R&D scientists and legal conclusions for the IP team.

Conclusion and Future Perspectives in IP and R&D Collaboration

This discussion introduces methodologies to simplify and enhance IP's relevance for R&D teams. While these are pivotal strategies, the conversation on bridging IP and R&D collaboration will continue, aiming to further unravel IP's technological and competitive implications. Stay engaged for forthcoming insights.

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Written by

Ankur Saxena
Vice President, Global Head of Operations

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