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The Role of Intellectual Property Rights in Negotiating and Planning a Research Joint Venture

18 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2004  

Kurt M. Saunders

California State University, Northridge


Research joint ventures involve agreements among firms to engage in joint basic and applied research and development. This Article explores the importance of intellectual property rights in the formation of a research joint venture. The Article first considers the structural advantages afforded by the joint venture arrangement as to basic and applied research. Next, the Article identifies the intellectual property rights that the joint venture partners may bring into or develop during the term of their collaboration. The Article then considers the relevant antitrust implications of sharing and shared development of intellectual property rights. Finally, this Article assesses the intellectual property rights concerns that may arise at each stage of the research joint venture life cycle and offers strategies for addressing them during the negotiation and planning stages of the collaboration. The Article concludes by noting that if the firms can anticipate and manage many of the legal risks involved, they can maximize the many benefits and efficiencies that result from research collaboration.

Keywords: Intellectual property, patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret, joint venture, research, antitrust

JEL Classification: K1, K21, L00, L40, M10

Suggested Citation

Saunders, Kurt M., The Role of Intellectual Property Rights in Negotiating and Planning a Research Joint Venture. Marquette Intellectual Property Law Review, Vol. 7, No. 75, 2003. Available at SSRN:

Kurt M. Saunders (Contact Author)

California State University, Northridge ( email )

18111 Nordoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330
United States

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