A joint development agreement (JDA) between two or more companies is a legal agreement defining terms of a project designed to jointly promote or develop a product or service. The JDA should specify ground rules, issues of exclusivity and payment of expenses.
A JDA should establish milestones to keep projects on schedule. Establishing a steering committee may be necessary, according to Kagan Binder, a law firm specializing in intellectual property law. The committee should include members from both parties and should specify voting rules.
The JDA should establish limitations on whether either party will be allowed to conduct research or development with any third parties. It should also clarify intellectual property rights of developments connected with the joint venture.
The agreement should clarify how expenses are to be divided between the parties. Some JDAs may state that each party bears his own expenses.