Research, Innovation and Technology

The Research, Innovation and Technology team at RDJ comprises a core group of specialist lawyers with substantial experience in advising and assisting clients on a various legal aspects concerning research and development and knowledge transfer, as well as acquisition and effective commercialisation of intellectual property. The team counts amongst its clients in this area multi-nationals, indigenous Irish businesses, higher education institutions, clinical organisations and growing technology firms.

Meet the team
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Research and Development Collaboration

Research and Development Collaboration

Our team is a market-leader in the field of collaborative research agreements between industry and research performing organisations (in particular those in the higher education sector). In addition to advising key sectoral stakeholders such as Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI) and Clinical Research Development Ireland on development of model template agreements and practical guides, we also act for several of Ireland’s universities in this area. Additionally, we act for a number of leading pharmaceutical and manufacturing clients in engagement with the higher education sector in the field of collaborative research.

Through our substantial involvement in the collaborative research sector, we have developed an unparalleled appreciation for the technical legal issues and challenges that arise in seeking to draft legal agreements for these projects, as well as the concerns the industry and academia will each have in relation to their participation in research collaborations, and how best to balance these interests.

Technology Transfer

We have significant expertise in the area of technology and knowledge transfer and licensing between universities and the private sector and have, for many years, helped the technology transfer offices of university clients and research institutes and leading pharmaceutical and manufacturing clients successfully bring new technologies and innovations to market.

Our team offers an in-depth understanding of the complex legal issues that can arise in relation to these projects, including EU State aid rules. Our knowledge of the sector covers not only the legal aspects and considerations required to deliver the right advice, but also a deep appreciation for the commercial and other non-legal issues that underpin the approach of our clients, including government policy and broader political developments.

Software Licensing and Development Agreements

We regularly advise clients in relation to technology contracts and e-commerce issues. Our experience and knowledge allow our lawyers to bring a pragmatic, commercial and innovative approach to contract negotiation and drafting.

Particular areas of expertise include complex IT outsourcing and procurement agreements, data protection compliance issues, licence agreements, SaaS, PaaS, IaaS and reseller arrangements. Our team includes lawyers with expertise in commercial contracts, intellectual property, data protection, consumer and competition law, thus providing the client with a comprehensive one-stop shop advisory service.

Clinical Trials & Research

Our team has developed significant expertise in relation to advising on contractual and data protection aspects of clinical research in Ireland. In addition to drafting the template clinical trial agreements for Clinical Research and Development Ireland, we also act for a number of higher education institutions and clinical organisations advising on clinical trial and study agreements and data protection issues.

Intellectual Property Migration Projects

In close collaboration with the firm’s Corporate and Tax teams, we regularly assist clients in the context of migration of intellectual property assets in and out of Irish corporate structures and support related contractual arrangements.

Intellectual Property disputes

Our team offers significant experience advising clients in IP enforcement matters. In particular we excel in advising media and corporate clients in respect of copyright infringement, trademark infringement and passing-off actions and patent infringement with a particular focus on infringement of intellectual property on social media.

Representative experience

  • University Limerick in relation to the establishment of a number of collaborative research centres including the national software research centre, LERO, funded by the Science Foundation Ireland and technology centre, DPTC (the Dairy Processing Technology Centre) and Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Technology Centre, funded by Enterprise Ireland
  • Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI) on the development of its model collaborative research and joint ownership management agreements, a consortium agreement for the Disruptive Technology Innovation Fund and a new practical guide for directors and observers.
  • Teagasc in relation to the establishment of the Enterprise Ireland-funded Meat Technology Centre.
  • Tyndall National Institute in relation to the establishment of the Enterprise Ireland-funded competence centres and related legal issues.
  • Clinical Research Development Ireland on the development of model clinical trial and network agreements.
  • A number of higher education institutions and voluntary hospitals in relation to the drafting and review of clinical trial agreements and associated clinical trial services agreements.

Key Contacts

The breadth and depth of professional legal advice provided by Diarmaid Gavin and his team at RDJ enhances the ability of the University of Limerick to engage proactively and professionally with internal and external stakeholders
– Paul Dillon, Director TTO, University of Limerick
Diarmaid Gavin is excellent. I trust his judgment.
– The Legal 500 (2024)