Unit 1, Collaboration Project Feedback

Self-Assessment Unit 01 Collaboration in the creative sector


Unit 01 Collaboration in the creative sector
Student :Iseoluwa Ijibadejo


Date: June 17 2018
Portfolio evidence: https://www.behance.net/driftstar2ba82


Date: June 17 2018
Assessor: Chris Keebles


Internal verification:





3.6 Obtain feedback from stakeholders in the creative collaborative project
Is the website easy to use? Feedback 1 Yes, the website is very easy to use
Feedback 2 Easy, clear, neat layout and not at all complicated.
How visually appealing is our website? Feedback 1 Very elegant one page website which is esthetically pleasing.
Feedback 2 Appealing logo, pictures, it attracts people. Quick to load website.
Were you able to find the information you needed? Feedback 1 Yes without stressing.
Feedback 2 Yes, quick and easy.
What would you change about the website? Feedback 1 I would like the telephone number to be more obvious
Feedback 2 I would like to add a logo
Do you have any other comments about how we can improve our website? Feedback 1 No other comments, I think it is good.
Feedback 2 I have no other comments on how to improve it.




3.6 Obtain feedback from stakeholders in the creative collaborative project

Salman- I think Iseoluwa used a range of different techniques such as finding the right theme and adding the pictures and resizing them, also he added buttons and links to our behance account which gave the website a modern look and shown the skill that was acquired when making the website.

Mustapaha- Used a variation of techniques which made it look very professional, it has a links to all students work; Interactive media missions; on Behence. What made the website a good one is using a simple theme, font and very interesting pictures.

Natan-Me and Drift shared ideas together and posted on the website




3.7 Evaluate own performance against project plan


The text, graphics, images, and multimedia links were created and checked for errors. Correctly organised in alphabetical order

Content is presented in a clear manner that is easy to follow. • Readers can get around your website with ease. • There are

Content is simple and to the point. • Design is easy to understand in many ways







Unit 3, Work Schedule

Unit 03 work schedule

Iseoluwa Ijibadejo

Prepare and maintain a work schedule. Prepare and maintain a work schedule to meet the requirements of the commercial brief. Upload your work schedule name this ‘work schedule Unit 3’ All work completed needs to be unloaded onto a WordPress blog

  Job Description What did you do and what were you hoping to achieve?
  meeting clients For an effective meeting I was ready for the challenges of redesigning a product. I ensured that I had everything ready to predict other things that may be needed and examples of my previous work.
  discuss the business objectives and requirements of the job In order to get the job done right and give perfect work, I had to make sure that I got a lot of information and have the entire requirement to get it done.
  estimating the time required to complete a job Step 1: Understand What’s Needed/demanded. Start by identifying all of the work that needs to be done within the project.

Step 2: Order These Activities, list all of the activities identified in the order in which they need to happen.

For estimating, divide the project into units of work. Then, decide/figure out the cost per unit, and then multiply the number of units by the cost per unit to estimate the total cost.

  Research – technology The main reason of research technology is to find new ideas, innovations and improvements to get a very developed product
  Research – technology companies It is very important to find a very innovative companies which provide new innovations, ideas or product trials and research development might help me to add theirs in my project
  Ideas development It was about creating, developing, and communicating ideas which are abstract, concrete, or visual. The process includes the process of building through the idea, innovating the idea, developing the process, and bringing the idea to reality.
  providing quotes for clients I had to provide a quotation for my customers in order to make them aware about all the development including details about the used ideas, technology and innovations and the most current prices and amounts at which the shares can be bought or sold.
  developing designs Successful Developing designs had to follow the below steps:

1. Plan for originality of concept

2. Experiment and capture random occurrences

3. Consider one source versus many Sources of Influence

4. Develop the passion and unique artistic vision

5. Refine my process and skill set

6. set obtainable goals and challenges

7. achieve self-direction through hard-won success



  Illustration new designs after any changes has done, and  development took a place in my new designs, I run a test and check if anything is missing  to get the final better designs
  produce new ideas I always ask myself again and again if what I have done is enough. And try to find out if anything is missing, with making sure that it will satisfy the customer before it does to me.
  using innovation ideas Ask customers. If you simply ask your customers how you could improve your product or service they will give you plenty of ideas for incremental innovations. Typically they will ask for new features or that you make your product cheaper, faster, easier to use, available in different styles and colours

Observe customers. Do not just ask them, watch them. Try to see how customers use your products.

Use difficulties and complaints. If customers have difficulties with any aspect of using your product or if they register complaints then you have a strong starting point for innovations.

Ask your staff. Challenge the people who work in the business to find new and better ways to do things and new and better ways to please customers.

  presenting finalised ideas Had to finish and provide my final designs after I put all ideas in it, and does my designs meet the customer’s needed things and expectations
  presenting concepts to clients Never Show a Bad Idea

The first and most important rule is that you should never show work that you would not want to be associated with.

Focus On the Problem, Not the Aesthetic

The first step in presenting is to show the client that you understand the problem that the design is intended to solve. By reviewing the criteria for success that was established at the beginning of the project, you align the client’s thinking, so that you share a common mind-set.

Be a Presentation Pro

Presenting concepts is a combination of strategy and theatre. The ability to present ideas clearly to the client is often the difference between success and failure, so it’s worth planning and rehearsing.

  Feedback with client The customer will send a feedback about the final designs by two ways whether they like it or not, sometimes may ask for changes, or improvement in something that designs by taking or adding ideas to get better designs.
Iseoluwa Ijibadejo



Unit 1, Work Schedule and Self Assesment

Unit 01 Collaborative work schedule

Iseoluwa Ijibadejo

Project manager duties Answer
o    Develop a project plan


The project plan we created was that set out the following project plan:

Define the target audience, does people who would be interested in the portfolio

Define roles and responsibilities.

Set design goals and production objectives.

Create a sitemap for the project.

Set a deadline


o    Assign tasks to project team members


Assign a task for the project teams

Brainstorm everything that needs to get done

Categorise tasks into groups

Create a website structure

Assign responsibilities

o    Lead and manage the project team


The best way to lead the team is to help guide your team through the project and try to take as much pressure off of them.

Make time to lead: As a team leader you need to be visible to the team and available to support them.

Get to know your team: Leadership is all about how you influence your team to achieve its objectives something you’ll struggle to do if you don’t get to know your team members and what makes them click.

Communicate: Once your team is up and running, it’s important to keep the communication going to build relationships and assess progress. Plus, you’ll get more engagement from team members if they see you investing time in them and showing interest in their activities.

Lead by example: Be open, honest and passionate. Treat everyone on the team fairly, with respect and without favouritism and you’ll find those behaviours returned

Reward the good and learn from the bad: Be quick to recognise a good performance and reward it where appropriate.

Delegate: Trust your team to do its job. Being team leader doesn’t mean you’re there to do other people’s work for them.

Be decisive: Don’t procrastinate. Grab the nettle when you need to.

Creating website designs


Define what success means

Put your thoughts on paper first

Start sketching a top-level framework

Add a grid

Choose your typography

Select your colour theme

Divide the layout

Rethink the established

Locating photography


I used https://www.pexels.com/ to get my free none copyrighted photographs
discuss requirements and/or project progress Team Discussions
Learning new software skills I learnt new software skills by using the WordPress Software I learn things like the themes and how you can install multiple of them into your WordPress and decide which one is best for your website.

I also learnt about installing Plugins and in fact they are one of the most crucial things you must know since there are different things you can do with it like add a social media icon link or add a shopping cart icon, they are basically the things that makes your website a website.

Working as part of a team 1.    Understanding the end goal

2.    Identify clear roles

3.    Collaborate

4.    Recognise interdependencies

5.    Ask questions

6.    Communicate

7.    Break it down

8.    Look at the past.

9.    Look to the future


Unit 01 Collaboration in the creative sector


Student :Iseoluwa Ijibadejo


Date: June 17 2018
Portfolio evidence: https://www.behance.net/driftstar2ba82


Date: June 17 2018
Assessor: Chris Keebles


Date: June 17 2018
Internal verification:


Date: June 17 2018



3.6 Obtain feedback from stakeholders in the creative collaborative project

Salman- I think Iseoluwa used a range of different techniques such as finding the right theme and adding the pictures and resizing them, also he added buttons and links to our behance account which gave the website a modern look and shown the skill that was acquired when making the website.

Mustapaha- Used a variation of techniques which made it look very professional, it has a links to all students work; Interactive media missions; on Behence. What made the website a good one is using a simple theme, font and very interesting pictures.

Natan-Me and Drift shared ideas together and posted on the website




3.7 Evaluate own performance against project plan


The text, graphics, images, and multimedia links were created and checked for errors. Correctly organised in alphabetical order

Content is presented in a clear manner that is easy to follow. • Readers can get around your website with ease. • There are

Content is simple and to the point. • Design is easy to understand in many ways






Unit 4, Copyright Laws in Animation

Pretending to be someone is not an art form reserved for a made-up idea character. Many within the animation industry depend on applying a certain degree of copying when expressing their art. Whether in the form of funny imitation (imitations of work for funny or critical, in a way that makes fun of the dumb things people do). Exaggerated picture. way or art, musical or other work of art/artistic combining of elements made up of selections from different sources that pretends to be the style of another artist or period, borrowing and building upon the idea or style of another isn’t a new form of art.

As most are aware, under UK copyright law, it is a violation to use someone else’s work, like when you change a little of their work and you fully use for profit. The copyright works of another without the copyright owner’s permission. However, looking for permission to use copyright work for purposes of funny expression, exaggerated picture art is often met with a firm NO or a demand for payment of a thief-like licence fee, possibly interfering with and stopping creators.

How does COPYRIGHT affect you as animators?

First of all, it depends on the work created. Is it your own idea done on your own? If so, then copyright will rest with you. If it is work done “for hire” then it does not.

“For hire” is an exception to the rule that the creator of the work is carefully thought about/believed the author or owner of the copyright. It is also called “corporate authorship”. A good example of this is anything you create for a studio. While you created the actual content, you were paid by way of compensation for it so this means that the studio retains the copyright for themselves.

Like i have said above that copyright only covers work that is actually your idea meaning that if you are creator it is best to first get your idea on paper.

Copyright may also affect you when it comes to your personal worksWhile you are free to use copyrighted material for influencedirection and inspirationyou cannot create works that could be thought about as violating on the original piece.

Do animators work have to be covered by copyright?

Not necessarily. As essential as copyright is, it is also worthwhile knowing that submitting works under copyright is not a must. While it is an automatically granted legal privilege, you are quite free to publish your work under a a very big number of alternative methods if you so wish. Alternatives such as the public domain and the multiple of Creative Commons licenses.








Unit 4, Interactive Animation

What are interactive animations?

Interactive animations are, to put it very simply, animations that let the viewers participate on more levels than just viewing. Ways in which viewers can be engaged are many. The most typical of these involve sub-menus and show-reels.

Interactive animation services provided by Fudge Animation Studios are exhaustive. Right from interactive info graphics and pictorials to DVD style menu selections for animated videos, we possess all the requisite expertise and experience in abundance.

Why interactive animations are better

Interactive animations seek active participation from the viewers. They allow the viewers to choose the direction in which a video will progress or an info graphic will take shape. Getting your viewers engaged at this level certainly boosts the chances of your business winning them over!

The advantages of interactive animations are listed below:

  • Interactive animations make sure that targeted delivery of a video or an advertisement is possible –better conversion!
  • Interactive animations are known to make viewers stay on your website for longer – lower bounce rates!
  • Viewers decide what they want to watch and what they want to skip – better engagement!
  • Interactive animations are attractive, compelling and convincing – higher responsiveness.

Animations are no longer the very pleasant surprises they once were  nowthey‘re expected.

That’s not a bad thingsince animations bring both practical and enjoyable benefits to a design.

This article outlines the 8 types of web animation that make a site more effectiveand the best practices for applying each.

1. Loading Animations

One of the oldest uses of animation for the web is to distract the user from loading times. Meaning when you open up a app like mobile games for example, it plays a short animation to keep the user distracted before it finishes loading.

As shown in the above example created with the animation editor in UXPin, even short loading animations still add a little sophistication or at least entertainment during the dead time. Loading animations are popular for flat design, minimalism, portfolios, and one-page sites — all of which are basically and mainly simple.

2. Navigation and Menus (Non-scrolling)

In order to save screen space, a recent trend is hidden navigation menus that are revealed by clicking on buttons (like the hamburger icon). For these, animation is essential for visually connecting the two elements and preventing a jarring transition.

Click on the circular arrow button in the below prototype created with UXPin and an over-sized menu box pops out from the left. The “pop out” animation makes the menu appear as if it slides in from off-screen and makes the whole interaction run smoothly.

Animation of a mobile website’s off-canvas navigation drawer

3. Hover

Hover animations are very practical for conveying that an element is interactive. In some cases, this might be the only sign that a button or piece of text is clickable. When a user is in doubt over how an element functions, they tend to move the mouse over it anyway, making hover animations fairly intuitive.

Animation of an interactive app

4. Galleries and Slideshows

Animated galleries and slideshows showcase multiple images without distracting the user.

How fast and how many images cycle are up to the designer, but these decisions should not be taken lightly — even slightly quickening the rate at which images change could give the site an unwanted “rushed” feel.

Galleries and slideshows are easy to use because they naturally imitate real-life photo album functionality. However, we wouldn’t advise that you take that metaphor too far with a isomorphic visual treatment. Minimise the actual design of the slider or gallery, then ensure you show each image for 5-9 seconds.

Animation of an image gallery

5. Attracting Attention

Any biologist will tell you that the human eye is attracted to motion. This makes animation the perfect tool for controlling your visual hierarchy, especially as part of a site with mostly static images.

Animations are a great way to add intrigue to forms, calls-to-action, or even menu items.

Animation of an interactive website










Unit 1, Benefits and Challenges of working collaboratively.

Collaboration is essential to individual, team, and company growth. And to be honest, collaboration is inevitable in business. If you treat collaboration like teamwork, you’ll end up with a great team, but not always a great outcome. Acting to make successful collaboration a priority on your team and with other departments can help streamline efforts and ultimately, save everyone time.

The 5 Benefit of working collaboratively are:

  1. It moves a company more effectively towards its goals.

A Work.com study found that 97 percent of employees and executives agreed that the level of collaboration directly impacts the outcome of a task or project. When a team or department is collaborating smoothly, openly sharing information and able to communicate seamlessly, they can work at their most effective level.

On the other hand, when employees work in individual silos, it can take longer for a team to finish a project or task. As Gensler found, the most effective workplaces balance individual focus with team collaboration. Not every employee does their best when they are constantly in close contact with their co-workers; many need some alone time balanced with teamwork. Collaboration technology such as video conferencing and desktop sharing enables this balance because it seamlessly links end users when collaboration makes sense – rather than all day, every day.


  1. It creates greater flexibility.

Today’s collaborative technology, such as tablets and smartphones, enable employees to work more flexibly than the traditional 9-to-5 office day. Many end users can work from home and on the road, and even take advantage of real-time collaborative capabilities with remote co-workers around the globe.

This level of flexibility fits many end users’ lifestyle better than a strict eight-hour workday. And improved flexibility can lead to greater efficiency and effectiveness. In fact, a 16-year study by Idea Champions recently found that only 3 percent of people come up with their best ideas at work. The other 97 percent said they encounter great ideas throughout their day, at home, on vacation and even in the shower. With the mobile capabilities of collaboration technology, workers are able to take advantage of sudden bursts of creativity and productivity – rather than confining both to the office.


  1. It appeals to the tech-savvy.

In many industries, younger and more tech-savvy employees are more likely to gravitate toward collaboration technology, since technology is such a large part of their life already. Millennials are especially supportive of collaboration to improve productivity; one study found that 49 percent of that age group support social tools, such as Skype and Face time, for collaboration in the workplace.

Since Millennials are about to take over the workforce, now is the time for employers to sit up and take notice.


  1. It engages remote and work-from-home employees.

Despite all the benefits of working remotely, sometimes it can also leave employees feeling cut off from their co-workers. By fostering a high level of collaboration, a company ensures that all employees – whether they work from home, headquarters, or an overseas office – benefit from real-time information and continual communication. This higher level of engagement means that a company will benefit from the knowledge and expertise of all employees, no matter where they are located.

  1. It helps new employees get up to speed.

New employees learn best from their co-workers and higher-ups, and learning is best achieved through collaboration. On top of that, collaboration creates a natural mentor-men-tee relationship between new employees and their veteran counterparts, which helps inspire and engage both groups even more.

The 6 Challenges of working collaboratively are:


  1. Indecisive decision-makers

Ironic, isn’t it? The ones who are supposed to provide a clear path to success end up having no idea what path to take. This situation is common when there are several stakeholders involved, and not all stakeholders are on the same page. Indecisiveness may seem like a small challenge at first, but it can lead to unclear expectations and delayed deadlines – not to mention frustrated team members. Instead of asking them what to do, propose a few ideas and have them choose. A lot of the time, indecisiveness stems from statements such as, “Let me get back to you,” or, “l’ll think about it and let you know.” Provide a deadline for their “marinating” so it doesn’t get lost in the big black hole of to-dos.


  1. “E-fail”

This is a little term I use for when email straight up fails. You name it: hitting “reply all” (or forgetting to hit reply at all), not attaching the latest file, forgetting to peek into spam for important emails… it happens to the best of us. These mistakes are all too common when collaborating with several teams. Eventually, attachments are lost, and project timelines are driven off the rails.

Tip: Stop using email to collaborate. Blasphemy, you say? Seriously, email will only hurt your productivity when it comes to collaboration. Instead, investigate using a collaboration tool for managing projects and tracking accountability. Collaboration tools like Wrike help you archive and version files so you can always find the latest one. @Mentions and task assignments make accountability clear and consistent. So, hop onboard the collaboration station and leave the email for newsletter subscriptions and company-wide announcements.

  1. Mis(sing)communication

When collaborating, there is always room for misinterpretation and miscommunication. Sometimes, mistakes aren’t even discovered until it’s too late. Without a clear understanding of what’s expected from stakeholders, energy is wasted, and time is ticking. Miscommunication or simply just missing communication can cause this.

Tip: Ask questions. When in doubt, raise your hand. Make sure you’re clear on the objectives and expectations of everyone involved. If something is running behind, let them know. Mistakes and delays are inevitable, so speaking up and being proactive about them provides time to come up with a solution.

  1. Process sinking vs. process synchronizing

Different departments have different processes. So, when it’s time to collaborate cross-departmentally, it’s difficult to implement a consistent process that works well with every team’s work styles. And if teams are using different tools, the difficulty increases.

Tip: Come up with a process & a tool that everyone can use. Find collaboration tools that integrate with the platforms other teams rely on. Instead of changing everyone’s way of working, find a tool that’s flexible enough to integrate all of them.

  1. Too many cooks

You’ve heard the saying, there are too many cooks in the kitchen. This can also be true for projects. It’s great to get feedback on a project, but when too many people are involved, all that feedback can lead to more harm than good. Too many voices and differing opinions can pull people in different directions, and result in losing sight of the real objective.

Tip: Keep in mind who your key stakeholders are on the project. Those are the individuals who will be giving you the most valuable feedback. Asking for feedback from other team members or people with a fresh perspective is wise but limit it to just one or two.

  1. Negative Nancy’s

“We’ll never get this done in time.”

“He is so bossy!”

“I just can’t work with her anymore.”


These are common phrases used by those poisonous people lurking around the office, AKA, “Negative Nancy’s.” There is usually at least one on every team and their pessimistic attitude spreads like wildfire. They complain about almost everything, and whenever there is a challenge or a disagreement, they will be the first ones to bring it up and the last ones to think of a solution. These individuals can bring down productivity and morale of a team, causing frustration and conflict.

Tip: Be the Positive Patty! Put out their fire with a positive comment or suggestion.

“We’ll just have to work a bit harder to get this done on time.”

“He probably has a lot on his plate right now. Let’s make him proud and get this done!”

“She can be difficult sometimes, but she’s going to help make this project successful.”

If you happen to be the Negative Nancy, take a step back and evaluate your attitude. Simply changing the way you say things can get your point across, without the unproductive and contagious negativity.









Unit 1, Professional conduct.

The number of collaborative research agreements is increasing rapidly.  Industrial Research Institute member firms are engaging small high technology companies, Federal Laboratories, Universities, international firms, and competitors in ways not dreamed of just five years ago.  Central to these collaborations is the need to share proprietary intellectual property (IP) to meet the collaboration’s objectives, and to jointly create new IP.    Firms face several predictable pitfalls as they work to achieve these objectives.  The purpose of this article is to outline the pitfalls and suggest ways to deal with them.

The number of collaborative research agreements is increasing dramatically as firms seek to access innovation from a wide variety of organizations.  Dealing with intellectual assets is a critical aspect of planning, negotiating, and implementing these relationships.  The purpose of this article is twofold.  First, we will point out key intellectual property (IP) pitfalls that IRI managers and their direct reports may face as they enter the world of collaborative research.  Second, we will share techniques to deal with each one.  Our goal is to provide line managers with the information they need to avoid the most common IP pitfalls.  Nothing in this article should be considered legal advice.  Managers entering into collaborative research agreements MUST utilize the skills of a competent and experienced Intellectual Property lawyer as they plan, structure, negotiate and implement their relationships.

We are using the term “collaborative research” in its broadest sense.  The issues we address are relevant to any relationship in which the proprietary IP of one firm are used by another firm in a business context.  We are also using a broad definition of proprietary IP.  They are intangible business assets for which various types of legal protection or ownership rights are given.  For example, the principles in this article are relevant to patents, trademarks, copyrights, domain names, trade secrets and a wide variety of knowledge that differentiates one firm from its competitors.

The “Want, Find, Get, manage” Model® is a useful framework to explore IP issues in collaborative research agreements.  It divides the collaborative process into four segments .  Each section has its own IP issues and challenges.  Intellectual property decisions made in one segment may impact IP decisions in other segments, and the overall value of the collaboration.  In the ‘Want” segment, executives determine the assets, IP or skill sets they want to access externally.  In the “Find” segment, they search the world for high quality sources of the identified resources.  Next, they “Get” the resources contractually; including acquiring all necessary rights to carry out their business intents.  Finally, they “Manage” the collaborative relationship to success.

Issues in the “Want” phase

The foundation of a powerful collaborative strategy is a clear definition of what the firm “Wants” to access from the outside world.  “Wants” come in many forms including physical assets such as products or capital assets, IP such as patents or trademarks, and human assets such as skill sets and access to specific researchers.

Business and technical managers conduct their “Want” planning at both the strategic and tactical levels.  From the strategic perspective, they must understand the firm’s strategic intent, business model for the relevant product line, and generally accepted IP practices in the industry.  This may sound trivial, but it is not.  A clear understanding of how the firm converts technology into value allows managers to determine what activities they should carry out internally, and what activities they must carry out with partners.  It also allows them to define the “Wants” at a level of detail sufficient to move to the tactical level.  Planning at the tactical level revolves around determining their specific IP needs.  The following questions should guide managers’ thinking:

What is in the “Want” description (the Program) and what isn’t?

What external assets are required to meet the Program objectives?

What rights to these external assets are needed?

Is IP ownership/exclusivity necessary?

What internal assets are available to integrate with the external assets?

Are the internal assets constrained (e.g., a license) in ways that will impact the Program?

Which markets, products, services, and geographies will our firm use the assets of the other (Background IP) and new assets that are the fruit of the collaboration (Foreground IP).

What is the program’s schedule?  Is there a fixed deadline that must be met?

Does the firm require rights to the partner’s background and/or foreground IP outside the boundaries of the Program and/or upon termination?

If joint development is required, how will the teams cooperate, and how will IP be managed and owned?

Has our partner answered these questions from their perspective?

Are there anti-trust or competition laws that constrain the choice of collaborators or scope of Programs?

While this list is not exhaustive, it makes an important point.  Managers have a specific responsibility during the “Want” phase to ensure that their employees, and the employees of the potential partner firm, have clearly defined the IP they “Want”, and how those assets will be used inside the scope of the collaboration during the relationship’s life and upon its termination.  Fuzzy thinking on the part of either partner should raise warning flags in managements’ mind because the IP collaboration rules defined in the “Get” phase are directly related to these marketplace issues.

Issues in the “Find” phase

Once managers have a clear description of the firm’s technical needs, the next step is to “Find” the necessary resources.  The first rule is, “try not to find what you already have”.  Many firms lack the communications infrastructure to accurately link each researcher to the firm’s current IP portfolio.  The problem is particularly acute in companies with large patent estates and technical staffs distributed among multiple business units.  Mergers and acquisitions further complicate the issue because linking researchers to the new IP portfolio is low on the list of post M&A integration activities.  These issues can result in managers seeking external IP that overlaps with already existing internal IP assets.

While there are no generic solutions to this challenge, a close relationship between the legal staff and technical employees during the “Want” and “Find” stages minimize the problem.  IP counsel and technical staff both benefit when they share their understanding of the current IP portfolio as well as the firm’s IP needs as it relates to the external project.

At a business unit level, the firm benefits from cross business unit links that monitor potential collaborations.  These links allow each business unit to describe the potential collaboration, its need to access pre-existing company IP (background IP), the likelihood of creating new IP (foreground IP) and the need to grant or acquire licenses to meet the collaboration’s marketplace intent.  A great deal of thought goes into this issue in larger corporations.  Large firms have extensive IP portfolios.  They may have granted exclusive and non-exclusive licenses in various fields of use, geographies and/or for clearly limited periods of time.  The goal is to ensure that they do not improperly grant the potential partner rights that have been granted to others or, that they do not frustrate the business intent of a business unit by granting the potential partner certain rights.  The Intellectual Property groups in these firms have invested in systems that categorize IP.  These systems track patents and trademarks, as well as in-licensed IP.  These systems also support the compliance effort of ongoing relationships by flagging obligations such as milestone payments and IP maintenance obligations.  Finally, the patent portfolio review process is a regularly scheduled exercise that focuses patent investments on business needs and provides an in-depth view of the entire portfolio.

The “Find” process itself is multifaceted.  Firms use a variety of techniques to search for the resources they want such as database searches, internet search engines and contacts in professional networks.  Recently a network of for-profit firms has emerged that specialize in helping firms “Find” what they “Want”.

Managers are well advised to conduct as much evaluation as possible using only non-proprietary information from the partner.  The goal is to avoid being unnecessarily polluted with the partner’s proprietary information.  Remember, there is no collaborative agreement in place.  Either party may end discussions and partner with another firm.  If an exchange of proprietary information is necessary, it must be done under the appropriate agreement.  Even in this circumstance, both sides are well advised to learn only the information they need to make the next go-no/go decision.

Issues in the “Get” phase

The purpose of the “Get” phase is to negotiate a mutually agreeable contract that meets both firms’ business and technical needs.  The first challenge is to understand each firm’s business and technical needs from an internal perspective.  These include how the firm(s) will deploy the technology in the marketplace, the required fields of use, anticipated geographies, required third party licenses and the need for exclusivity.  Once each firm comes to an internal understanding of how the relationship should function along these parameters, the two firms can begin the process of negotiating a set of mutually agreeable principles that will govern the relationship.

While this process seems straight forward, it is not.  The nature of alliances leads to an important complication that hinders each firm’s ability to understand its own needs as well as the needs of the partner.  Specifically, every alliance is really “Three Alliance in One” .  The obvious relationship is the external alliance between the two companies.  The two hidden relationships are the internal alliances within each partner that provide critical resources at critical times to the external alliance.  For example, in both firms, marketing, R&D, and manufacturing play multiple roles.  Each must shift resources from internal projects and refocus them on the external alliance.  Each must coordinate its efforts with other internal groups and integrate its efforts with groups inside the partner firm. If the two companies are going to achieve their mutual objectives, all three alliances must be planned and negotiated in parallel.

Collaborations are three alliances in one, and they must be created and managed simultaneously

Absent a process for ensuring that all internal stakeholders agree on goals, milestones, timelines, business objectives, resource needs and the use of the firm’s IP, the alliance is at risk.  Of concern is the need to project timing, quality and quantity of resources flowing into the alliance.  Internal groups in one or both firms may not have the needed resources at the needed time or, they may not have the needed quantity or quality of resources.  The resource issue is further complicated in the case were internal people are fully committed to other projects and participate in the alliance in addition to their regular job.  The internal stakeholder buy-in process covers resource needs and other issues such as defining each firms’ objectives, the roles each will carry out, and how financial risks and rewards will be shared.  From an IP perspective, each firm must come to internal agreement on the following issues:

What is the firm’s current IP position relative to the proposed collaboration?

How does the firm use its IP (only to enable its business or actively license to others)?

What is the potential partner’s IP position?

What IP is being offered?

How is it constrained (retained rights, other licenses)?

What IP still needs to be created?

Are there any performance measures associated with the IP (e.g., minimum sales)?

What are each firms’ geographic, duration and field of use requirements?

Are there any requirements for supply exclusivity or purchase obligations?

Once internal agreement is reached inside both firms, the parties enter into negotiations for reaching agreement.

A full discussion of each issue as well as a process for both firms to reach a mutually acceptable agreement can be found in The Strongest Link by Gene Slowinski and Matthew W. Sagal, Amacom Books, June 2003.

Don’t start collaborating without the appropriate agreements in place

An important responsibility of every manager is to minimize risk.  Keeping the activities of the alliance in phase with the legal agreements is an important risk reduction technique.  Let’s take two scenarios; the normal course of events when two firms begin to collaborate and, the nightmare scenario.  In the normal course of events, two firms begin discussions based on an analysis of non-confidential information.  Next, they move to an evaluation of each other’s proprietary assets using a Confidentiality Agreement (CDA).  In some cases, a Material Transfer Agreement allows the firm(s) to test the specific material in question.  If all goes well, a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) is signed.  Each of these agreements is bound in important ways.  They allow each party to take certain steps, yet do not allow each party to take other steps.  Both firms understand how their IP will be used by the other, and they understand the impact of that use on their own business strategy.

Now, the nightmare scenario.  Scientists and engineers are eager to get started.  The collaboration holds great promise and administrative matters are “slowing things down”.  Armed with a 2-way CDA and comforted by the fact that the lawyers are negotiating a JDA, the technical staffs collaborate and invent something BIG.  However, the JDA is not signed and negotiations break down.  If the parties cannot come to an agreement, United States law defines ownership of the invention based on inventorship.  If only one party’s researcher(s) are inventors, that party solely owns the invention and has the exclusive right to exploit it.  This includes licensing or selling their IP interest to anyone they wish, including the partner’s significant competitor. If invented by researchers from both party, then the invention is jointly owned, but joint ownership may not meet the business needs of one or both partners.  In the U.S. such jointly owned inventions can be independently exploited by either party; again, even with the partner’s competitor.  Further, some patent laws outside the U.S. require joint exploitation of joint inventions; absent agreement, neither party may be able to exploit the invention in such regions.  This could have negative marketplace consequences for one or both parties.

We are not arguing that a complete JDA is required before collaboration may begin.  Sometimes a CDA with an invention ownership clause will suffice.  Sometimes a binding Heads of Agreement may be enough.  However, these are questions for counsel to resolve in cooperation with the responsible business and technical managers.

If possible, avoid having IP ownership depend on inventorship

The reason firms enter into collaborative research agreements is to create new technology.  Both parties expect to commercially exploit newly created technology under agreed terms.  But there is an inherent conflict built into all R&D collaborations.  The conflict is captured in the following question: should “rights to use” (RTU) the fruits of the venture depend on which party’s technical staff is the legal inventor of the patentable invention?  The answer to that question has a profound impact on the working relationship between the technical staffs of the two firms and on the marketplace impacts of inventions.

First, note that we are discussing each firms’ “rights to use” the fruits of the venture, not which firm owns the patent.  Ownership and inventorship are vital issues that affect such matters as patent filing, prosecution, and associated costs.  However, we are addressing a separate issue, the rights each firm must exploit the invention in the marketplace.  Two possible options are:


Option 1 – Often called the Sole option, inventorship and RTU are equivalent; meaning that only the firm that invents the IP can exploit the IP. Or, Option 2 – Often called the Joint option, rights to use the invention are independent of inventorship.  Each firm will have the rights to use the IP no matter which firm’s employees made the invention.

While at first glance the option 1 (Sole option) might be the obvious way to approach allocation of patent rights, there is a major drawback.  It has a chilling effect on collaboration.  Scientists and engineers ask for openness from the partner’s scientific staff but are reluctant to share information of their own.  Why?  Each party has an important stake in controlling information that they view as likely to lead to an invention.  The goal is obvious: to ensure that only their inventors are identified as the source of each foreground invention, because the source controls how the IP is used in the marketplace.

In option 2, (Joint option) the RTU of each party are independent of the source of the invention.  Both partners can use the foreground IP in the marketplace regardless of which firms’ technical staff created the foreground.  This option fosters collaboration because the RTU are unaffected by inventorship.

The actual words are found in United States patent law at 35 U.S.C. 262: “In the absence of any agreement to the contrary, each of the joint owners of a patent may make, use, offer to sell, or sell the patented invention within the United States, or import the patented invention into the United States, without the consent of and without accounting to the other owners.” Laws in other countries may differ.

This section draws heavily from, “Allocating Patent Rights in Collaborative Research Agreements”, Research * Technology Management, Vol. 49 No. 1, January – February 2006 by Gene Slowinski and Matthew W. Sagal.

The differences between the Sole and Joint options seem quite stark.  Fortunately, there is a middle road between option 1 and 2.  Firms can foster collaboration between scientists by selecting the Joint option yet enjoy the marketplace benefits of the Sole option by allocating exclusive rights, in clearly defined business areas, to each partner.  These rights are allocated with the intent of allowing each partner to meet its marketplace and strategic interests.  Each firms’ rights are defined along three dimensions; field of use, geography, and time.

An illustration is helpful here.  The business needs of each partner can be viewed as a three-dimensional cube that contains many mini-cubes.  Each mini-cube has value in different geographies, fields of use and timeframes.  By understanding the business and technical needs of both partners, the parties can agree on which min-cubes fall under Company A’s business interests, Company B’s business interests, both firms’ interests, or neither firms’ interests.  .


Take the example of two firms collaborating on the development of a new vaccine.  The firms will collaboratively develop the vaccine but will market it independently.  If Company A has a strong market presence in North America and Europe, and Company B has a strong market presence in Asia, the firms can allocate rights between them along geographic lines.  The “field of use” dimension provides even more flexibility.  If the vaccine works in humans (Company A’s area of interest), animals (Company B’s area of interest) and fish the firms can define “humans” as one field of use, and “animals” as another and fish as a third.  The third dimension is time.  Each firm may enjoy exclusivity for any time limit that makes business sense.  That time limit may be a day, a year, or the life of the patent.

It must be noted, however, that anti-trust and competition laws in the regions affected must be carefully considered since they may limit the options legally available.

The middle road solution allows the firms to enjoy the benefits of close technical collaboration because the technical staffs are working under the Joint option.  However, the firms achieve their marketplace needs by allocating exclusive market rights to mini-cubes between them.

Whichever solution you chose, make sure the agreement has clear walk-away provisions.  Not all alliances succeed.  Each firm must have the ability to re-enter the marketplace independently of the other and meet its marketplace objectives.  While the hope is for a successful relationship, planning for failure is the sign of an experienced and thoughtful manager.

Issues in the Manage Stage

Companies that avoid IP conflicts in the Manage stage focus attention on three good laboratory practices.

Know your obligations under the agreements

Maintain up to date documentation

Plan patent filings to allow for review by the other party

Know your obligations under the agreements

An important way to minimize conflict is to ensure that team members from both firms understand what the agreement requires them to do.  A common technique is to hold a joint session in which executives describe the agreement to team members from both firms.  While there are no hard and fast rules to describe the content of the session, from an IP perspective it should cover:

All the key issues in the contract that impart an IP obligation on either party.

A discussion on how the parties resolved the Joint versus Sole question.

How broadly can received confidential information and samples be shared by the parties both internally and externally.

How IP disputes will be resolved.

Whether or not “fire walls” are needed to isolate information in each partner and how these fire walls will be implemented in practice.

What is the expected term of the agreement and how will each firm utilize the Background IP of the other, and any jointly created Foreground IP after termination.

Maintain up to date documentation

Good laboratory practices make for good partnerships.  Both firms must require their employees keep lab notebooks updated, provide meeting summaries, and confirm in writing confidential information disclosed orally.  An important part of documentation management is keeping track of the other party’s confidential information.  Each team member must know how broadly this information may be shared, and under what circumstances.  Team members must clearly label proprietary information as confidential information of the other party, especially if sharing outside the team.  It is becoming more common for partners to use a shared file system to collect and track all confidential information with password protection providing differential access to different team members and executives from the partner firms.

Plan patent filings and publications to allow for review by the other party

If all goes well, the collaboration will result in innovation; often protectable by patent.  While the parties cannot predict when inventions will be made, they can and should plan for how they will manage the process of pursuing patents.  A best practice (under the agreements for the Program) is to provide the other party with a set time to review patent applications before filing.  The amount of time depends on marketplace realities (e.g., the need for consumer tests).  By soliciting the partner’s comments, inventors are correctly identified, the patent claims cover all areas of both firms’ business interest, and no confidential information of the other party is included without consent.  While this may seem difficult to manage, the time for review of patent filings is generally short enough (a few days to typically a few weeks) to allow development efforts like consumer testing to stay on schedule.  Problems most frequently arise because the team pays little attention to creating a patent filing strategy.  This results in last minute filing decisions that are made to meet other project deadlines.  When the patent filings are planned as part of the overall project management effort, the patent review process can be completed without difficulty and more strategic, well aligned patent applications result for both parties.

A related issue is publication of results.  Academic institutions are particularly sensitive to this issue.  It is important to have a candid discussion about the marketplace needs of the for-profit firm early on.  If the collaboration is in a sensitive area, the for-profit firm may not want the results published until its marketplace advantage is secure.  This may be a lengthy period.  Depending on the tenure status of the investigator and the career implications for his/her graduate students, a lengthy publication delay may prevent the relevant academic researcher from entering into a collaboration.

The assumption that yesterday’s innovation model will lead to prosperity in tomorrow’s business world is flawed.  Traditional internal innovation is being augmented by a wide variety of collaborative agreements that allow firms to access world-class technology; globally.  Collaboration requires the technical staff to build a new set of skills.  This is more than overcoming the “not

invented here” syndrome.  This is overcoming the “I do not know how to work outside” syndrome.  Part of the mindset change requires an open discussion of risk.  Linking external agreements to the work program, and clearly communicating each party’s obligations under the agreement is a risk minimization tool.  These techniques lessen the chances that one firm’s IP will be used in inappropriate ways such as outside the fields of use or in projects not covered under the agreement.  Part of the mindset change is linking the agreements to the marketplace and technical intents of each party.  Even the best agreements cannot substitute for enthusiastic technical and business team members who understand how their activities will create marketplace value.  Once the businesses decide what they want to achieve, IP counsel supports their business intent by drafting the appropriate legal language.