The IP Strategist is often an active IP user and typically has the following characteristics:
- Has often started in a niche area and has grown as a result of IPR. Has an international outreach and is focused on growth. Export revenues account for 37% of turnover.
- Has, on average, a larger number of employees with a scientific background (Ph.D.) or an engineering background than the types of companies that do not work strategically with IPR – IP Rookies and IP Dealers.
- Systematically acquires new knowledge and competes on product development rather than on price. Is often highly innovative.
- Often employs an in-house IP manager – although not always someone with an IP background. Ensures that relevant staff receives systematic IP training.
- Has implemented systematic IP processes which are not always written down. Uses preliminary IP searches.
- IP-related decisions are made in collaboration with relevant departments.
If the IP Strategist wants to further enhance the IPR efforts of the company, it may consider:
- Expanding IP methodology to include the possibility of in- and outlicensing and buying and selling rights.
- Ensuring that the company does not slow down its development process by focusing exclusively on in-house development.
- Formalising an IP strategy and budget.
- Assessing whether it makes financial sense to hire an in-house IP manager, thus reducing external expert expenditure.
The IP Strategist’s characteristics have been identified from interviews with companies and by comparing questionnaire responses, accounting and employee data. This extract of results is based on Alkærsig et al (forthcoming): ‘Intellectual Property Rights Management – Rookies, Dealers, Strategists and Strategic Dealers’