The IP Rookie is the most common of the four archetypes. An IP Rookie typically has the following characteristics:

  • IP Rookies are often small or medium-sized companies. Not as often situated close to major cities compared to the other archetypes and are often production companies.
  • Have few dedicated IP resources and rarely a formal IP budget. It is also rare for companies in this category to have a systematic approach to managing the IP rights of the company.
  • Have to a limited extent implemented a systematic approach to the identification of relevant IP, and new IP knowledge is often generated ad hoc from external experts. If there is an IP manager - this person is rarely based in the development department and rarely involved in the strategic decisions of the company.
  • Response to infringement is often ad hoc and the company rarely has an IP infringement strategy.
  • Often view IPR as costly, complex and non-productive.
  • Have, on average, a lower number of employees with a scientific background (Ph.D.) or an engineering background than the types of companies that work strategically with IPR – IP Strategists and IP Strategic Dealers.

A part of the IP Rookies group can be characterised as ‘Staying IP Rookies’ with the following characteristics:

  • Primarily orientate themselves towards local markets – on average Rookies derive 23% of their revenue from exports.
  • Are often ‘market followers’, competing on price rather than on new developments.

Within the Rookie group, however, there is a substantial number of companies with a focus on new developments who thus currently or soon will have a need to increase their IPR efforts – they are called Moving Rookies.

A first step for the IP Rookie wanting to work more actively with IP rights may be:

  • Assessing the potential of systematising their IPR efforts, including ensuring that they do not infringe the rights of others.
  • Mapping the possibilities of trading IPR.
  • Allocating dedicated IP resources, initially assigning overall responsibility to one person.
  • Ensuring that the overall business strategy matches IPR activities.


The IP Rookie’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’