Post-VSIA has been an interesting time for the IP industry, with work on IP qualification standards slowing to a crawl and not a lot of interesting news concerning the IP industry as a whole. Enter the Constellations Program this past week, complements of IPextreme and a handful of founding members.

Constellations aims at “leveling the playing field” for small IP vendors through a sales collaboration program between IPextreme and Constellations members, who initially include CAST, NXP, Sidense and Tiempo. Based on a lead-sharing concept, a Constellations member inputs a lead (with permission of the inquiring customer) for IP that they do not supply into a database that is shared by the other Constellations members who have IP matching the request. These other members can then follow-up on these leads through their sales departments. The follow-up is voluntary and the leads go to members without any implicit endorsement, meaning that interested members have an equal opportunity to close business based on any lead.

If a business deal is successfully closed, the company getting the IP business pays a royalty that is shared by IPextreme and the company that submitted the lead. Constellations members, who pay a small annual fee to IPextreme, also participate in co-marketing and co-promotional programs that are guided by IPextreme.

I think this is a very interesting concept and one that goes beyond IP catalogs in portals such as and Design and Reuse, since Constellations members help “qualify” the match between IP inquirer and IP vendor. I look at the Constellations model as supplying a supplemental “front end” to a company’s sales force for initial business lead identification. The key to Constellations’ success will be the ability to scale up the program beyond the initial five members; I think 30-50 members would be a nice target number. If successful, Constellations will prove to be a win/win/win situation for the lead-submitting member, the member who gets business and, ultimately, the customer who finds the IP they are seeking.

To find out more about Constellations, go to:

Posted by admin, filed under Uncategorized. Date: March 22, 2009, 3:44 pm | No Comments »