Press Release

June 7, 2012 East Lansing, Michigan

NamesforLife Licenses Semantic Enhancement Technology from Michigan State University

NamesforLife, LLC has completed an agreement with Michigan State University to exclusively license two key patents for terminology management and data classification, U.S. Patent Grant No. 7,925,444 and U.S. Patent Grant No. 8,036,997.

Michigan State University announced today that it has entered into an exclusive license agreement with NamesforLife, LLC for a novel, patented technology that enhances a reader’s ability to locate, retrieve, and understand complex technical information in a digital environment. Until now, when readers came across a technical term on the Web whose definition wasn’t exactly clear, they would have to look it up elsewhere, by visiting a search engine on another page. NamesforLife has changed that. The Company’s technology delivers expertly maintained information about the term and inserts it automatically into the page.

The technology was developed to solve an age-old problem. As a scientific field advances, technical terms, like the names of organisms and chemicals, change rapidly. In some cases, the vocabularies can change daily. This constant change creates uncertainty about the meaning of scientific papers and other electronic resources. Scientists, lawmakers, and businesspeople need to take that uncertainty into account when searching technical literature, or they risk making decisions based on incomplete or out-dated information. Failure to account for this uncertainty has consequences ranging from unnecessary duplication of effort and expense to situations that could endanger public health and safety.

Unlike any other service, NamesforLife secures the meaning of technical terms, wherever they occur, by binding them permanently to a monitoring service that records change in meaning. This technology brings the knowledge of subject experts to end-users, through their web browser, at their point of need. Once the binding is established using this technology, the reader need only click on the term to obtain information about current and prior usage, along with a wealth of related information, in an interface under their control. According to George Garrity, a professor in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Michigan State University and Company co-founder, “NamesforLife utilizes the power of semantic web concepts to understand and analyze technical literature in the face of dynamically changing terminologies and complex subject matter in biology, chemistry and a host of other fields.”

NamesforLife co-founder Catherine Lyons explains, “This patented technology ensures that information about current usage can be found even when multiple terms are in parallel use. NamesforLife’s conceptual precision also supports highly targeted micromarketing. In the past online publishers have relied on overgeneralized advertising. But this new technology supports targeted matching of vendor communities to niche markets.

According to Richard Chylla, Executive Director of MSU Technologies, “We are extremely excited about the NamesforLife technology and the positive impact it will have on solving a difficult problem facing the scientific community and Internet users at large.”

The NamesforLife solution serves as the foundation for N4L Services, developed by the Company in partnership with the Society for General Microbiology (Reading, UK), Inera, Inc. (Belmont, MA), and the International DOI Foundation (Washington, DC, & Oxford, UK) to incorporate professionally edited and self-updating information directly into scientific papers, data feeds, and other documents. N4L Services locate scientific names or technical terms in a document and then use persistent identification to bind the names or terms permanently to the NamesforLife terminology monitoring service. Because of the unique way the patented technology works, even when a name or term has changed in meaning, NamesforLife ensures that it remains bound to up-to-date information. The Company has chosen the Digital Object Identifier System (DOI System) for its persistent identification technology, because it provides ISO-compliant, professional content management.

NamesforLife offers services for authors and editors, publishers, service providers, and readers. Its tools integrate seamlessly into users’ routine workflows and into existing software like word processors and web browsers. NamesforLife also offers expertly edited bacteriological data as well as custom indexing and abstracting services for large document collections and data curation services. Additional licensing opportunities are available. The company is also partnering with IFI CLAIMS Patent Services/Fairview Research (Madison, CT and Barcelona, Spain) to use a novel search method called Semiotic Fingerprinting for patent searching.

About the Company

NamesforLife, LLC is a Michigan based company, located in the East Lansing Technology Innovation Center. Development of the Company’s technology was underwritten by three STTR grants from the U.S. Department of Energy through the Office of Biological and Environmental Research and awards from the Michigan Universities Commercialization Initiative, and the Business Accelerator Fund and the Michigan Emerging Technology Fund which are administered by the Michigan Small Business Development Center. NamesforLife is a general member of the International Digital Object Identifier Foundation and employs ISO Standard DOIs in its products. For additional information about the company please visit

[permalink] Posted June 7, 2012.

Back to top