Press Releases

June 6, 2017

East Lansing company awarded its third US Patent
East Lansing, Michigan June 6, 2017—June 6, 2017

NamesforLife, LLC has been awarded U.S. Patent Grant No. US 9,672,293 for Systems and Methods for Automatically Identifying and Linking Names in Digital Resources. This expands the company’s IP portfolio to 5 granted US patents, including two patents exclusively licensed from Michigan State University.

May 23, 2017

East Lansing company awarded its second US Patent
East Lansing, Michigan May 23, 2017—May 23, 2017

NamesforLife, LLC has been awarded U.S. Patent Grant No. US 9,659,145 for classification of nucleotide sequences by latent semantic analysis. This expands the company’s IP portfolio to 4 granted US patents, including two patents exclusively licensed from Michigan State University.

December 2, 2014

East Lansing company awarded its first US Patent
East Lansing, Michigan December 2, 2014—December 2, 2014

NamesforLife, LLC has been awarded U.S. Patent Grant No. US 8,903,825 for Semiotic Indexing of Digital Resources. This expands the company’s IP portfolio to 3 granted US patents, including two patents exclusively licensed from Michigan State University.

June 7, 2012

NamesforLife Licenses Semantic Enhancement Technology from Michigan State University
East Lansing, Michigan June 7, 2012—June 7, 2012

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. US 7,925,444 and U.S. Patent Grant No. US 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 (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 US 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

April 3, 2012

Inera News —Inera releases the eXtyles NamesforLife Linking module

The eXtyles NamesforLife (N4L) Linking module is now available (see Inera Press Release). N4L Linking automatically identifies biological names in Word documents (currently, validly published names of Bacteria and Archaea at all ranks, from domain to subspecies, as well as names for which a published genome exists; other terminologies are in the works) and provides DOI-based links to the N4L service.

November 2, 2011

City of East Lansing Recognizes NamesforLife

The East Lansing City Council held a special presentation on November 1st and approved a resolution celebrating the graduation of the first Technology Innovation Center (TIC) tenants. On November 2nd, the City of East Lansing hosted an event at the TIC, presenting signed copies of the resolution to graduating companies, including NamesforLife.

October 11, 2011

A new US Patent issues for Michigan State University spinoff
East Lansing, Michigan October 11, 2011—October 11, 2011

U.S. Patent Grant No. 8,036,997 has issued, covering a method for data classification using self-organizing, self-correcting heatmaps. NamesforLife, LCC holds a worldwide exclusive license to the patent.

September 10, 2011

NamesforLife founder is awarded the van Niel International Prize

The Senate of The University of Queensland, on the recommendation of a panel of experts of the International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes, is pleased to present the van Niel International Prize for Studies in Bacterial Systematics for the triennium 2009-2011 to Professor George M. Garrity in recognition of his contribution made to the field of bacterial systematics. The award, established in 1986 by Professor V. B. D. Skerman of The University of Queensland, honours the contribution of scholarship in the field of microbiology by Professor Cornelis Bernardus van Niel.

May 21, 2011

The NamesforLife Abstracts

The NamesforLife Abstracts are now available, replacing our earlier Monographs on Bacteria and Archaea. These are citable micropublications containing up-to-date information about all validly published names under the Prokaryotic Code of Nomenclature. Each abstract can be accessed via a Digital Object Identifier, which resolves to the NamesforLife Anchor for that object. If you are logged in with your NamesforLife account, you can view the full abstract. You can search for specific bacteria or archaea using the sidebar on this page, or you can start browsing the complete taxonomy using the links to the Archaea or Bacteria here. We will continue to refine the content in the coming months. Please let us know what you think.

April 12, 2011

Patent issues for Michigan State University spinoff
East Lansing, Michigan April 12, 2011—April 12, 2011

U.S. Patent Grant No. 7,925,444 has issued, covering systems and methods for resolving ambiguity in Named Entities using a semiotic approach over persistent identifiers. NamesforLife, LCC holds a worldwide exclusive license to the patent.

March 20, 2011

Standards in Genomic Sciences adopts NamesforLife Services

The journal Standards in Genomic Sciences is now enhanced with N4L::Guide content, which provides on-demand taxonomic and nomenclatural data for prokaryotic taxa.

February 8, 2011

Microbial Earth

The first version of Microbial Earth is now available.

December 28, 2009

Introducing N4L::Guide

This NamesforLife Firefox Add-on brings expertise from the database into the browser. At present, the list of validly published names of Bacteria and Archaea changes roughly fifteen times each week. Invalid and trivial names appear in the literature and public databases at a rate that if more than three fold higher. While a small number of experts diligently work to keep pace with these changes the rest of the scientific, medical, and allied communities are left on their own to make sense of a never-ending onslaught of names. While all agree that using the correct name is essential for accurate communication, but what name is it? What was it? If a name changed, why did it change? What does this mean to you as you read the literature? Do you interrupt your reading to check on the taxonomic state of play. Do you break what you are doing and look up related information or do it later? Are you sure that your knowledge is current? Keeping up with this could be a full-time job. There is a solution to this problem. NamesforLife, in partnership with the SGM and the International Committee on the Systematics of Prokaryotes, has been working to extract all of the relevant information from the taxonomic literature for Bacteria and Archaea. This information is then served up, along with rich annotation, for any text that is readable in a web browser (starting with Firefox, but expanding to other browsers in the near future), on-demand. Never again will a reader have to feel ill-informed about the status or meaning of a name. The NamesforLife philosophy is that online annotation services must be sufficiently authoritative and persistent that other systems can rely on them rather than attempting to duplicate them. Those services must work not only for the ad hoc human user, who after all has fail-safe alternatives, but also when incorporated in third-party applications. NamesforLife identifies these objects using now familiar digital object identifiers (DOIs) and makes them reliably citeable. The objects then become formally structured micropublications. How is it done? NamesforLife employs a team of expert curators to index the taxonomic literature as a sequence of interrelated taxonomic, nomenclatural and organismal events that are tied to all previously recorded events and the underlying literature.

October 5, 2008

NamesforLife opens an office in downtown East Lansing

NamesforLife has opened a commercial office at the new Technology Innovation Center in downtown East Lansing. We are proud to be an Inaugural Tenant and the first company to move into this new space.

February 18, 2008

NamesforLife founder named AAAS Fellow

The founder of NamesforLife, George M. Garrity, ScD has been elected among the 2007 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

February 8, 2008

NamesforLife releases plugin for the oXygen XML Editor

NamesforLife now has a plugin available for the oXygen XML Editor (tentatively named the Scribe). This plugin provides named-entity recognition and annotation over controlled terminologies. When used with the NamesforLife prokaryote nomenclature, the annotation links to Digital Object Identifiers that resolve to monographs representing the complete history of a bacterial or archaeal taxon.

November 15, 2004

NamesforLife, LLC moves into new office space in Okemos, Michigan
Okemos, Michigan November 15, 2004—November 15, 2004

NamesforLife, LLC has moved into a new office in Okemos.

November 15, 2004

Michigan State University spins off a new technology company
East Lansing, Michigan November 15, 2004—November 15, 2004

A new tech startup, NamesforLife, LLC has been founded in East Lansing, Michigan to commercialize research conducted at Michigan State University.

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