Northern Light Receives U.S. Patent for “Meaning Extraction” Technology

CAMBRIDGE, MA, Jan. 27, 2011 – Northern Light (www.northernlight.com) today announced it has been awarded a U.S. patent for the proprietary technology that underlies the “meaning extraction” capabilities embedded into SinglePointTM strategic research portals.

“Meaning extraction” identifies elements of information and concepts contained within documents and document repositories, and surfaces combinations of these informative elements and concepts that imply meaning in the context of the business, professional, or technical purpose of the search process.

The patent, entitled “Method and Apparatus for Extracting Meaning from Documents Using a Meaning Taxonomy Comprising Syntactic Structures,” was awarded on January 25, 2011 as U.S. patent number 7,877,344.  It is Northern Light’s third patent.

Northern Light develops and operates SinglePoint strategic research portals, which are used by many of the world’s leading research-driven companies in IT, telecommunications, pharmaceutical, financial services and other industries for competitive intelligence and market research, strategic planning, product development, marketing, and sales.

“Our contribution to ‘meaning extraction’ is profound, and we are pleased that it has been deemed worthy of a patent,” C. David Seuss, CEO of Northern Light, said.  “With ‘meaning extraction’, we believe Northern Light is significantly advancing online search by providing for automated analysis of search results, which dramatically improves both the efficiency and quality of online search.”

“Meaning extraction” involves a three-step process:

  1. Extract references to important terms and concepts, particularly concepts that imply meaning for the business purpose of the search.
  2. Apply proximity intelligence to determine which terms and concepts are often in proximity to one another.
  3. Identify patterns of proximity-related concepts (“scenarios”) that imply meaning to a knowledgeable practitioner, and scan all the documents responsive to a query to identify for the researcher those patterns in all the documents.

“The value of ‘meaning extraction’-enhanced search extends far beyond the business domain,” Seuss said. “There clearly are applications in academia, pure research, and many other areas of endeavor.  Regardless of the field in which it is applied, however, meaning extraction represents a powerful tool to help people digest, analyze and apply the flood of information that modern technology has unleashed.”

About Northern Light

Northern Light has been providing strategic research portals, business research content, and search technology to global enterprises since 1996.  Northern Light’s current clients include Fortune 100 market leaders in information technology, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, energy, financial services and insurance, transportation, retailing, and electronics.   Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with a development center in St. Petersburg, Russia, Northern Light Group LLC is a profitable, privately-held, self-funded company with more than 50 employees.