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Breakthrough technology empowers marketers to harness consumer input in the development of innovative products

WALTHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 29, 2006--Affinnova(R), Inc., today announced the United States Patent & Trademark Office has awarded the company U.S. Patent No. 7,016,882 entitled, "Method and Apparatus for Evolutionary Design." The patent covers Affinnova's proven methods of empowering marketers to innovate through increasing the breadth of ideas and possibilities they can explore. Affinnova's approach uniquely engages consumers in the product development process, enabling them to create and select the most compelling concepts from millions of potential combinations of product features and attributes.

The patent involves an algorithmic approach for presenting and generating product ideas to consumers, typically in an electronic format. The underlying invention renders the product innovation process into a search paradigm where the goal is to identify the highest affinity choices from a large pool of competing alternatives. Scores of consumers choose from among multiple product designs, and the data is aggregated to derive a new generation of product design alternatives presented for further selection. The process is quickly repeated through multiple cycles, ultimately arriving at the product design that consumers prefer most. Given the highly competitive marketplace and the high failure rate of new products, companies benefit from this approach by having consumer preferences inform the product innovation cycle.

The technology encompassed by the patent is core to Affinnova's IDEA(TM) system (Interactive Design by Evolutionary Algorithms), which leading consumer packaged goods companies have used to explore and optimize market-winning products and concepts. IDEA allows hundreds or thousands of consumers to interact with holistic product and concept representations via the Internet. Their collective feedback provides the selection pressure that drives evolution towards the "fittest" products -- creating a higher likelihood of market success.

"This is a major milestone for Affinnova," stated Waleed Al-Atraqchi, Affinnova's CEO. "This patent underscores Affinnova's continued leadership in technology-driven innovation services and systems, and our commitment to helping product and marketing teams improve the success rates of new products and the competitiveness of existing products by placing the consumer at the heart of product and brand development."

"Issuance of this patent validates our team's achievement in developing Affinnova's breakthrough multi-respondent, interactive evolutionary algorithm with dynamic segmentation," stated Kamal M. Malek, Ph.D., Affinnova's Chief Technical Officer and one of the patent's inventors. "This is the first in a series of patents we expect to issue in the near term that will protect our technology platform. Breakthrough technology is one of our company's key competitive advantages, and this includes our strengths in harnessing advanced technology for practical commercial use." Malek added, "It is gratifying to see our direct search and optimization approach being used every day, helping Fortune 500 companies develop better products for their consumers."

About Affinnova, Inc.

Affinnova harnesses the voice of consumers to help companies develop more successful brands and products. Its unique, patented technology uses genetic algorithms to "evolve" product designs in response to consumer preferences. Affinnova's technology has been adopted by a growing list of Fortune 500 companies. Affinnova is privately held, backed by Flagship Ventures and Sherbrooke Capital, and headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts. For more information about Affinnova, visit

(C)2006 Affinnova Inc. Affinnova and IDEA are trademarks of Affinnova, Inc. Other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


Citigate Cunningham for Affinnova, Inc
Sandy George, 617-374-4210