Patents Represented by Attorney Bracewell & Giuliani LLP
  • Patent number: 8348545
    Abstract: A clear protective cover on a roadway marker for protecting reflective sheeting located on the marker. The protective cover prevents the reflective sheeting from being displaced from the marker when impacted, for example, by vehicle. The protective cover can be formed from a clear, high-impact strength, polycarbonate material. A stiffening element located within the roadway marker increases the stiffness and resiliency of the roadway marker. The stiffening element provides more spring to return the roadway marker back to a substantially erect position after being deflected, for example, by a vehicle. The stiffening element can be a formed from a hard material such as PVC and can have the shape of a ball, cylinder, puck, oblong, or other suitable shape.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2013
    Inventor: Robert K. Hughes, Jr.
  • Patent number: 8348203
    Abstract: A leveling joint between connected ends of two rails of different height is provided with a connector/juncture bar member which is configured to fit with and engage corresponding surfaces formed on the rails when the rails are connected together. The leveling joint so formed is one with increased strength, with ease and accuracy of alignment during assembly. The leveling joint is formed of several structural members, yet functions as and affords the strength and stability of a solid, unitary assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2013
    Inventor: Arturo A. Ortiz Rivas
  • Patent number: 8348200
    Abstract: Systems and methods for controlling fluid flow utilizing a synthetic jet actuator, are provided. An example of a synthetic jet actuator system includes a synthetic jet actuator including a dual bimorph subsystem to provide low, medium, and high synthetic jet velocities and/or fine flow control response, and an arc-forming subsystem to provide enhanced pressure, velocity, and mass flow performance, enhanced flow control response, and/or heating of the fluid within the bimorph chamber to extend the performance or operating margin of the dual bimorph subsystem of the synthetic jet actuator. The arc-forming subsystem includes a pair of electrodes interfaced with inner surface walls of the dual bimorph subsystem. Various configurations of power supplies can be utilized to provide simultaneous function to both the subsystem and the arc-forming subsystem to allow selective activation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2013
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventors: Seyed Gholami Saddoughi, Grover Andrew Bennett
  • Patent number: 8347962
    Abstract: A shaped charge assembly for use in a perforating gun that further comprises a charge carrier, and gun housing. The charge carrier substantially encapsulates the closed portion of the shaped charge and extends from the outer periphery of the shaped charge to the inner diameter of the associated gun housing. Encapsulating the shaped charge substantially reduces the introduction of debris into the wellbore resulting from detonation of the perforating gun shaped charges. The charge carrier can include a multiplicity of shaped charges therein.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 2006
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2013
    Assignee: Baker Hughes Incorporated
    Inventors: Timothy Sampson, Anna Schwartz, Mark Sloan, Avigdor Hetz, Jason McCann, Meir Mayseless
  • Patent number: 8342821
    Abstract: A bearing assembly for a submersible pump motor has a bearing body, having a hub, an outer portion, and a plurality of wing portions. The wing portions are spaced apart to form a plurality of cavities in the bearing body. A mass damper is mounted to the hub. The mass damper has an upper portion, a lower portion and mass damper prongs connecting the upper and lower portion. The mass damper prongs are disposed in the cavities, and act to reduce the amplitude of the vibrating frequency of the motor shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2013
    Assignee: Baker Hughes Incorporated
    Inventor: Carlos A Prieto
  • Patent number: 8340691
    Abstract: In general, the subject matter described in this specification can be embodied in methods, systems, and program products for verifying a venue associated with a user location. A mobile computing device determines an estimated geographic location of the mobile computing device. The mobile computing device wirelessly transmits the estimated geographic location to a server system. The mobile computing device receives from the server system an identification of a suggested venue. An interface element that indicates that the mobile computing device may be located at the suggested venue is provided on a display of the mobile computing device. User input that confirms that the user is at the suggested venue is received. In response to receiving the user input, the suggested venue is identified as a confirmed venue. A wireless communication that identifies that the user is at the confirmed venue is provided from the mobile computing device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2012
    Assignee: Google Inc.
    Inventors: Victor Starenky, Alex Nicolaou, Alex Kennberg, Jen Chen-Chuan Hsieh, Joseph Rideout, Neil Richard Thomas, Brett R. Lider
  • Patent number: 8341021
    Abstract: A consumer is prequalified for a line of credit attached to a checking account by a lending institution computer responsive to consumer underwriting data. The lending institution computer makes available draws to the line of credit line in an authorization stream for a proposed payment from the checking account. When the line of credit is accessed, the checking account is credited with an additional value equal to one or more preselected loan increments so that the account then has a new amount totaling a previous amount plus the amount of value of the one or more preselected loan increments and so that the new amount exceeds or equals the value of a proposed payment. Next, a new value for the line of credit balance available is determined, accounting for value credited to the checking account and a preselected loan advance fee for each loan increment credited to the account.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2012
    Assignee: Metabank
    Inventors: Rebecca Ahlers, Andrew B Crowe, Scott H Galit, Trent Sorbe
  • Patent number: 8333243
    Abstract: A tensioner anti-rotation device and method that transfers rotational force from an offshore platform deck to a riser in response to waves and currents. The device includes a bracket mounted on the deck, and a rib that transfers force from the deck through the bracket, to the rib, and into the riser such that the tensioners on the riser are not subjected to torque.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 2008
    Date of Patent: December 18, 2012
    Assignee: Vetco Gray Inc.
    Inventors: Joseph W. Pallini, Jr., Fife B. Ellis
  • Patent number: 8334666
    Abstract: A system for detecting a backspin condition of a motor in an electrical submersible pump is described herein. The system comprises a variable speed drive for powering the motor via a power cable; and a controller, the controller having a memory, a computer processor, and a computer program product stored on the memory and executable by the processor. The computer program product comprises the instructions of: monitoring an input current or impedance on the power cable to determine changes in motor current impedance, comparing changes in the motor current impedance to a historical threshold value for backspin events to determine whether the motor is backspinning; impeding operable power to the motor when it is determined the motor is backspinning; supplying a low AC voltage to the motor after it is determined the motor is backspinning; and determining whether or not the motor has stopped backspinning by monitoring the low AC voltage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 18, 2012
    Assignee: Baker Hughes Incorporated
    Inventors: Sheldon Plitt, John M. Leuthen
  • Patent number: 8327934
    Abstract: A casing annulus is remediated by inserting a hose into a casing annulus, the hose having a nozzle on its lower end. An acoustic signal is directed into the annulus. A sensor in the hose receives the acoustic signal and transmits data from the sensor to the surface. The data represents the acoustic signal arrival time to the sensor, and an analyzer estimates the sensor depth based on the data. The hose is inserted from a reel into a wellhead above the annulus. An electrical transducer mechanically coupled to the hose creates the acoustic signal. The signal is propagated along the hose and transferred to the fluid in the annulus, where it then propagates further into the annulus. The transducer can be installed on a hose roller along which the hose is fed into the wellhead.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2012
    Assignee: Vetco Gray Inc.
    Inventor: Charles E. Jennings
  • Patent number: 8327945
    Abstract: A valve, such as a ball valve, is assembled and carried by a running tool. The valve is actuated by an actuator that is triggered by the running tool, and thus opens and closes communication between the drill pipe and the volume below the running tool. An actuating cam is assembled below the running tool that interfaces the actuator. The actuating cam is threaded such that it travels axially as the drill pipe is turned. A profile on the actuating cam is timed with the function of the running tool and controls the action of the actuator such that the valve is open when the running tool function requires communication with the volume below the running tool and the valve is closed when the running tool needs to be pressurized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2012
    Assignee: Vetco Gray Inc.
    Inventors: Nicholas P. Gette, Gregory M. Dunn
  • Patent number: 8328529
    Abstract: An electrical submersible pump assembly has a pump discharge head with an integrally formed pump discharge pressure port. The discharge head is mounted directly to the pump and couples the pump to production tubing. A static pressure port extends directly through the side wall of the discharge head. The pressure port includes a tubing connector for hydraulic tubing to run down to the gauge. Inside the discharge head, a flow limiter is located in the pressure port to stop the loss of fluid if there is a break in the tubing connector or hydraulic line. Alternatively, the discharge head may incorporate a venturi or other pressure drop structure to allow the fluid flow to be measured via a pressure drop across an orifice. The venturi may be configured as an insert to permit it to be replaced after it has become worn by abrasive flow.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2012
    Assignee: Baker Hughes Incorporated
    Inventors: Joseph Scott Thompson, Kevin R. Bierig, Robert H. McCoy, Gordon Lee Besser, Dick L. Knox, Joo Tim Ong, Suresha R. O'Bryan, Dustin B. Campbell
  • Patent number: 8332396
    Abstract: Methods, systems, and apparatus, including computer programs encoded on a computer storage medium, for measuring resource geotopicality. In one aspect, a method includes receiving geotokens for a resource, where each geotoken references a geographic location. An initial geotopicality score for a geographic location is computed using token attribute values of geotokens in the resource. A set of geotopical locations are selected for the resource based on the initial geotopicality score for the geographic location. Each geotopical location can be a geographic location for which the initial geotopicality score exceeds a geotopicality threshold. A final geotopicality score representing a measure of relevance for the resource relative to the geotopical location is computed for the geotopical location. Data specifying geotopical locations for the resource and geotopicality scores for the geotopical locations are provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2012
    Assignee: Google Inc.
    Inventors: Manjunath Srinivasaiah, Daniel Francis Lieuwen, Krzysztof Czuba
  • Patent number: 8327943
    Abstract: An isolation sleeve extends from an adapter into the bore of a tubing head to isolate high pressure frac fluid from the body of the tubing head. The isolation sleeve may be installed by a running tool that can screw the sleeve onto a packoff bushing located within the tubing head. The running tool can also retrieve the isolation sleeve by unscrewing it from the packoff bushing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2012
    Assignee: Vetco Gray Inc.
    Inventors: Eugene A. Borak, Alfredo Olvera
  • Patent number: 8327866
    Abstract: A gate valve seat for a gate valve includes a seat having a stepped outer wall surface, with a spring, spacer ring, front facing lip seal, and a rear facing lip seal disposed about the stepped outer surface of the seat. The spring may be releasably locked into a compressed configuration for installation of the gate of the gate valve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 12, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2012
    Assignee: GE Oil & Gas Pressure Control LP
    Inventor: Glenn C. Parks, Jr.
  • Patent number: 8322436
    Abstract: A spider assembly is a round platform with a central bore used to support sections of casing as the sections of casing are joined to one another and lowered below a drilling platform. The spider assembly comprises two c-shaped section joined together at two seams, one seam at the end of each leg of the c-shape. A clamping plate is used to join each seam and apply a preload force on the joint. The preload force minimizes axial deflection at the joint.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2012
    Assignee: Vetco Gray Inc.
    Inventor: Tsorng-Jong Maa
  • Patent number: 8322442
    Abstract: A method of unloading a well using a modular adapter having a pump, a pump suction line, and a pump discharge line. The adapter is connected to a subsea wellhead assembly so that the pump suction line communicates with a main bore in the wellhead assembly and the pump discharge line communicates with a production line attached to the wellhead assembly. The production line is isolated from the main bore and the pump draws fluid from within the well and discharges it into the production line. After unloading the well, the adapter can be removed and moved to another location for well unloading.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2012
    Assignee: Vetco Gray Inc.
    Inventor: Robert K. Voss
  • Patent number: 8322440
    Abstract: A wellhead assembly having a data sensor circuit for transmitting sensed data from within a wellbore to the well surface. The circuit includes a signal conduit axially inserted within the wall of a stab unit with connectors at the top and bottom portions of the stab unit. Corresponding connection leads are included within the wellhead assembly to connect with the stab unit connectors. The connectors may comprise a gallery ring wet connect.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2012
    Assignee: Vetco Gray Inc.
    Inventor: Davis S. Christie
  • Patent number: 8322226
    Abstract: Methods and apparatuses are provided for testing and quantifying structural durability characteristics of bridging materials. Embodiments include sieving bridging materials to create uniform batches having particles within a predefined range. Embodiments further include selecting a batch and drying the batch, separating the dried batch into dry samples, and selecting a test sample having an initial mass. Embodiments include sealing the test sample, a volume of liquid, and a rod in a cylindrical testing cell and rotating the cylindrical testing cell containing the rod such that the rod rolls in relation to an inner wall of the cylindrical testing cell and applies force partially crushing the test sample. Embodiments further include sieving a resulting sample to create a durable sample having particles within the predefined range and drying the durable sample.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2012
    Assignee: Saudi Arabian Oil Company
    Inventors: Md. Amanullah, Abdulaziz S. Bubshait, Darrell W. Foreman, Clayton L. Miller, John T. Allen
  • Patent number: 8322438
    Abstract: An offshore drilling riser joint has a central riser pipe, a number of auxiliary lines mounted around it, and a buoyancy module assembly of a buoyant material. A pair of upper thrust sleeves slide over two of the auxiliary lines, each of the upper thrust sleeves having a flange in contact with an upper end of the buoyancy module assembly. Each of the upper thrust sleeves transfer upward thrust imposed by the buoyancy module assembly to an upper support flange mounted to the central riser pipe. A pair of lower thrust sleeves slide over two of the auxiliary lines. Each lower thrust sleeve has a lower thrust flange that is engaged by a lower end of the buoyancy module assembly. Each of the lower thrust sleeves transfer weight of the buoyancy module assembly while out of water to a lower support flange mounted to the central riser pipe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 16, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2012
    Assignee: Vetco Gray Inc.
    Inventors: Eric D. Larson, Rick L. Stringfellow, Jesse L. Bullard, Jim R. Reams