Patents Represented by Attorney Melvin J. Scolnick
  • Patent number: 5966302
    Abstract: A sheet processing apparatus, which may be a mailing machine, inserter or similar system for producing mail pieces or may be a copier or printer or the like. The system includes a control mechanism for reducing the likelihood of jams as sheets are fed through a sheet handling apparatus included in the system. Preferably the control mechanism will include a neural network trained to response to a characteristic signal generated by a sheet feeder as a sheet is input to the apparatus. After training the network will produce a control signal output for controlling the processing rate of the apparatus to reduce the rate if there is a likelihood that the input sheet will jam. The network may also produce an outstacking signal for diverting sheets, in extreme cases, for corrective action. The drive current of a motor used to output the sheet from a sheet feeder is monitored to provide the characteristic signal which is sampled as an input to the network.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 1992
    Date of Patent: October 12, 1999
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Wojciech M Chrosny, Khosrow Eghtesadi
  • Patent number: 5963928
    Abstract: A secure metering vault for use with a host printing module via a secure communication link includes a secure output device such as a light emitting diode (LED) configured for outputting the available postal funds stored in the secure metering module in response to a detected malfunction in the secure communication link. The vault includes a processor that monitors the condition of the secure communication link, and that controls the storage and updating of the stored available postal funds in a nonvolatile memory. If a failure is detected in the communication link, the processor outputs to the LED the stored value of the available postal funds based upon a prescribed format, such as Morse code or some other blinking pattern that is equivalent to the postal funds remaining in the vault.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 5, 1999
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventor: David K. Lee
  • Patent number: 5960963
    Abstract: The present invention provides a sorter for sorting mailpieces into one of at least two sorting bins, the sorter having a transport device for conveying the mailpieces along a transport path. Each sorting bin includes a drive nip located in close proximity to a gate assembly for conveying a mailpiece away from the transport path and into the sorting. Each sorting bin further includes a stacking belt assembly spaced away from the drive nip and having a first end positioned at an acute angle relative to the drive nip and second end positioned adjacent a registration wall.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 5, 1999
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Jeffrey L. Chodack, Joseph H. Marzullo
  • Patent number: 5961114
    Abstract: An apparatus for stacking mailpieces received from a mail processing machine includes a deck; a sloped wall extending from the deck; a plurality of continuous belts each extending along the deck in a first direction and positioned at substantially equal intervals along a second direction of the deck, each of the plurality of continuous belts having a top surface which extends above the deck and which contacts the mailpieces received from the mail processing machine; structure for driving the plurality of belts in the first direction to move the received mailpieces along the sloped wall in a shingled configuration; a registration wall disposed on the deck to define a landing area on the deck for the received mailpieces, the registration wall being mounted for slideable movement along the deck in the second direction to change a size of the landing area to accommodate the receiving of different sized mailpieces from the mail processing machine; and structure, connected to the registration wall and the plurality
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 5, 1999
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Donald E. Barker, James G. Gleason, Robert J. Hebert
  • Patent number: 5959652
    Abstract: A thermal ink ribbon cassette for holding an inked ribbon of indefinite length for use in a thermal transfer printing mechanism holds a spool of fresh ink ribbon which passes out of the cassette and across a thermal printing head, and then back into the cassette. The features of construction and arrangement of the cassette are such that the length of the portion of the normal feed path of envelopes through the mailing machine in which the ink ribbon and the envelopes travel coextensively is reduced to an absolute minimum to avoid unnecessary contact after printing take place. A slanted wall is provided for ensuring that the envelopes remain in their normal path of travel regardless of any tendency of the envelope to adhere to the ink ribbon after the point of normal separation, or if they are bulged and tend to jam on internal portions of the mailing machine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 11, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 28, 1999
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventor: David Privin
  • Patent number: 5960418
    Abstract: The present invention provides an apparatus and method for converting a postage amount expressed in a first currency denomination into at least a second currency denomination and printing the postage amount expressed in a second denomination in postal indicia.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 28, 1999
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Ltd.
    Inventors: Stephen Kelly, Timothy J Nicholls, Robert W Allport
  • Patent number: 5956505
    Abstract: A method is provided for activating an optional feature in a data processing device that includes a microprocessor and memory. The method includes storing in the memory: a number of applications programs, at least one of which has at least one optional feature; application manager software for controlling access to the application programs; a communications software module, accessed by means of the application manager, for controlling data communication by the device; and a program activation software module, accessed by means of the application manager and including activation data that indicates whether each optional feature is activated or unactivated. The method also includes receiving a request to operate one of the optional features, determining by reference to the activation data whether the feature is activated or unactivated, operating the feature if it is activated and otherwise preventing operation of the feature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 24, 1991
    Date of Patent: September 21, 1999
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventor: Flavio M. Manduley
  • Patent number: 5956051
    Abstract: Mailing machine including a controller, a printer module including a connector, a print head controller for producing print data signals necessary to print a postal indicia on an envelope and a replaceable print head cartridge having a plurality of print elements which are selectively energizable in response to the print data signals. The print head cartridge is detachably mounted to the connector. The controller in operative communication with the printer module for: determining if a valid print head cartridge is installed; and if a valid print head cartridge is not installed, preventing the print data signals from reaching the connector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 21, 1999
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Brad L. Davies, George T. Monroe, Maria P. Parkos
  • Patent number: 5953427
    Abstract: Methods and systems for preparing mailpieces involve the creation of mailing lists which includes correct and incorrect recipient address information. The list is transmitted to a data center. Received from the data center is a mailing list including addressed hygiened recipient address information and a digital token for each mailpiece with encrypted data. The encrypted data is based on the corrected address information for mailpieces with correct address information on the transmitted mailing list and on hygiened recipient address information the mailpieces with incorrect recipient address information on the transmitted mailing list. The digital tokens for each mailpiece may also be based on the rating parameter information.Selection is provided for utilizing a given one of the incorrect recipient address information and the correct recipient address information is applied to an encrypter generating the digital tokens.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 14, 1999
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc
    Inventors: Robert A. Cordery, Steven J. Pauly, Leon A. Pintsov
  • Patent number: 5953034
    Abstract: An ink jet transfer printer including an ink jet print head and a print drum, the ink jet print head for printing ink onto the print drum which transfers the ink to a print medium during a print cycle. The ink jet transfer printer comprising: a print surface defining a print plane located on the print drum, the print surface raised above the peripheral surface of the print drum; and wherein the ink jet print head prints onto the print surface and the ink on the print surface forms a contact angle substantially in a range of 20 to 60 degrees. The ink jet transfer printer further comprising: a wiper blade in engagement with the print surface during the print cycle for wiping waste ink from the print surface; and a cleaning device in engagement with the print surface during the print cycle for absorbing waste ink from the print surface; and wherein, following transfer of the ink from the print surface to the print medium, the cleaning device absorbs waste ink prior to the wiper blade wiping waste ink.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 14, 1999
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: James A. Salomon, Anthony E. Yap
  • Patent number: 5949879
    Abstract: A secure system for Authentication information. The system includes a scanner for reading the information contained in a document, a timing mechanism for entering the time the document was read, an encryptor for encrypting the read and timed information and a counter for counting the number of documents processed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 7, 1999
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: William Berson, Elizabeth Bernobich, Richard W. Heiden, Richard A. Potoczek, Robert W. Sisson, Anthony F. Violante
  • Patent number: 5947461
    Abstract: The present invention relates to an input system for feeding one-up sheets from a paper web to a high speed mass mailing inserter system. The input system includes a feeding module for supplying a paper web having two web portions in side-by-side relationship. A merging module is located downstream in the path of travel from the feeding module and is operational to feed the two web portions in an upper-lower relationship so as to reorient the paper web from the side-by-side relationship to an upper-lower relationship. A separating module is located downstream in the path of travel from the merging module and is operational to receive the paper web in the upper-lower relationship and separate the paper web into individual two-up sheets. In order to separate the two-up sheets into one-up sheets, a stacking module is located downstream in the path of travel from the separating module and is configured to receive the two-up sheets, stack the two-up sheets and individually feed one-up sheets from the stack.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 7, 1999
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventor: Russell W Holbrock
  • Patent number: 5944304
    Abstract: An separating and staging machine is disclosed which is used in conjunction with high speed document processing apparatus in which a succession of collations of insert material moving along an insert material feed path to an insert location are inserted into envelopes fed to the insert location. The machine of the present invention feeds envelopes from a storage hopper to a feed path which is long enough to accommodate a plurality of staging locations at which individual envelopes are maintained until one is fed to the insert location, after which the envelopes at each staging location are advanced to the next staging location, and a new envelope is fed from the storage hopper to the first of the staging locations. With this arrangement the distance between successive envelopes moving through the staging locations is approximately equal to the distance between successive collations moving along the insert material feed path, thereby increasing the rate at which envelopes can be fed to the insert location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 31, 1999
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: George Branecky, Edward M. Ifkovits, Jr., Michael R. Ifkovits, Karel J. Janatka, Douglas P. Sprenger, Shahzad H. Malick
  • Patent number: 5946672
    Abstract: A postage metering system includes a keyboard; a display; a device for receiving an external smart card; a print module for printing a postal indicia; an accounting module for accounting for the value of each postal indicia printed; a microprocessor including a clock chip which generates pulses on a periodic basis, at least one register having contents which are indicative of a real time, first structure for automatically updating the contents of the register based on the number of clock pulses generated, second structure for permitting resetting of the contents of the register by a user via the keyboard to indicate a new real time, third structure for detecting whether the external smart card has been inserted in the receiving means, for determining whether the inserted external smart card is a real time clock security card, and for inhibiting operation of the second structure such that a user cannot reset the contents of the register to be indicative of the new real time unless the third structure determine
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 31, 1999
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Wojciech M. Chrosny, Dale A. French
  • Patent number: 5943658
    Abstract: A method is provided for determining origin ZIP code for a postage meter. The method includes receiving at a data center a call that originates from the location of the postage meter. Using caller ID, the data center determines the phone number originating the call. The data center also determines the identification of the postage meter. If the phone number has changed from a phone number from the previous phone call for the postage meter, the data center obtains a five-digit ZIP code for the address corresponding to the phone number. If the five-digit ZIP code has changed from a previous ZIP code used for postal accounting during previous transactions for the postage meter, the data center obtains a new certificate based on the five-digit ZIP code and downloads the new certificate to the postage meter. The data center transfers postage meter register values to a new postal account for the new certificate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 31, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 24, 1999
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Linda V. Gravell, Frederick W. Ryan, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5936865
    Abstract: A mailing list is created including destination addresses for mailpieces to be submitted to a carrier service for delivery. A unique mailpiece identifier associated with mailpieces on the mailing list is generated by the carrier or other trusted third party. The unique mailpiece identifier is printed on the mailpiece with which it is associated. The mailpieces with the printed unique identifier are submitted to the carrier service. The carrier service obtains the printed unique identifier from the mailpiece. The obtained unique identifier from each said mailpiece is utilized to verify that data associated with the mailpiece has been processed by the carrier or trusted third party. When the unique number has been obtained from the mailpieces, the carrier service, if desired, may note this fact in the carrier records to prevent reuse of the unique identifier.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 10, 1999
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Leon A. Pintsov, Robert A. Cordery
  • Patent number: 5935221
    Abstract: A mailing machine includes an external communication port, a resident user interface and a control system in operative communication with the resident user interface and the external communication port. The control system detects whether or not an external user interface is connected at the external communication port and, if the external user interface is connected, enables the external user interface and disables a portion of the resident user interface. The external user interface provides additional functionality beyond the resident user interface. A corresponding method of operating the mailing machine is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 10, 1999
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Benita F. Felmus, Christopher S. Riello, Edilberto I. Salazar, Richard P. Schoonmaker
  • Patent number: 5934668
    Abstract: A document registration apparatus for use with a conveying device for transporting a document along a path from an upstream position to a downstream position through a document registration position, the document registration apparatus including an urge roller positioned adjacent to the path, the urge roller being moveable between a first urge roller position contacting the document and a second urge roller position out of contact with the document; apparatus for biasing the urge roller toward the conveying device; and a registration stop positioned adjacent to the urge roller and the path, the registration stop being moveable between a first registration stop position where the registration stop blocks transport of the document along the path and a second registration stop position away from the path where the registration stop does not block transport of the document along the path; wherein at times when the urge roller is in the first urge roller position and the registration stop is in the first registrat
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 10, 1999
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Christopher Debarber, Thomas M. Lyga, William A. Ross
  • Patent number: D413624
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 7, 1999
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: David W. Beckstrom, Charles W. Klein, Douglas G. Long, Michael D. O'Hare, Paul W. Porter
  • Patent number: D414798
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 5, 1999
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: David H. Brooks, David W. Beckstrom