Patents Represented by Attorney, Agent or Law Firm Michael E. Melton
  • Patent number: 6464217
    Abstract: A method and device for reducing the maximum torque to rollers mounted on a drive shaft of a drive roller assembly. By using a plurality of slip clutches, each for engaging an individual roller to the drive shaft and setting a maximum torque for the individual rollers, each roller is coupled to the drive shaft when the tangential force exerted on the roller does not exceed the maximum torque, and each roller is mechanically decoupled from the drive shaft when the tangential force exerted on the roller exceeds the maximum torque. Because each roller has a separate slip clutch, each roller can be mechanically decoupled from the drive shaft without affecting the other rollers coupled to the drive shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2002
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Walter J. Kulpa, Wayne W. Pritchett, Paul R. Sette, Richard A. Sloan, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6427021
    Abstract: A method and system that permits artistic works that are accessed on the internet or from a data center to be down loaded pursuant to an agreement with a representative of the copyright owner to users of postal security devices to pay for their use of copyrighted artistic works. A scanner at the post would read the already existing indicia and other information on the mail piece and then extract a unique identifier contained on the mail piece that is associated with the artistic or graphical information contracted to appear on the mail piece. The scanner with also read tracking information that is contained in the unique identifier. The extracted unique identifier would be periodically uploaded to a data center. The data center would compare the unique identifier on the mail piece with information about artistic or graphical information that has previously been uploaded from sending postal security devices to determine when the track mail piece arrived at a post office near the addressee.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 30, 2002
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Meredith B. Fischer, Ronald P. Sansone
  • Patent number: 6397328
    Abstract: A method for verifying that the expected components of a postage metering system includes alternate embodiments for verifying a PSD coupled to a host system is the expected PSD. The method further includes verifying the host system as the expected host system. A first message is encrypted in the PSD using a first cryptographic key to obtain a first encrypted message. The first encrypted message is sent to the host system which decrypts the first encrypted message using a second cryptographic key. The host system then encrypts a second message derived from the decrypted first encrypted message using the second cryptographic key. The host system then sends the encrypted second message to the PSD which decrypts the second encrypted message in the PSD using the first cryptographic key.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 1996
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2002
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: David E. Pitchenik, Frederick W. Ryan, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6384931
    Abstract: The invention is a method and system of capturing a destination address from a label print stream in a data processing system which is capable of supporting an object oriented programming environment. The method begins with the initiation of a print stream from a label application. A virtual driver is selected as the intended destination device of the print stream. The virtual driver directs the print stream to a print intercept automation server (PIAS). The PIAS causes the system to display on a monitor a print field selection. The system operator selects an envelope print field from the print intercept automation server. The envelope print field is a set of objects established in the object oriented environment and comprises a mailpiece OCX and an indicia printing control object. The print stream is then parsed to extract a set of address data defining a destination address from the print stream by the print automation server.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2002
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Nanette Brown, Victor Girardi, Paul A. Kovlakas
  • Patent number: 6367794
    Abstract: A method and system for gathering enclosure documents for insertion in an envelope inserting system having a plurality of enclosure feeders for releasing enclosure documents and a plurality of pusher fingers mounted on a pair of endless chains for gathering the released documents. A plurality of flexible extension fingers are connected to the downstream end of enclosure feeder so as to support the released document before the released document is pushed off by a pair of pusher fingers onto a chassis deck. The downstream ends of the flexible extension fingers form a gap with the chassis deck, allowing the documents released upstream to pass under the extension fingers so that the document released from an enclosure feeder is stacked on top of the documents released from the upstream feeders. Because the extension fingers are flexible, the gap under the extension fingers can be widened by a stack of documents released upstream.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2002
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Donna L. Godwin, Wayne W. Ritchie
  • Patent number: 6364305
    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: December 28, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2002
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: John W. Sussmeier, Kevin J. O'Dea, John R. Masotta, Russell W. Holbrook
  • Patent number: 6363357
    Abstract: A method for selling a digital content product in an online commercial transaction including the steps of encoding the digital content product; creating a digital file including a header having first information about the digital content product and at least one corporate rate associated with authorization to make a predetermined number of copies of the digital content product upon purchase by a buyer, and the encoded digital content product; storing, as a product for sale, the digital file at a host computer; providing access to the host computer by a buyer computer so that the buyer computer has access to the digital file and downloading the digital file to the buyer computer; displaying at least some of the first information together with the at least one corporate rate in a dialogue box at the buyer computer; subsequent to selection by the buyer via the buyer computer of the at least one corporate rate, establishing communication between the buyer computer and a broker computer so that the broker computer
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2002
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes, Inc.
    Inventors: Nathan Rosenberg, Frederick Ryan, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6363484
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method for verifying an unreadable information-based indium that has been generated by a postal security device (PSD) for information-based indium comprising a 2-D bar code, certain human-readable information, a digital signature and a certificate. The method comprises the steps of attempting to read the 2-D bar code using sophisticated digital image processing when the 2-D bar code is not readable; and continuing normal processing when the 2-D bar code is readable with the sophisticated digital image processing. When the 2-D bar code is not readable two independent processes are used to determine the indicium certificate. A first process includes reading human readable information by optical character recognition using context, syntax, and redundancy in the human readable information to obtain a PSD-ID; and using the PSD-ID to look up in a certificate database a certificate corresponding to the information-based indicium.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2002
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Robert A. Cordery, Richard W. Heiden, Leon A. Pintsov, Brian M. Romansky, Monroe A. Weiant
  • Patent number: 6357854
    Abstract: An ink jet printer includes a supply of ink, a print head, a cap, a waste tank and a control system. The print head is operatively connected to the supply of ink and ejects drops of ink to form an image. The cap is arranged to receive waste ink from the print head during maintenance operations. The waste tank is operatively connected to the cap for storing the waste ink. The control system is operatively connected to the print head for keeping an estimate of a volume of waste ink that has been discharged into the waste tank and adjusting the waste ink estimate to compensate for evaporation of the waste ink.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2002
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Yakup J. Igval, Yoshio Tsuru
  • Patent number: 6356883
    Abstract: A postage printing system includes a transport device for feeding an envelope in a path of travel through the postage printing system, a printer for printing a postal indicia and an ad slogan on the envelope, and a control system in operative communication with the transport device and the printer. The control system obtains an indication from an operator of a selected print location for the ad slogan and determines if the postal indicia and the ad slogan may be printed in a single pass through the postage printing system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2002
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes, Inc.
    Inventors: Venkata Katikaneni, Angelo N. Chaclas
  • Patent number: 6356882
    Abstract: The invention is a method and system for inputting the weight of a parcel into a web-based shipping application of a data processing system. The data processing system comprises a web site for a provider server and a client node in communication with the provider server. The web site further comprises web pages and script functionality for linking with a scale driver resident in a weighing scale located at the client node. The weighing scale comprises a scale server resident ultimately at the client node, but callable by the client node under control of the script functionality for allowing the script at the client node to link with the weighing scale by utilizing the scale driver. The method begins with the calling of the web site, from the client node, by utilizing a communications link which includes a browser for accessing the web site. The client node requests that a scale activation routine be activated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2002
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Terri A. Carroll, David A. Ellis, Jacques Hasbani
  • Patent number: 6350006
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for monitoring operation of an ink jet printhead. An ink jet printer is controlled to eject a periodic sequence of ink jet curtains through an illuminated gap. Variations in the intensity of the illumination caused by the ink jet curtains are detected to generate a signal representative of the opaqueness of the curtains. The signal is compared to a reference and if insufficient opaqueness is detected a poor print quality signal is generated. In one embodiment a feedback loop is established during a calibration mode to adjust the nominal level of illumination.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2002
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Arno Muller, Eswaran C. N. Nambudiri, Peter A. Pagliaro
  • Patent number: 6347710
    Abstract: This invention overcomes the disadvantages of the prior art by providing an apparatus that will assist in sorting mailpieces which increases the efficiency of the mail sorting apparatus, provides an organized space for intermediate storage of mailpieces and provides ergonomic features that reduce injury to the mail sorting apparatus operator and increases productivity. The present invention is directed to, in a general aspect, a mailpiece storage rack. The storage rack is used to hold partially sorted mailpieces between sorting passes in multiple pass sorting of mailpieces using a mail sorting apparatus or stores mailpieces after sortation and prior to delivery. The storage rack maintains the grouping, sequence and stack quality or alignment of partially sorted mailpieces which provides for more efficient re-feeding. The rack is designed ergonomically for easy transferring of mail into and out of storage and also provides for organized workflow.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 1999
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2002
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: William E. Ryan, Jr., Kenneth A. Schulz, Lyle W. Shaw, John H. Steinmetz
  • Patent number: 6343327
    Abstract: A printstream processor separates documents, e.g. in a printstream or batch, into a physical delivery printstream and an electronic delivery printstream based on delivery preferences stored in a database. The documents in the physical delivery printstream are printed and combined with physical inserts for physical delivery, e.g. by the U.S. Postal Server. The documents in the electronic delivery printstream are combined with electronic inserts for electronic delivery, for example, via electronic mail, facsimile, pager, or to a server on World Wide Web.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2002
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Edward Paul Daniels, Jr., John Kwant, Paul Mitchell, John Rahrig, Karl Schumacher, Clare Woodman
  • Patent number: 6342899
    Abstract: The invention is a method and system for establishing and printing a medium print field. The method begins with the initiation of a design software application which utilizes a display for representation of the medium and for displaying one or more component print fields on the medium representation. Each of the component print fields can be modified through utilization of a preferences input routine which further comprises: a printer selection option; a measurement scaling option; and, a return address selection option. The initiation further includes selection of a medium type and a set of characteristics for the medium. The representation displayed on the screen can be modified to the extent of its component print fields which comprise: a return address block; a postal indicia; a destination address block; and, a message block.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 1998
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2002
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: David Feinstein, Victor Girardi, Allen L. Kramer
  • Patent number: 6337743
    Abstract: The invention is a method and system for determining an address from a print stream. Address determination begins by initiating the print stream at a remote application. The print stream is transmitted through a graphical driver interface to a virtual driver where a system operator can select a data interface mode such as an eavesdrop mode and an intercept mode. The eavesdrop mode allows the virtual driver to pass the print stream through to the output device while producing a duplicate copy of the print stream for transmission to a server which is linked to an address parsing module for parsing the print stream. The intercept mode allows the virtual driver to pass the print stream directly to the server for parsing the print stream. The server will in turn pass the print stream to an output device such as a printer or monitor over transmission means. Parsing of the print stream to obtain address data is performed in accordance with instructions resident in the module.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 1998
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2002
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Nanette Brown, Victor Girardi, Michael S. Kelley, Paul A. Kovlakas
  • Patent number: 6334119
    Abstract: An operating management system and method for selectively interacting with at least one postage meter provided on each one of a plurality of inserter systems coupled to the operating management system. Each inserter system having a control system and the operating management system includes a computer coupled to each control system of each inserter system. Each control system is coupled to at least one postage meter, the computer being adapted to selectively interact with at least one postage meter provided on each said inserter system to obtain selected information therefrom.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2001
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Michael A. Gagliardi, James Kerans, Laurie J. Salvati
  • Patent number: 6328297
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for improving the timing between the releasing of documents from enclosure feeders and the arrival of pusher fingers fixedly attached to a conveyer belt in a gathering section of an inserting machine. As the conveyer belt begins to wear and stretch after being used for a long period of time, the timing between the releasing of documents and the arrival of pusher fingers may no longer be appropriate. By using two sensors placed, preferably, at the two ends of the gathering section to measure the timing of the arrival of the pusher fingers at the sensors, the stretch of the chain can be determined and the delay of the arrival of a pusher finger at each enclosure feeder can be calculated. Adjustment to the releasing timing at each enclosure feeder can be made accordingly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2001
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Nicholas R Antonelli, John W. Sussmeier
  • Patent number: 6328300
    Abstract: The present invention provides an aligner apparatus which bottom edge aligns documents and separates documents and provides adequate gap between documents for subsequent processing. The an aligner apparatus includes first and second guide walls, forming an alley along the document feed path in which the documents are relieved of interdocument forces allowing bottom edge alignment of the documents with the document feed path. A trap assembly including first and second trap levers is lever mounted along the document feed path on a side of the guide wall and when actuated, cause opposing forces on one-another in order to grab the documents as they move along the feed path in the aligner apparatus so as to control the gap between the documents. It apparatus further provides an adequate gap between documents while reducing noise. Each trap lever has a head portion which is fitted with a resilient pad which is attached to the trap arm in a manner that forms a gap between the head and the pad.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2001
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Christopher Julius Stefan, Eric A. Belec, John J. Mercede, Jr., James A. Salomon, Steven A. Supron, Shae Lynn Wilson, Leo Wologodzew, Anthony E. Yap
  • Patent number: 6325495
    Abstract: According to the present invention, the unauthorized refill of a retaining cartridge is prevented by providing a smart button cell affixed to a retaining cartridge. The smart button cell is loaded with information specific to both the vendor and the retaining cartridge and the information is cryptographically signed. The smart button cell is operatively inserted into a host machine, having a memory and a processor, in a manner enabling communication of information between the smart button cell and the memory of the host machine. The host machine then reads and verifies the cryptographic signature of the information to determine if the retaining cartridge is authorized. If the host machine determines the cartridge is authorized, then the machine operates under normal conditions. If however, the host machine determines the cartridge is not authorized then operation is terminated. After each time the cartridge is refilled the number of refills is recorded and used in determining a new cryptographic signature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2001
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventor: Thomas J. Foth