Patents Represented by Attorney Robert E. Meyer
  • Patent number: 6313415
    Abstract: An electronic scale uses an analog signal from a load cell which is converted directly to a pulse width modulated output signal. This pulse width modulated output signal represents the weight of an object on the scale and is sufficient to be directly read by a typical microcontroller. Therefore, no amplifier or analog to digital converter is required. The microcontroller then converts a signal representing the weight of the object on the scale to a weight value. A method of using the counter/timers on the microcontroller with synchronized overflow, is disclosed to enable a high resolution value of the pulse width modulated signal, which is then converted into a weight value for object's weight given that the pulse width modulated output signal is proportional to the weight of an object placed on the load cell.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2001
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: James P. Maher, Kenneth G. Miller, Edward R. Bass
  • Patent number: 6275745
    Abstract: A system and method for relating the delivery of a mail piece or package to what is inside the mail piece or package. Thus, when the mail piece or package is received and signed for by a recipient the mailer will have proof that the recipient received the mail piece or package and what was inside the mail piece or package at the time the mail piece or package was delivered to the recipient.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2001
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Michael J. Critelli, Ronald Reichman, Steven J. Shapiro
  • Patent number: 6217020
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to, in a general aspect, a nudger for a mixed mail feeder and, in particular, to an apparatus and method of providing and detecting proper position in a stack of mixed mail. The apparatus, generally, comprises a nudger arm for detecting proper positioning of the mailpiece and a lean detection arm for detecting proper lean of the mailpiece with respect to the nudger. The method comprises generally, a determination that when the lean detection arm and the nudger arm are in a position indicating that the lead mailpiece is in the proper position, the stack of mixed mail is decelerated and fed to, for example, a separator, for further processing. The deceleration is performed at a slow rate and provides for a predetermined amount of over travel by the stack of mixed mail. This ensures proper contact of the lead mailpiece with the nudger rollers for feeding the mailpieces for further processing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2001
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Steven A. Supron, Gary S. Jacobson, Eric A. Belec, Francesco Porco, David E. Kayser, Christopher J. Stefan, Martin Mulroy
  • Patent number: 6029155
    Abstract: A configurable peripheral management system includes a peripheral management device which comprises a microprocessor for executing peripheral management instructions stored in a persistent memory for performing operations such as polling a peripheral device. The peripheral management device is coupled to a host computer over a serial line, through which new peripheral management instructions can be downloaded for storage in the persistent memory.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 22, 2000
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Edward R. Bass, Robert L. Davis, Konstantin G. Kodonas, George T. Monroe
  • Patent number: 5995950
    Abstract: A carrier management system having the capability to compute discounted shipping charges. The carrier management system includes inputs for input of parcel weight, information for selecting a class of carrier service, a parcel identification number and operator input signals. A data processor responds to a first operator input signal to append a suffix to the parcel identification number and store the parcel information, and for succeeding parcels increments the suffix and stores the parcel information. Upon input of a second operator input signal the data processor determines the discounted shipping rate for the group of parcels. The data processor also compares the discounted and non-discounted costs and in response to other operator input signals adds or deletes parcels in the group.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 1993
    Date of Patent: November 30, 1999
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Ileana Barns-Slavin, Clint F. Brandien, George J. Brazis, Jr., Norman Goodwin, Jacques Hasbani, John Burgess Howard, Terry Elwin Raikes
  • Patent number: 5924686
    Abstract: A method for controlling the feeding of sheet material from a sheet feeding device, in which the sheets are stored in a stack and are fed seriatim by a feeding means to a staged position, in which the sheet is partially ejected from the feeding device, and in which the sheet must reach the staged position within total predetermined period of time from the moment that the feeding means is activated. The method comprises the steps of feeding the sheet from a stack to the staged position at a predetermined rate of speed and ascertaining whether the sheet reaches the staged position within intervals of time between each successively higher rate of speed. The operation of the feeding means is terminated when the sheet reaches the staged position within the total predetermined period of time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 1996
    Date of Patent: July 20, 1999
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Gary S. Jacobson, Wesley A. Kirschner
  • Patent number: 5812401
    Abstract: A portion of an address, such as a delivery point bar code (DPBC), a zip code, or similar postal code definition is stored in a postage meter. The stored address information is compared with an intended recipient's address inputted to the postage meter, and is used to stop users from illicitly using a postage meter to perform personal mailings, or otherwise to use the postage meter contrary to authorization given by a funding customer. The invention may also be used for allocation and tracking of payments for various mail charges in accordance with inputted address information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 22, 1998
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventor: Wayne D. Moore
  • Patent number: 5787278
    Abstract: A report generation system and method for generating a report at predetermined timed intervals is described. In accordance with the teachings of this invention, system usage data is read from a memory device. A report template file controls print control commands which identifies the system usage data which should be printed in a report along with the report format characteristics. The formatted report is then inserted into an envelope, ready to be mailed by the user. The present invention further includes a system and method for identifying a current version of software installed in a mailing system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 1994
    Date of Patent: July 28, 1998
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Maya Barton, James L. Harman, Gary S. Jacobson, Stephen Tymoszuk, Eric L. Zuidema
  • Patent number: 5734476
    Abstract: The invention is a method and apparatus for measuring the dimensions of a parcel for use in a parcel processing application of a data processing device, wherein a parcel is placed in a predetermined position on a weighing scale with a platform having at least two raised sides for placing the parcel thereagainst. When the parcel is placed, beams from a first laser source and from a second laser source are transmitted onto the parcel at a first and second target spot wherein the target spots are a known distance from each other, and wherein the target spots are in a line parallel to the weighing scale. The beams are reflected back to a rotating mirror assembly and to a beam detector. The mirror assembly is located in a line parallel to one of the two laser beam sources and is rotated at a constant rate so as to focus on the first and second target spots. The angle of focus of the mirror assembly is determinative of the distance from the mirror assembly to the parcel surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 31, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 31, 1998
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventor: Daniel F. Dlugos
  • Patent number: 5724245
    Abstract: A postal scale having a programmable capability to automatically select inscriptions to be included in a postage meter indicia. The postal scale includes a CPU and memory, a load cell for determining the weight of a mail piece, a keyboard for input of postal information and a display for output of information to an operator; and determines postage value data for a mail piece in a conventional manner. In an inscription selection mode the postal scale outputs inscription selection data to a postage meter to select an appropriate inscription to be included in the meter indicia. The scale determines the inscription selection data as a prioritized function of postal information input by an operator to determine postage value data. In a programming mode an operator may program the function as a table stored in the scale memory.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 3, 1998
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: James P. Maher, Stanley Rydzak
  • Patent number: 5724524
    Abstract: The invention is a method and system for listing and brokering a commodity and its financial derivatives. The method identifies a plurality of characteristics of a particular commodity, and then enters those characteristics into the database of a data processing system utilizing a real-time clock. An exchange market for the commodity is established based upon a pre-selected set of its characteristics; and, after a market price for the commodity has been set, a class (or classes) of financial derivatives is established together with a financial exchange market for those derivatives. The characteristics of the derivatives comprise: a common descriptive link between varied commodity types; a contract length that runs from the purchase date of the contract to the performance date for the commodity; and, a contract price.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 3, 1998
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes, Inc.
    Inventors: William M. Hunt, Paul A. Levitsky
  • Patent number: 5639171
    Abstract: The invention is a method whereby the throughput of a printer is varied according to the length of the media piece (e.g., cut-sheet or envelope) that is being fed into the printer feed path. The media piece moves into the feed path by use of a set of take-up rollers and is directed toward a sensor; the sensor detects the piece's leading edge and becomes activated. The activated sensor in turn activates additional feed roller sets which move the media piece along the feed path. Additionally, the sensor detects the trailing edge of the media piece and asks the printer if another image is to be printed. If another image is to be printed, then the take-up rollers are activated and begin feeding the next piece of media. If another image is not to be printed, then the sensor is deactivated. The feed rollers move the media piece along the printer's feed path and toward a second sensor which detects the leading edge of the media piece and is activated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 17, 1997
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: William H. Brewster, Jr., Wayne D. Moore
  • Patent number: 5619244
    Abstract: The thermal ribbon cassette is attachable to a thermal printing apparatus, the cassette housing is formed by a forward section attached to a rear wall to define a chamber. A supply spool is rotatively mounted to the forward section and the rear wall in the chamber. The supply spool has an ink transfer ribbon continuously wrapped there around and a number of interrupters continuously formed around the edge of the spool. A drag spring is mounted to the rear wall and biased against the interrupters for providing a rotational drag force. The take-up spool is rotatively mounted to the forward section and the rear wall in the chamber, the ink transfer ribbon has one end fixably mounted to the take-up spool and a portion extending through slots in the housing such that a portion of the ink transfer ribbon extends externally to said chamber. A locking gear arrangement is provided for preventing rotation of the take-up spool except in a forward direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 1994
    Date of Patent: April 8, 1997
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventor: Robert E. Manna
  • Patent number: 5579449
    Abstract: The invention is a method whereby soft font data and graphic images which are stored on a host computer in a variety of formats are converted to a bitmap graphics format comprised of a group of printer commands designed for bitmap graphics printing and then downloaded and printed using a single set of printer control commands.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 1994
    Date of Patent: November 26, 1996
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventor: Kevin L. Strobel
  • Patent number: 5380109
    Abstract: A mailing machine comprising, structure for feeding a sheet in a path of travel, a fence for defining a direction of the path of travel and against which an edge of a sheet is normally registered for alignment thereof in the path of travel, structure for printing postage indicia on a sheet in the path of travel, the printing structure including a rotary postage indicia printing drum, the printing structure including structure for driving the drum, structure for controlling the sheet feeding and drum driving structure, the controlling structure including a microprocessor, the controlling structure including structure for sensing a sheet in the path of travel and providing a signal to the microprocessor when a sheet is fed into and out of blocking relationship with the sensing structure, the signal having a first magnitude when a sheet is not disposed in blocking relationship with the sensing structure, the signal having a second magnitude when a sheet is disposed in blocking relationship with the sensing struc
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 1992
    Date of Patent: January 10, 1995
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Alton B. Eckert, Jr., Dennis M. Gallagher, Thomas M. Pfeifer, Richard P. Schoonmaker
  • Patent number: 5350245
    Abstract: A machine comprising, structure for printing an indicia, structure for feeding a sheet having a leading edge downstream in a path of travel to the printing structure, structure for controlling the sheet feeding and printing structure, the controlling structure including a microprocessor, the controlling structure including structure for sensing the leading edge of a sheet in the path of travel, the sensing structure connected to the microprocessor and providing a signal thereto indicating that the leading edge has been sensed, the microprocessor programmed for commencing counting a predetermined time delay in response to the signal, the microprocessor programmed for causing the printing structure to commence printing the indicia on the sheet a selected marginal distance from the leading edge thereof corresponding to the predetermined time delay, the controlling structure including structure for manually selecting the marginal distance and thus the predetermined time delay from a plurality thereof, the control
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 1992
    Date of Patent: September 27, 1994
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventor: Dennis M. Gallagher
  • Patent number: 5337660
    Abstract: A mailing machine comprising, a base and a postage meter mounted on the base, the postage meter including a rotary postage indicia printing drum, the base including structure for driving the drum at a desired constant indicia printing speed corresponding to a desired reference voltage, the base including structure for controlling the postage printing drum, the controlling structure including a microprocessor connected to the drum driving structure, the controlling structure including structure for sequentially sensing a commencement and a completion of constant printing speed of the drum and providing corresponding successive signals to the microprocessor, the microprocessor programmed for providing a predetermined reference voltage corresponding to the desired drum printing speed, counting a time interval in response to receiving the successive constant speed commencement and completion signals, determining whether the counted time interval and the desired time interval are substantially equal, and storing t
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 1992
    Date of Patent: August 16, 1994
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Alton B. Eckert, Jr., Dennis M. Gallagher, Thomas M. Pfeifer, Richard P. Schoonmaker
  • Patent number: 5337665
    Abstract: A mailing machine, comprising a base including a deck, a postage meter removably mounted on the base, the postage meter including a rotary postage printing drum overhanging the deck, the base including means for feeding an envelope in a downstream path of travel to the drum, the base including means for selectively driving the drum for printing postage on an envelope fed thereto, envelope deflecting means including an elongate substantially rectangularly-shaped member having a predetermined length, the member including a substantially horizontally-extending first portion of the length thereof fixedly attached to the drum, the member including a second portion of the length thereof inclined downwardly from the first portion, the member including a third portion of the length thereof inclined upwardly from the second portion, the member including a fourth portion of the length thereof extending substantially horizontally from the third portion and disposed between and in sliding engagement with the drum and the
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 1993
    Date of Patent: August 16, 1994
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Arnold Fassman, Stephen J. Rigo, Alfred Spath
  • Patent number: 5337248
    Abstract: A mailing machine base comprising, structure for feeding a sheet having a leading edge and a trailing edge in a path of travel, the sheet feeding structure including a roller, the sheet feeding structure including structure for driving the roller at a desired sheet feeding speed corresponding to a desired reference voltage, structure for controlling the sheet feeding structure, the controlling structure including a microprocessor connected to the roller driving structure, the controlling structure including structure for sequentially sensing the leading and trailing edges of the sheet in the path of travel and providing corresponding successive signals to the microprocessor, the sheet having a predetermined length from the leading edge to the trailing edge thereof; and the microprocessor programmed for providing a predetermined reference voltage corresponding to the desired sheet feeding speed, counting a time interval in response to receiving the successive leading and trailing edge signals, determining whet
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 1992
    Date of Patent: August 9, 1994
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Alton B. Eckert, Jr., Dennis M. Gallagher, Thomas M. Pfeifer, Richard P. Schoonmaker
  • Patent number: 5331576
    Abstract: A mailing machine base comprising, structure for a direction of the path of travel and feeding a sheet in a path of travel, a fence defining against which the an edge of a sheet is normally registered for alignment therewith and thus in the direction of the path of travel, structure for controlling the sheet feeding structure, the controlling structure including a microprocessor connected to the sheet feeding structure, the controlling structure including structure for sensing a sheet fed into and out of blocking relationship with the sensing structure and providing a corresponding signal to the microprocessor, the signal having a first magnitude when a sheet is not disposed in blocking relationship with the sensing structure, the signal having a second magnitude when a sheet is disposed in blocking relationship with the sensing structure, the signal having a variable magnitude between the first and second magnitudes for less than a predetermined time interval when a sheet is fed into blocking relationship wi
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 1992
    Date of Patent: July 19, 1994
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Alton B. Eckert, Jr., Dennis M. Gallagher, John R. Nobile, Thomas M. Pfeifer