Patents Represented by Attorney Steven J. Shapiro
  • Patent number: 8279064
    Abstract: The invention makes it easier for the post office to calculate accurately terminal dues by providing information to the post regarding each piece or parcel of mail that crosses an international border. The invention also makes it easier for the post offices to calculate terminal dues by obtaining fee information from mail that is sent internationally. The foregoing is accomplished by placing an indication on the mail that the fees for delivering the mail have been paid or will be paid by a mailer to each post office that handles the mail. For instance, if a mail piece is mailed in the United States and delivered to a destination in the United Kingdom, the mailer's postage meter will place a Radio Frequency Identification Tag (RFID) on the mail piece that indicates the portion of the delivery cost that is attributable to the United States post office and that portion of the delivery cost that is attributable to the Royal Mail.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 2, 2012
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Ronald P. Sansone, Erik Monsen
  • Patent number: 8235516
    Abstract: A method to improve the image of a printed barcode by enhancing coverage of the print pixels within solid printed areas to improve the print uniformity and decrease the graininess of the typical ink jet printing by dissolving a small percentage of the colorant and distributing more uniformly. The parameter improved by the invention is the graininess or uniformity of coverage. The contrast ratio within barcode data elements can be also improved without causing unwanted image bleed into unintended areas. Hence, the printed barcode will contain more clearly defined printed and non printed areas to enable the barcode to be accurately read. The invention prevents also unwanted bleeding in areas where it could lower the quality of the printed material by avoiding application of enhanced coverage facilitators when desired white space is identified within a minimum distance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2012
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Judith D. Auslander, Douglas B. Quine
  • Patent number: 8234845
    Abstract: A thru-beam sensor is positioned such that the beam passes through the crease line of the envelope when the envelope is parked in the insertion area. As the envelope enters the insertion area, the through beam sensor is set to current level A. The sensor is used to accurately position the envelope based on the passing of the lead edge. Once the envelope is in position, the current in the thru-beam emitter pair is raised until the envelope is no longer obstructing the line of sight of the sensor. From this state, the insert or plurality of inserts that are entering the accumulator can be detected, as the presence of the inserts will inhibit light transmission between the emitter and receiver. Using the sensor system proposed here, the inserts trailing edge can be detected at the crease line of the envelope.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2012
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: James A. Fairweather, Gary S. Jacobson, Robert J. Allen, George J. Doutney, Michael J. Lorello
  • Patent number: 8126822
    Abstract: A method that enables the post to deliver letters, flats, post cards and packages (mail) addressed to a recipient's virtual post office box and then to be delivered directly to the recipient. The process enables individuals or entities to rent a virtual post office (VPO) box i.e., a box that does not physically exist, from the post office (“post”). Mail addressed to the virtual post office box would be captured by the post during the post's sortation process and rerouted to the specified address of the renter of the virtual post office box.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 1999
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2012
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Ronald P. Sansone, Fran E. Blackman, Daniel F. Dlugos, Leon A. Pintsov, Denis J. Stemmle, Francis X. Hines, Jr.
  • Patent number: 8073195
    Abstract: In a mailing machine, an image element included in a postage meter indicium printed on a mail piece is transported past a linear image capture device. The image capture device is operated to produce a smeared image of the image element. The smeared image is then automatically analyzed to detect failures in the print elements of a postage meter that is part of the mailing machine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2011
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Douglas B. Quine, John P. Miller
  • Patent number: 7995246
    Abstract: The present invention is concerned with detection of a “fragile watermark” in a printed image to aid in a determination whether a document under examination is an original or a copy. The watermark may be applied by phase-space encoding data to be included in the watermark. The image may be examined on a block-by-block basis after scanning. Correlation of detected watermark strength with block brightness and/or with wave vectors used for encoding may be used to detect that the image is a copy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2011
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Robert A. Cordery, Claude Zeller, Bertrand Haas
  • Patent number: 7991705
    Abstract: A method for providing a mailer with detailed information regarding the mailer's preparation of mail entities and the post's processing of mail entities. The foregoing allows the mailer to improve subsequent preparation of mail entities to make it easier for the post to process and deliver mail in a timely manner. The invention also allows the post and the mailer to distinguish between mailer's processing defects and errors caused by faulty postal equipment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2011
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Leon A Pintsov, Andrei Obrea
  • Patent number: 7983791
    Abstract: A method for coding the address location on a document or in a data base so that two or more electronic mailings with differing address placements may be combined together and sorted while the mailings are still in electronic form in order to take advantage of workshare discounts, delivery sequence efficiency, desired delivery date, class of delivery service, etc.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2011
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventor: James A. Fairweather
  • Patent number: 7966267
    Abstract: A method and system for authenticating an item by using a security marking. The security marking is provided on the item with an OVD ink capable of absorbing light in a visible wavelength range to appear visibly black and producing a red fluorescent emission under ultraviolet excitation. Under visible light illumination and ultraviolet excitation, a visible image and a fluorescent image are obtained from the security marking using image scanners. The images are compared to find a substantial match with each other. The security marking can be a postage indicium, a barcode, a symbol, a message or an image. The item to be authenticated can be a mailpiece, a banknote, a tag, a ticket, a document, an identification card, or the like.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 21, 2011
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Judith D. Auslander, Robert A Cordery, Claude Zeller
  • Patent number: 7889885
    Abstract: A method for detecting whether perforations are present on the edge of an image of a form, such as a check, includes obtaining a bitmap of the image, identifying a selected portion of the bitmap that corresponds to at least the edge and that includes a matrix of a plurality of rows and columns of brightness values, and selecting a particular one of the rows of brightness values. The method further includes performing a Fourier transform of the brightness values included in the particular selected row to generate a Fourier transform output, and determining whether a series of perforations is present based on the Fourier transform output. The method may also include steps wherein the brightness values are low pass filtered and wherein the values in the selected row are high pass filtered prior to the step of performing a Fourier transform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 15, 2011
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Robert A Cordery, Matthew J Campagna, Thomas J Foth, Bertrand Haas, Douglas B Quine
  • Patent number: 7819395
    Abstract: There is provided a sheet handling machine comprising: a drive source; a first driven shaft arranged to receive drive from the drive source at least when the drive source drives in a first direction of rotation; a feed roller shaft; a feed roller mounted on the feed roller shaft for feeding sheets when the feed roller shaft is driven; and a rotatably supported drive transmission for selectively engaging drive transmission from the first driven shaft to the feed roller shaft in dependence upon the rotational position of the drive transmission. A mailpiece creation apparatus is also provided, illustrating one application of such a machine, as well as associated methods for sheet handling and mailpiece creation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 26, 2010
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Ltd.
    Inventor: Geoffrey A. Farmer
  • Patent number: 7753364
    Abstract: The sheet capacity of a pivoting feed head is combined with a complimentary pivoting design for the paper tray lift, such that a large total capacity of sheets is attained within a compact space, while allowing the lifting mechanisms to be located outside of the perimeter of the paper tray.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 13, 2010
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas M. Lyga, James A. Salomon, James A. Fairweather, Norman R. Lilly, Anthony W. Chiappetta
  • Patent number: 7756796
    Abstract: A method and system for enabling a mailer to sort incoming mail pieces in accordance with changeable criteria that are important to the mailer. This invention accomplishes the foregoing by placing a unique identifier or code tying the mail piece to a data file on each business reply envelope, on or in each windowed envelope or post card that is sent to a customer and returned to the mailer. The unique identifier would enable the mailer to establish parameters for evaluating the unique identifier so as to set a priority for processing mail that is in the mail stream, i.e. prioritize mail that is received just before a late fee is due to improve customer relations. The code tying the mail piece to a data file may be used by the mailer to track payment cycles, order the sortation of incoming mail based upon credit balances, process mail based upon the expected amount of the enclosed check. The foregoing would enable the mailer to receive monies earlier and improve the mailers cash flow.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 13, 2010
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Kevin W. Bodie, Edward P. Daniels, Jr.
  • Patent number: 7699303
    Abstract: A feeder for feeding media items from a tray includes a first nudger roller and a second nudger roller. The first and the second nudger roller are moveably mounted to the feeder. The first and the second nudger rollers are in a first position when a tray of a first type is connected to said feeder the first and said second nudger rollers are in a second position when a tray of a second type is connected to said feeder. The tray of a first type may be a shingle feed tray and the tray of a second type may be a stacks feed tray. With the shingle feed tray the first position for the first and the second nudger rollers are where each nudger roller engages each media item in a shingles tray when each such media item is positioned in the shingles tray to exit the shingles tray and to be moved from the shingles tray into said feeder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 20, 2010
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: James A. Fairweather, Thomas M. Lyga, Theresa Bartick
  • Patent number: 7647278
    Abstract: A method includes inputting into the computer a digital content file of the merchant, the digital content file including a header with information related to purchasing a digital content product and the digital content product in encoded form. The computer reads the downloaded header and displays at least some of the information related to purchasing the digital content product while concurrently downloading the encoded digital content product into the computer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 12, 2010
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas J. Foth, Brian M. Romansky
  • Patent number: 7539651
    Abstract: A mail production system is described, the system comprising a mail finishing system for converting documents into finished items of mail ready for hand-over to a postal service, and a secure accounting system for generating accounting data relating to the items of mail produced by the mail finishing system, wherein the secure accounting system is able to generate signals to control operation of the mail finishing system. Specifically the secure accounting system is able to delay or stop operation of the mail finishing system. A corresponding method of producing mail is also described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2009
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Ltd.
    Inventors: Vincent Rozendaal, Stephen Kelly
  • Patent number: 7527262
    Abstract: An offsetting device for use in a mail stacking system receiving a plurality of mailpieces at a receiving end for stacking the mailpieces along a line. The offsetting device has a nip to engage with the mailpieces, and a plurality of rollers to change the moving speed of the mailpiece so as to cause the aligning edge of the mailpiece to misalign with line so as to provide a break in a stack. Alternatively, the rollers can be used to align a mailpiece in relation to the line so as to true stacking.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 2005
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2009
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventor: David W. Beckstrom
  • Patent number: 7523929
    Abstract: A method and an arrangement for feeding shingled media item includes a tray for supporting a stack of shingled media items. The tray has an exit area and each of the media items has a bottom edge. A feeder separates and feeds media items from the shingled stack of media items. The tray is connected to the feeder with a first and a second cavity formed at the exit area of the feed tray and the front of the feeder such that media items moved from the tray into the feeder are supported on a portion of the media item bottom edge. A rail structure is attached to the surface for supporting the media items bottom edge adjacent the media item exit area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2009
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Donald Surprise, Norman R. Lilly, James A. Fairweather, Theresa Bartick
  • Patent number: 7427059
    Abstract: A materials handling system includes an insertion subsystem for inserting materials into envelopes to form mailpieces of a first type and mailpieces of a second type. The materials handling syatem also includes a first mailpiece transport path located downstream from the insertion subsystem and having a curved portion along which mailpieces of said first type are transported, and a second mailpiece transport path being substantially horizontal, located downstream from the insertion subsystem, and along which mailpieces of the second type are transported. Further, a diverter is included that diverts mailpieces of the first type to the first transport path and mailpieces of the second type to the second transport path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 2005
    Date of Patent: September 23, 2008
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas M. Lyga, Carl R. Chapman
  • Patent number: 7427063
    Abstract: A media item feed tray with an exit area for media items includes a sled moveable toward and away from the feed tray exit area. A biasing surface is mounted to the tray and extends away from the feed tray exit area. A spring member is mounted on the moveable sled and is connected to the biasing surface such that when the moveable sled is moved away from the feed tray exit area energy is stored in the spring member. The biasing surface may be a shaped rail with a cam surface and the moveable member may include a cam follower which engages the shaped rail cam surface. A first cam section and a second cam section can be provided with the moveable sled urged toward the feed tray exit area when the cam follower engages the shaped rail first cam surface section and urged away from the feed tray exit area when the cam follower engages the shaped rail second cam surface section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 2005
    Date of Patent: September 23, 2008
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: James A. Fairweather, Donald Surprise, James A. Salomon, Norman R. Lilly, Thomas M. Lyga