Patents Assigned to United States Postal Service
  • Patent number: 10380598
    Abstract: A method and system for tracking the status of a label. The system can include a memory with a database. The database can include an indicator of the label status. The system can additionally include a processor that operates in accordance with instructions stored in the memory. The processor can receive a request to generate a label, update the first database with an identifier that indicates the existence of the label, receive a signal indicating that a service requested by the label has been provided, and update the identifier in the first database to indicate that the requested service has been provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2019
    Assignee: UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE
    Inventors: John Gullo, Jason Hugo, Shea R. Felix, Mark J. Briganti
  • Patent number: 10373098
    Abstract: The principles of the present invention provide the ability to flexibly change the delivery point and time for a mail item, while the item is en route. The recipient, sender, or mailer may flexibly change the delivery point of the item alone or in combination with each other. While an item is en route between the sending point and the delivery point, a notification is sent to indicate that the item is in transit. In response, the delivery of the item may be changed. For example, the destination specified by the sender (e.g., the delivery address written on the item) may be changed or a delivery time may be specified. The item is then delivered to the new delivery point and/or at the specified delivery time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2019
    Assignee: UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE
    Inventors: Edward J. Kuebert, Scott R. Bombaugh, William J. Dowling
  • Publication number: 20190234105
    Abstract: Described herein is locking apparatus, method for making a locking apparatus, and method for mounting a locking apparatus to the door of a personal storage container. The locking apparatus may include a threaded portion having deformed threads and a lock body shape to fit a restrictive mounting hole.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 5, 2019
    Publication date: August 1, 2019
    Applicant: UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE
    Inventors: Donald E. IRWIN, Michael L. SPEARS, Robert DALTON
  • Patent number: 10351347
    Abstract: Methods and systems for in route mail sorting and packaging are disclosed. One aspect disclosed is a vehicle including a freight bay. The freight bay includes a plurality of item storage bins. The freight bay also includes a robot. The robot includes a means for grasping items and moving them between the item storage bins. For example, the robot may include an item manipulating attachment that in some aspects may include two or more extending portions for grasping items. The robot may assemble item packages from a plurality of individual items based on addresses of the items. The robot may also manipulate shrink wrap around the item package and position the item package within a station that heats the package and causes the shrink wrap to shrink around the items in the package, thereby forming the items into a package that is easy to deliver to a single address.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2019
    Assignee: United States Postal Service
    Inventors: Ryan M. Luckay, Robert E Dixon, Jr., Gregory Cooil
  • Patent number: 10346891
    Abstract: A method and system is provided for notifying an addressee about a mail piece having an address. The system captures an image of the mail piece and determines a communication channel for the addressee using the address from the mail piece. The system provides the addressee with the image via the communication channel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2019
    Assignee: UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE
    Inventor: Michael J. Amato
  • Patent number: 10325240
    Abstract: A method, electronic device, and computer-readable storage medium are. In one embodiment, a method is provided for receiving a request to display a calendar associated with a delivery point of a user, accessing shipment information associated with the user, the shipment information including a record of physical delivery items and electronic delivery items, and displaying, for each day on the calendar, a count of the physical delivery items and electronic delivery items.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2019
    Assignee: United States Postal Service
    Inventors: Chandra A. Briggman, Jane Elizabeth Quenk, Timothy M. Moran, Kelley A. Sullivan, Robert E. Dixon, Jr.
  • Patent number: 10325191
    Abstract: Methods and systems consistent with the present invention provide a barcode image. A client is operable to create a request for a barcode image and send the request to a server. The request comprises data to be converted to a barcode. The server is operable to receive the request from the client via a network, generate a barcode image from the data, and encode the barcode image. Thereafter, the server provides the encoded image to the client.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 21, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2019
    Assignee: United States Postal Service
    Inventors: Kyle M. Dixon, Stephen M. Dearing
  • Patent number: 10315797
    Abstract: Embodiments of a reusable stackable shipping box are provided herein. The reusable stackable shipping box may be reused and cleaned without causing harm to the integrity of the box. In addition, the box is slightly tapered in shape such that the box may be stacked upon and within other boxes for ease in shipping and organization.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2019
    Assignee: United States Postal Service
    Inventor: Jim E. Lee
  • Patent number: 10317229
    Abstract: A method and system for generating a location identifier using a location code and a grid coordinate. The location code corresponds to a defined geographical area, such as a postal code or an area code. A grid coordinate can be determined based on destination location information, such as an address, a GPS-determined position, or other reference to a specific physical location. The location identifier is combined with the location code to generate a location identifier, which can be encoded in a computer readable format and placed on items for use in a distribution network. The location identifier can be used to facilitate domestic or international distribution of items using a common format or addressing scheme. The domestic and foreign distribution networks read and interpret location identifiers in order to deliver items.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2019
    Assignee: United States Postal Service
    Inventors: Clayton C. Bonnell, Gary C. Reblin
  • Patent number: 10293380
    Abstract: Methods, systems and devices for item processing. The systems can include a PASS module that can include features that receive inputs relating to an item for processing and provide those inputs to other components and/or modules of a PASS system and/or of another system. The PASS system can include a variety of modules, including the PASS module, and can collect information and/or inputs from the variety of modules of the PASS system and use that information in item processing. The methods of item processing can use the PASS system and the PASS module to perform a variety of functions including, for example, revenue protection, sorting of items, task management, sampling and data collection, redirecting if enroute items, and personnel management.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2019
    Assignee: United States Postal Service
    Inventors: Stephen M. Dearing, Carla F. Sherry
  • Patent number: 10294039
    Abstract: A device, system, and method for detecting a covering sleeve on a container. A sleeve detection system includes a conveyor, a height profile acquisition device, and a processor in communication with the height profile acquisition device. The height profile acquisition device is configured to acquire height profiles of a tray traveling on the conveyor. The processor is configured to analyze height profiles received from the height profile acquisition device to determine a sleeve status of the tray. In some embodiments, a light gate is disposed across the conveyor and configured to detect the presence of a tray on the conveyor approaching the height profile acquisition device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2019
    Assignee: United States Postal Service
    Inventors: Austin C. Bouchard, Alexander S. Klinger
  • Patent number: 10287107
    Abstract: Embodiments of a system and method for shingulating, singulating, and synchronizing articles in an article feeder system are disclosed. The article feeder system may include a shingulating device configured to receive a stack of articles and to produce a positively lapped stack of articles, a plurality of picking devices configured to pick one or more articles from the positively lapped stack of articles and to produce one or more singulated articles, and one or more synchronization devices configured to deliver the one or more singulated articles to one or more sorter windows.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2019
    Assignee: United States Postal Service
    Inventors: John W. Brown, Edward F. Houston, Juan A. Roman, Leung M. Shiu, Riley H. Mayhall, Thomas A. Hillerich, Jr., Jacob L. Timm, Matthew G. Good, William P. McConnell, Robert L. Schlender, Christopher D. Austin
  • Patent number: 10281931
    Abstract: A system, apparatus, and method for use in delivery of items to a storage unit. The storage unit can include one or several storage receptacles and a control unit that controls and monitors the status of the one or several storage receptacles. The storage unit may be included in a storage unit system that can include one or several storage units and a central control unit. The central control unit can communicate with the one or several storage units, and can receive status and availability updates from the one or several storage units.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2019
    Assignee: United States Postal Service
    Inventors: Donald E. Irwin, Nan K. McKenzie, William A. Tartal, Victoria K. Stephen, Michael J. Amato
  • Patent number: 10275969
    Abstract: A method of illuminating an item is disclosed. The method includes applying adhesive to the item, interspersing a taggant in the adhesive, illuminating the item with an excitation signal, sensing luminescence emitted by the taggant in response to illumination by the excitation signal, and determining the authenticity of the item based on the sensed emitted luminescence. The item can include any item benefited by authentication, and can include a postage stamp. A method of customizing an item is disclosed. This can include the steps of preparing a substrate, applying a security feature to the substrate, printing non-customized information on the substrate, receiving image information, and printing the image information on the substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 13, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2019
    Assignee: United States Postal Service
    Inventors: Khalid Hussain, Marie Therese Dominguez, David E. Failor, William G. Ackerman
  • Patent number: 10273107
    Abstract: Systems, devices and methods for receiving an item in a receptacle are disclosed. Features are disclosed for receiving and guiding an item in a receiving space of a receptacle so as to attenuate or remove the impact force of the item on the receptacle. Some embodiments of the disclosure include a bumper having an impact surface which absorbs most or all of the impact force of the item and thereby mitigates or removes the imposition of cyclic impact loads on the receptacle from repeated receipt of items. The bumper may be structurally and/or functionally de-coupled or otherwise physically separated from the receptacle such that an advantageous division of labor is created between absorbing the impact and receiving the item. This disclosure may be useful, for example, in modern industrial operations where a high volume of items are received daily, such as in mail sorting and handling operations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2019
    Assignee: United States Postal Service
    Inventors: Dongliang Yang, James E. Goodbar, III
  • Patent number: 10277575
    Abstract: A system and method of validating an upgrade of authentication credentials includes authenticating a first user being associated with a first entity, receiving input identifying a customer name for the online account, receiving input indicating a type of identification to be presented at the validation event, receiving input indicating a transaction code associated with the validation event, and receiving input indicating a location of the validation event, and further includes authenticating a second user being associated with a second entity, providing to the second user a list of validation events for a location, receiving input selecting a validation event in the list of validation events, presenting one or more of the customer name, transaction code, and type of identification associated with the selected validation event, and receiving input indicating a result of the validation event, where a credential or token is created and assigned based on the validation event.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2019
    Assignee: United States Postal Service
    Inventors: Timothy M. Moran, Jane E. Quenk, Douglas Paul Glair, Charles P. McLellan
  • Patent number: 10267058
    Abstract: Described herein is locking apparatus, method for making a locking apparatus, and method for mounting a locking apparatus to the door of a personal storage container. The locking apparatus may include a threaded portion having deformed threads and a lock body shape to fit a restrictive mounting hole.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 6, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2019
    Assignee: United States Postal Service
    Inventors: Donald E. Irwin, Michael L. Spears, Robert Dalton
  • Patent number: 10267065
    Abstract: Receptacle locking devices are disclosed. A receptacle locking device having a contact arm and a pivoting feature can be pivoted from a first, unlocked position to a second, locked position, wherein the contact arm prevents opening of the receptacle door when the locking device is in the second, locked position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 16, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2019
    Assignee: United States Postal Services
    Inventors: James Edmund Matthews, Joram Shenhar, Terry Martin Gingell, Donald Eugene Irwin, William Albert Tartal
  • Patent number: 10248988
    Abstract: System and method for providing electronic manifesting access for users of a distribution network. A distribution network may provide a user access point, such as by providing application programming interfaces. The access point may provide access the item tracking module upon receipt of valid credentials, such as a user's unique identifier. The access point may receive item information, generate an electronic manifest including the item information and the unique identifier, and allow for tracking the items on the electronic manifest.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2019
    Assignee: United States Postal Service
    Inventors: Robert E. Dixon, Kelley A. Sullivan
  • Patent number: D855929
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2019
    Assignee: UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE
    Inventors: Ryszard K. Mikolajczyk, Taurris D. Baskerville