Patents Examined by Allen R. MacDonald
  • Patent number: 6393411
    Abstract: A secure funds device for use with a computer system, such as a personal computer, for transferring funds, in response to a funds transfer request for amounts of funds from the computer system, to a funds receiver. One or more electronic cash devices store electronic funds and transfer funds in response to funds transfer request when authorized by an authorization signal. A processor is used for connecting the funds transfer request from the computer system to the electronic cash device and for transferring electronic funds from the electronic cash device to the computer system when the authorization signal is present. User control means, including for example a pushbutton switch and an LCD display, that is not accessible by the computer system is used for providing the authorization signal. The secure funds device has a secure interface that prevents the computer system from generating the authorization signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2002
    Assignee: Amdahl Corporation
    Inventors: Richard Leslie Bishop, Robert Peter Freeman
  • Patent number: 6292783
    Abstract: A document information system and a computer implemented method for use in the field of home healthcare, post-acute clinical care, hospice and home infusion comprising a data storage means, phone interface means for inputting and retrieving data and a verification means using one or more calendars to verify medical tasks.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 18, 2001
    Assignee: Plexar & Associates
    Inventors: David P. Rohler, Thomas E. Dechant, Michelle F. Boasten
  • Patent number: 6289312
    Abstract: In a computer system, a method enables an application program to interact aurally with a user. The application program including calls to perform input and output. The calls include parameters. The method identifies functions of an input/output driver. The functions are called by the calls of the application program. The functions are augmented to process the parameters according to an execution context of the application program. The augmented functions are linked to speech processing modules. The speech processing modules generating aural output dependent on the parameters of the calls and the execution context of the application program. The speech processing modules include speak line, speak word, speak letter, speak icon modules for generating the aural output as spoken lines, words, and letters. In addition, the aural output can be modified by voice, personality, and background modules. Graphic icons can be rendered as distinctive sounds.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2001
    Assignee: Digital Equipment Corporation
    Inventor: T. V. Raman
  • Patent number: 6285987
    Abstract: A system for providing advertisements from a central server to viewers who access web sites. The central server stores both advertisements which are to be displayed and an information data base. The data base includes information about viewers, information about the characteristics of particular web sites and other information relevant to which advertisements should be displayed for particular viewers. Proposed bids submitted by different advertisers are evaluated in real time in order to determine which particular advertisement will be displayed to a viewer. Each proposed bid can specify a price or amount that the advertiser is willing to pay for the opportunity to display an advertisement (a) to a viewer who has a particular set of characteristics and (b) on a web site and web page that meets a particular set of criteria.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2001
    Assignee: Engage, Inc.
    Inventors: David William Roth, Dylan Salisbury
  • Patent number: 6272467
    Abstract: This invention relates to an automated method for identifying matches between a set of predetermined traits and a set of preferences. This method can be used to find compatible matches in a variety of situation s where participants are identified by a profile of traits and a set of criteria desired in at match, including, for example, matching candidates to residency program, and matching job hunters with employment opportunities. The present invention offers advantages and improvements over prior computer matching systems because, it provides an automated, effective method for matching traits with corresponding preferences and insures that only matches of the highest degree are made. The, present invention utilizes two-way matching of selected criteria, which measures not only how compatible the potential match is with the desired traits of the user, but also how well the user fits the potential match's idea of the perfect match.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2001
    Assignee: Spark Network Services, Inc.
    Inventors: Pierre E. Durand, Michael D. Low, Melissa K. Stoller
  • Patent number: 6266650
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to a mail-order shopping system which allows a user to do electronic mail-order shopping by a simple operation without using a personal computer and to correctly acquire information of goods. An adapter including both a memory for registering user's information specifying a user and a modem for communicating with a mail-order firm, is connected to the DVD reproduction apparatus. The catalog information, recognition information of the mail-order firm, and communication programs representing a procedure for communication from the user to the mail-order firm, which are stored in a DVD for mail-order shopping, are reproduced by the DVD reproduction apparatus. The catalog information is displayed on a TV display, and both information of desired goods selected by the user and user's information registered in the memory of the adapter, are transmitted through a modem on the basis of the reproduced communication programs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2001
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventors: Toshihiro Sugaya, Kimiyoshi Ban
  • Patent number: 6226621
    Abstract: A system for administering an awards program for an apartment, office, retail or industrial property. The property in question is divided into units or spaces, and an award is provided to a person living in the property or working in the property if that person's actions result in a new resident or tenant. The value of an award is a function of the level of occupancy, and increases or decreases with increasing level of occupancy. The value of an award might be based on the percentage occupancy, the number of occupied units or the area occupied.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2001
    Inventor: Brad P. Warsh
  • Patent number: 6192346
    Abstract: The present invention provides a vacation and holiday scheduling system. The system includes a variety of objects to assist a business in controlling and managing the scheduling of vacations by their employees and for assisting the employees in bidding on vacation days and holidays based upon employee seniority.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 1995
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2001
    Assignee: IEX Corporation
    Inventor: Edwin Elliot Green
  • Patent number: 6185544
    Abstract: The processing system for charge request data of the present invention comprises data input means for inputting charge request data, including charge transfer day, requesting organization, paying organization and an amount of transfer, a master file where information relating to requesting organizations and paying organizations are registered, charge transfer processing means for preparing a charge transfer detailed file including individual charge request data where said charge request data are classified to each requesting organization based on said master file and summary data summarizing number of transfers and amount of transfer for each type of the requesting organization, and for preparing a transfer slip containing charge transfer information of each requesting organization for each paying organization from said charge transfer detailed file, initial cost data containing information necessary for processing for financial accounting, and overall charge transfer data on the day of transfer, and input/ou
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2001
    Assignees: Shimizu Construction Co., Ltd., NIT Data Corporation
    Inventors: Yoshitsugu Sakamoto, Shinsuke Kawahara, Kimio Handa, Hideto Nishizawa, Haruro Sato, Toshiyuki Furuya, Tsutomu Hosoi, Takashi Yamada, Fujio Wakabayashi
  • Patent number: 6185542
    Abstract: Transmitting via email by a store computer controlling a point of service terminal (POS) terminal, at which a transaction has been performed, transaction data to a personal computer of a customer making the transaction. The transaction data includes the actual items purchased with price and the grocery code of each item. The transaction data is transmitted as an email message via the Internet. The communication address of the customer computer is identified to the store computer by a store card that is utilized for other purposes or through the use of a standard credit card.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2001
    Assignee: Lucent Technologies Inc.
    Inventors: John C. Moran, Georgene M. Nielsen
  • Patent number: 6167384
    Abstract: A computer system, and methods for making and using it, for changing digital electrical signals to generate a valuation of a fractional interest in a contingent interest in property, the computer apparatus including: an input device operable for converting input data representing property into input digital electrical signals representing the input data; a digital electrical computer having a processor, the processor electrically connected to the input device to receive the input digital electrical signals, the processor programmed to change the input digital electrical signals to produce modified digital electrical signals representing a valuation of a fractional interest in a contingent interest in the property associated with at least one lease default condition for the property; a memory electrically connected to the processor, and wherein: the processor manipulates further digital electrical signals to generate at least one document for the contingent interest by inserting the valuation in preexisting te
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 1, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 26, 2000
    Assignee: Graff/Ross Holdings
    Inventor: Richard A. Graff
  • Patent number: 6161096
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for deferred award instrument plan by identifying at least one participant in the deferred award plan, retrieving financial data related to stock options corresponding to the identified participant, computing a spread associated with the retrieved stock options, establishing a rabbi trust with the spread, determining whether a life insurance policy has been purchased by the participant, determining whether a split dollar agreement has been executed, monitoring and paying at least one premium for the life insurance policy and notifying the participants that a payment associated with the life insurance policy has been paid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 12, 2000
    Inventor: Lawrence L. Bell
  • Patent number: 6154732
    Abstract: A system and method for a data processor implemented system monitor for enabling individual employee participants to access independent professional money management for their Benefit Plan assets in a manner that is free from the traditional economic conflicts of interest inherent in previous systems is disclosed. The system and method are adapted to separate the investment management functions and fees thereof from the participant investment advice function and the fees thereof. The system and method collects, monitors and directs information from employee Benefit Plan accounts, employees, employers, fund managers and professional investment advisors to provide professional investment advice in a non conflict of interest manner and in accordance with the regulatory restraints of ERISA.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2000
    Assignee: GuidedChoice.com
    Inventor: Brian Christopher Tarbox
  • Patent number: 6144945
    Abstract: A computer implemented process is provided for fast and accurate evaluation of the performance characteristics of the periodic-review (s,S) inventory policy with complete back ordering. This policy has an underlying stochastic process that is a renewal process. The method provides a novel computer implementation of a fast and accurate way to compute approximations of the renewal function. In order to overcome the computational problems in evaluating renewal functions numerically, an approximation scheme has been devised whereby the renewal function of the truncated normal distribution can be characterized by two parameters: (1) its coefficient of variation, and (2) the point at which the function needs to be evaluated. This approximation is derived in two stages. In the first stage, a class of rational polynomial approximations are developed to the renewal function, called Pade approximants.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2000
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Amit Garg, Jayant Ramarao Kalagnanam
  • Patent number: 6144944
    Abstract: A system for selecting and providing information. The system can include an advertisement server that provides selected advertisements in response to a request from a web page server. The request includes information that will allow the advertisement server to select an appropriate advertisement. The advertisement server includes a control program for controlling the selection of the advertisements. The control program communicates with one or more affinity engines. Each affinity engine determines an affinity (degree of relevance or indicator of matching) given advertisements have for the information corresponding to the request. The engines use different request information such as demographic information, page sponsor information, keyword sponsor information, etc.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2000
    Assignee: Imgis, Inc.
    Inventors: Stephen J. Kurtzman, II, Sandeep A. Nawathe
  • Patent number: 6144943
    Abstract: The invention provides a method and apparatus including a computer system for managing contract housekeeping services so as to improve the quality and value of the housekeeping services received. The method invention comprises a series of actions in order to generate a grade representative of the quality of housekeeping services. This grade is then used to make at least one decision regarding the management of housekeeping services. The management having an impact upon the physical appearance and maintenance of a given facility.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2000
    Assignee: Virginia Commonwealth University
    Inventor: Diane L. Minder
  • Patent number: 6138103
    Abstract: A decision-making method suitable for production planning in an uncertain demand environment. To this end, the method comprises combining an implosion technology with a scenario-based analysis, thus manifesting, a sui generis capability which preserves the advantages and benefits of each of its subsumed aspects.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2000
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Feng Cheng, Daniel Patrick Connors, Thomas Robert Ervolina, Ramesh Srinivasan
  • Patent number: 6134534
    Abstract: A conditional purchase offer (CPO) management system is disclosed for receiving CPOs from one or more customers, such as cruise and airline passengers, and for evaluating the received CPOs against a number of CPO rules defined by a plurality of sellers, such as cruise operators and airlines, to determine whether any seller is willing to accept a given CPO. A CPO is a binding offer containing one or more conditions submitted by a customer for purchase of an item, such as airline travel, at a customer-defined price. A CPO rule is a set of restrictions defined by a given seller, such as a cruise operator or an airline, to define a combination of restrictions for which the seller is willing to accept a predefined price. The CPO rules may be securely stored by one or more servers. The CPO management system permits a seller to correct for forecasting errors, if necessary, or other competitive forces which have produced excess capacity, by providing inventory for sale to CPO customers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 4, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 17, 2000
    Assignee: priceline.com Incorporated
    Inventors: Jay S. Walker, Thomas M. Sparico, T. Scott Case, Bruce Schneier
  • Patent number: 6131086
    Abstract: To allow viewers to easily purchase products shown in entertainment programs, the viewers call an operator terminal. The operator terminal is networked to a central controller, which is also networked to remote terminals. Remote terminal operators enter data about props used in programs, copies of which are to be offered for sale. These remote terminals transmit this data to the central controller for storage in a database. Operators at the operator terminals can access the data stored at the central controller to respond calls from viewers seeking to purchase products.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 10, 2000
    Assignee: Walker Digital, LLC
    Inventors: Jay S. Walker, James A. Jorasch, Sanjay K. Jindal, Thomas M. Sparico
  • Patent number: 6128600
    Abstract: Product data information to be stored in a product database is defined by setting essential items necessary to define products with respect to their essential parts, and setting optional items necessary to define optional products deriving from standards product defined by their essential items. A product definition section produces product data information on standard products based on the set essential items, and produces product data information on optional products based on the set optional items. This product data information is transferred from an electronic shop client to an electronic mall server to be stored into the product database through a product registering section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 3, 2000
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Etsuko Imamura, Hiroshi Koike, Yuri Honda, Yuji Mizote