Patents Examined by Bryan Jaketic
  • Patent number: 6970841
    Abstract: A manufacturing process is migrated from an existing operation to a configure-to-order (CTO) system. As the CTO operation will eliminate the “machine-type model” (MTM) inventory of the existing operation, the emphasis is shifted to the components, or “building blocks”, which will still follow the build-to-stock scheme, due to their long leadtimes, and hence still require inventory. The solution involves an inventory-service trade-off of the new CTO system, resulting in performance gains, in terms of reduced inventory cost and increased service level. Other benefits include better forecast accuracy through parts commonality and risk-pooling, and increased customer demand, as orders will no longer be confined within a restricted set of pre-configured MTMs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 29, 2005
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Feng Cheng, Markus Ettl, Grace Yuh-Jiun Lin, David Da-Wel Yao
  • Patent number: 6889200
    Abstract: Preferred examples of a system and method for rapid collection and distribution of taxes are disclosed. The disclosed embodiments of the present invention provide a system and a method for point-of-sale collection and distribution of sales taxes on a frequent, regular basis, such as daily or weekly, or other periodic time intervals, that can be used for face-to-face, e-commerce, telephone or other transactions. The disclosed embodiments provide a system and a method for transferring funds from numerous merchants to numerous taxing authorities in an efficient manner, with each merchant seeking to transfer funds to perhaps several taxing authorities and each taxing authority seeking to receive funds from many merchants. According to other examples of the invention, a centralized distribution feature allows the merchants and the taxing authorities to each communicate with a single entity or other in transferring the funds.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2005
    Assignee: Fairshare, LLC
    Inventors: Richard Agee, Carolyn M. Ponder, Arthur D. Starbuck, Clark L. Ballantyne
  • Patent number: 6888928
    Abstract: The present invention relates to an arrangement in connection with supplementary services provided by different vendors, especially the interaction thereof, which supplementary services comprise appropriate standards and protocols, and for the purpose of giving the user a larger ability to influence the supplementary services in question, as well as improving the possibility for vendors to arrive at general standards which are more easy to interpret and which will reduce or eliminate the need of long interoperability tests, it is according to the present invention suggested to use Java as a new media channel, meaning that the arrangement further comprises means for the user to publish service information, advertisements and options to the remote user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2005
    Assignee: Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson
    Inventors: Børge Nilsen, Jan Holm, Johan Philip Steller, Richard Michael Collin
  • Patent number: 6873969
    Abstract: The present invention is a method and apparatus that automatically updates the presentation of available limited, fixed or time sensitive inventory, for sale or reservation, on a buyer interface in a time-sensitive and time-appropriate basis. The automatic two-way network communications method of the present invention provides the necessary coordination of inventory and sales between the seller interface and the buyer interface in either real time or near real time or as delayed or batch processing. This can take place by either manual or automatic means from the invention or from third party management or inventory control software. The invention allows for a substantial reduction of the communications and computer resources necessary to control and coordinate the availability, presentation, and sales of common, unique, or time-sensitive products, goods, and services.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 29, 2005
    Inventors: Lucinda Stone, Michael A. Dean
  • Patent number: 6871189
    Abstract: A data processing system for creating and administering a bond issue by a bond manager for a municipal taxing authority of a community. The apparatus includes a database configured to store for retrieval selected information regarding creation and administration of the bond issue, an element for storing and processing data representing information needed to determine bond utilization in the community governed by the municipal taxing authority, and an element for storing and processing data representing information about a specific real estate purchaser, the real estate to be purchased, the use to which the real estate will be put, and projected purchaser income and income growth to predict whether participation in a primary bond issue would be financially beneficial to the purchaser.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2005
    Inventors: Daniel L. Brier, Frederick N. Brier
  • Patent number: 6845365
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method and apparatus for creating and ordering customized branded merchandise over a computer network. A Internet site is provided that allows a consumer to create and order customized branded merchandise, such as bottles of soda. A customer may visit the WWW site utilizing a standard WWW browser executing on a computer. Once the customer has registered with the WWW site, the customer may place an order for an item of customized branded merchandise. The customer may also be asked to identify a graphic image for customizing the requested merchandise. The graphic image may be a digital photograph taken by the customer or other type of graphic image. Once the customer has identified a graphic image, the graphic image may be displayed for editing. The customer may be permitted to crop the graphic image or perform other types of image manipulations. A preview of the cropped or manipulated image may also be provided for the customer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 18, 2005
    Assignee: Jones Soda Co.
    Inventors: Ernest J. A. von Rosen, Vaclav Vincalek
  • Patent number: 6832208
    Abstract: A business process involves manually entering data from an invoice into a first database by a first person. The database includes a status indicator having various states. The invoice entry is audited by a second person who manually enters a subset of the data into the database. The subset is matched with the data entered by the first person and unmatched entries highlighted. The auditor may re-enter only data which he has entered. The invoice is then returned to the first person who may re-enter only data which he has entered or cancel the invoice. After there are no unmatched entries, the first person posts the data to a second database.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 14, 2004
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Charles F. Berry, Cindy L. Crowningshield, David C. Marsh
  • Patent number: 6829587
    Abstract: “The present invention is a method and apparatus that allows individual competing, as well as complementing suppliers, vendors, service providers, purveyors, and other types of sellers as companies, individuals, or as any other entity, controlled design and publication of print media advertising and outreach. The present invention allows for standards or guidelines to be set by print media and then automatically applied in the creation of advertising or outreach presentations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 7, 2004
    Inventors: Lucinda Stone, Michael A. Dean
  • Patent number: 6738750
    Abstract: The present invention is a method and apparatus that allows for the verification and substantiation of the purchase of access or admission to those facilities, sites, businesses, venues, sporting events, or reserved services that traditionally have controlled access by means of tickets, passes, admission documents, reservations, reservation confirmations, or other substantiation. The invention provides several methods for the buyer to provide an ID at the time of purchase, which is then transmitted electronically to the facility, site, business, venue, sporting event, or reserved service. That buyer ID is then confirmed by the facility, site, business, or venue by means of readers or scanners of the magnetic, smart, or optical ID cards or by other electronic means. This confirmation may automatically result in the printing of the tickets, passes, admission documents, reservation confirmations, or other documents required for admittance or automatic and immediate physical admittance of the buyer or ID holder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 18, 2004
    Inventors: Lucinda Stone, Michael A. Dean
  • Patent number: 6691871
    Abstract: A personalized message-blanket package enclosing a plurality of customer-selected tangible items for delivery to a plurality of recipients. In the preferred embodiment, the package comprises a blanket that completely covers its outer surface with the customer's message imprinted or otherwise impressed thereon. The present invention also provides a system and a method for generating such a message-blanket package by a customer interfacing with a personal computer that is connected to the Internet or to an intranet. By engaging with this interface, the customer gains interactive access to specially-designed software located on a host file-server in order to generate a customized multifaceted message consisting of a combination of pertinent verbiage, graphics images, clipart, and music. This customized message is physically imprinted upon the outer surface of the front and back panel of the message-blanket package.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2004
    Inventor: Elizabeth Moeller
  • Patent number: 6691094
    Abstract: A bank loan trading system and method is provided to utilize an electronic facility to facilitate the trading of bank loans. Sellers and buyers enter offers and bids that are posted to all potential buyers and sellers, unless the orders are undisclosed. It is determined whether there is a match between one of the bids and one of the offers of the same loan. If an order can be filled, the system and method provide various confirmation techniques to ensure that a resultant trade does not violate the terms of the bank loan itself. If an order can be filled partially and the remaining portion of the order may be filled in part or in full, the party entering the initial partial order is given the choice of entering into the second trade. Buyers and sellers also can enter linked orders representing two different orders for the same loan and upon filling one of the linked orders, the other order is canceled.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 1999
    Date of Patent: February 10, 2004
    Inventor: Lee N. Herschkorn
  • Patent number: 6654726
    Abstract: An online communication schema for inquiring and tracking status of an online order for a product is provided. The communication schema comprises a consumer status request message, which includes a source identifier identifying a web site from which the consumer status request message originated, and a customer identifier identifying a customer who originated the status request message. The communication schema also comprises a consumer status reply message, which includes an order number, and order status information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 25, 2003
    Assignee: Ford Motor Company
    Inventor: Joe J. Hanzek
  • Patent number: 6622127
    Abstract: A warehouse management system that maximizes throughput and reduces carrying costs by reducing the number of stops that a container makes in the process of fulfilling a customer order. This is accomplished by allocating inventory to orders using the following series of considerations. First, the system selects a pod in order to maximize throughput. If there are multiple locations within the pod that stock the same inventory item, then the method chooses one of those locations based upon the expiration date. Finally, if multiple of these locations have units that expire within the same expiration period, the location with the fewest units is chosen.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2003
    Assignee: Kaiser Foundation Hospitals
    Inventors: Boris Klots, William Henry Waddington, Patricia C. Grewell, Peter Ham, Susan L. Griese, Gerry Perham
  • Patent number: 6618706
    Abstract: A system, method and related apparatus are described for reducing channel conflict between a manufacturer's direct sales channel and an indirect sales channel of independent sellers. The method generally includes receiving customer orders from the sellers or on behalf of the sellers through the indirect sales channel and receiving customer orders directly through the direct sales channel. A defined portion of the revenue derived through the direct sales channel is allocated into a compensation pool. At the end of a distribution cycle, the compensation pool is distributed among a plurality of sellers in the indirect sales channel based on each seller's sales contribution.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 1, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2003
    Assignee: Everdream Corporation
    Inventors: Lyndon Rive, Ray Morgan
  • Patent number: 6615186
    Abstract: An in-vehicle device data communicates with data processing resources for the purpose of transacting e-commerce and e-business. The in-vehicle device and the data processing resources can effectuate a wide variety of e-commerce and e-business including accessing auto part databases, warranty, customer, and other databases. In addition, e-commerce and e-business transactions can include vehicle security and vehicle service management, data communicating Internet based radio, audio, MP3, MPEG, video, and other data. Furthermore, e-commerce and e-business transactions can include interactive advertising, promotional offers, coupons, and other remote data communications. The in-vehicle device can also include functionality for remote monitoring of vehicle performance, data communicating and accessing remote Internet based content and data, and effectuating adjustments and control of vehicle operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 2, 2003
    Assignee: USA Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: H. Brock Kolls
  • Patent number: 6609108
    Abstract: An online communication schema for communicating online vehicle orders is provided. The communication schema includes a customer request message, which includes an order message having order information, contact information and vehicle configuration. The order message includes a fleet order message, a retail order message, and a tagged order message. The communication schema further includes a lead message having lead information, contact information, vehicle configuration, and dealer information. The communication schema further includes an order confirmation message.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 19, 2003
    Assignee: Ford Motor Company
    Inventors: Timothy E. Pulliam, Don G. Bartkowiak, Daryl L. Champagne
  • Patent number: 6606604
    Abstract: Ordering information required for recurring purchase of frequently purchased items, such as an HTML order form and item and pricing information, is cached within a customer's data processing system separately from the browser cache. The item and pricing information includes an associated validity period and is incrementally updated as necessary. Orders may thus be assembled on the customer's data processing system with little or no communication with the retailer's server, then transmitted to the retailer's server for processing when complete, reducing network traffic and server loading for the recurring transactions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 12, 2003
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventor: Rabindranath Dutta
  • Patent number: 6598027
    Abstract: Systems, methods and computer program products are provided for anonymously buying and selling regulated goods, such as agricultural chemicals, via auctions conducted over a computer network. A seller of regulated goods submits a request to the Web site of an intermediary to list the regulated goods for sale. The intermediary verifies that the seller is authorized to sell the regulated goods using information about the seller maintained by the intermediary. The intermediary also verifies that a bidder is authorized to purchase the regulated goods using information about the bidder maintained by the intermediary. The intermediary initiates delivery of the regulated goods from the seller to winning bidder(s) and initiates a transfer of funds from winning bidder(s) to a seller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2003
    Assignee: XS, Inc.
    Inventors: Napier Fulton Breen, Jr., Randall Hompesch
  • Patent number: 6587839
    Abstract: A method of informing a customer that their photofinishing order is ready to picked up at a retailer. An electronic notification is sent to the customer when the order has been completed, the notification containing at least one image of the plurality of image in the customer order. A notice may also be sent to retail provider where the order is to picked-up by the customer. The method also includes the ability for the consumer to direct that the order be sent to a particular retail establishment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2003
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventors: Dale F. McIntyre, Andrew T. Cooper, Robert F. Weir
  • Patent number: 6578013
    Abstract: A system includes a computing device for storing criteria under which a customer is authorized to purchase a physical item. The computing device receives a request from the customer. In response to the request satisfying the stored criteria, the computing device outputs a signal for purchasing the physical item. The stored criteria may include a monetary budget for purchasing the physical item. The computing device is for modifying the stored criteria to reduce the monetary budget in response to the signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2003
    Assignee: Dell USA, L.P.
    Inventors: Rose King Davis, Robert L. McMahan, John Pate