Patents Examined by David L. Trafton
  • Patent number: 5053607
    Abstract: A check processing device is particularly adapted for retailer/customer use at the point-of-sale through use of a MICR read head means, printer means and keypad means which feed information into a CPU which communicates, through an existing telecommunication system, with the customer's bank and the retailer's bank in order to transfer funds from the account of the customer to the account of the retailer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 1989
    Date of Patent: October 1, 1991
    Inventors: Steven R. Carlson, Paul R. Carlson
  • Patent number: 5045676
    Abstract: There are disclosed improved optical information storage cards or tape which include on a substrate thereof a plurality of offset and interlacing data rings.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 1988
    Date of Patent: September 3, 1991
    Inventor: Milford B. Kime
  • Patent number: 5028766
    Abstract: An unattended automated rental system for articles such as video cassettes includes a storage unit with electrically locked bins for containing rental articles. Each bin and its article has an identification code strip. A customer terminal having a keyboard and display monitor controlled from a computer permits a customer to review available articles, reserve articles, and select articles for rental. A control module operated by the computer unlocks a selected bin. An article returned to a bin is checked by the control module for its code strip and, if correct, locks the bin. The customer terminal checks customer identification and receives payments. Remote selection terminals may be provided to permit receiving of article information and reservation of articles to be rented.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 1988
    Date of Patent: July 2, 1991
    Assignee: AVS, Inc.
    Inventor: Dinesh V. Shah
  • Patent number: 5001330
    Abstract: A data processing form used with photosensing apparatus that senses the presence of indicia in indicia-receiving locations on the form comprises a sheet of paper or like material. The form has a first control mark column containing a plurality of control marks in specified relation to a plurality of indicia-receiving locations on a first surface of said sheet. On the second surface of the sheet is a fail-safe mark opposite to and aligned with the first control mark column. The fail-safe mark has a continuous extend sufficient to connect at least two adjacent marks on said first surface, were such control marks on the second surface of said sheet in a location immediately opposite their location on said first surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 1988
    Date of Patent: March 19, 1991
    Assignee: National Computer Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Vernon F. Koch
  • Patent number: 4982072
    Abstract: A driver's license being IC-carded, informations stored in the driver's license card is read out to detect matched or mismatched relations with a driver's license number set beforehand. The excess of penalty points of violation, uninsertion of the card, etc., and the permission and prohibition of starting an engine are decided on the basis of the result of the detection. Besides, the information stored in the driver's license card is made rewritable by using a keyboard and others provided in a driver's license card controller which is installed in a government office administrating driver's license, such as a police office, and thus the quick renewal and alteration of driver's license are enabled.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 1988
    Date of Patent: January 1, 1991
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventor: Hiroshi Takigami
  • Patent number: 4980544
    Abstract: An optical code reader system includes an optical code reader and a corresponding optical code format. The code reader includes a detector circuit for establishing an adaptive threshold level related to the difference in successive positive and negative peaks of the analog signal corresponding to white and black areas of the code. The code format comprises a plurality of alternating encoded black and white areas bounded by white quiet zones and black preset areas associated with the quiet zones for presetting the threshold value of the detector circuit to a known level before the code is read.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 1990
    Date of Patent: December 25, 1990
    Assignee: Abbott Laboratories
    Inventor: Gary E. Winter
  • Patent number: 4958065
    Abstract: A method of coding an optically-readable medium comprises: applying to the medium at least one coating of a heat-sensitive material to produce a specified combination of at least two optical changes as a function of time when heated to a predetermined temperature above ambient; heating the medium to the predetermined temperature; and sensing the optical changes undergone by the medium to determine whether the sensed changes match the specified combination. The method and apparatus are described particularly to an optically-readable medium wherein the heat-sensitive coating is in a plurality of windows formed in the medium, each window signifying a value element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 1988
    Date of Patent: September 18, 1990
    Assignee: Prepaid Card Services, Inc.
    Inventor: Zvi Weinberger
  • Patent number: 4954699
    Abstract: In a method for providing a self-administered survey using a bar coded survey questionnaire having a plurality of survey questions and a plurality of selectable responses to the questions, with the selectable bar coded responses (10) being scannable for storing the selected responses (10); the improvement comprising providing a bar code scannable skip pattern prompt (12a, 12b) embedded in a scannable bar code pattern (10) also containing the selectable response (14a, 14b), the skip pattern prompt (12a, 12b) being dependent on the selected response (14a, 14b); selecting a response to a particular survey question by scanning (22) the bar code pattern (10) associated with the selected response (14a, 14b); storing the selected response (14a, 14b) based on the scanned bar code pattern (10) and displaying (24) a prompt message, indicating a next question to be answered in the survey questionnaire based on the same scanned bar code pattern (10), whereby a single scanning of the selected bar code pattern (10) provide
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 1988
    Date of Patent: September 4, 1990
    Assignee: NPD Research, Inc.
    Inventors: Steve Coffey, William Weber
  • Patent number: 4954697
    Abstract: A vending apparatus comprises a cabinet for storing a plurality of items available for purchase; a memory for storing product data associated with the plurality of items; a message device for visually or audibly reproducing selected segments of the stored product data; an input device for receiving selection and designation data from a user in accordance with the data in the message device; a deposit mechanism for receiving payment for items selected for purchase; and a dispenser responsive to the deposit mechanism and the input device for ejecting items selected by the user for receipt by the user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 1989
    Date of Patent: September 4, 1990
    Assignee: Sanden Corporation
    Inventors: Yoshikazu Kokubun, Akihito Kurosawa, Kohei Ushikubo, Shinji Todokoro
  • Patent number: 4952785
    Abstract: An extraction section receives image information including frame number information, and extracts the frame number information from the received information. A bar code generator receives the frame number information output from the extraction section and, in response to an instruction from an instruction section, generats a bar code signal corresponding to the frame number information, the bar code signal being externally output, in printed form, by an output section connected to the bar code generator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 1988
    Date of Patent: August 28, 1990
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventor: Yukio Kikuda
  • Patent number: 4950877
    Abstract: An apparatus for transporting, cleaning or performing recording and/or reproducing of information from a card-like medium is disclosed. The recording medium includes an information recording area and a non-recording area. The transporting apparatus includes a receiving transport device and a discharging transport device. The receiving transport device transports the recording medium into and within the apparatus. The discharging transport device discharges the card-like information recording medium outside the apparatus and includes transporting the recording medium and stopping the recording medium such that the information recording area remains within the apparatus. The apparatus for cleaning the recording medium includes a cleaning device for cleaning the recording medium, a moving device for moving the recording medium relative to the cleaning device and a receiving device for receiving the recording medium in the apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 5, 1988
    Date of Patent: August 21, 1990
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Hideo Kurihara, Hitoshi Kurihara
  • Patent number: 4950875
    Abstract: In an apparatus for processing embossed characters on an embossed card, a sensing head has sensing wires extending generally parallel with each other in a first direction, the tips of the sensing wires disposed at different positions along a second direction orthogonal to the first direction. The sensing wires are repeatedly actuated toward their tips. Advancement of each sensing wire exceeding a predetermined distance is detected and electrical signals indicating the results of detection are produced. The embossed card is moved relative to the sensing head in a third direction orthogonal to the first and second directions, with the surface of the embossed card held parallel with the second and third directions, and close to the tips of the sensing wires.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 1988
    Date of Patent: August 21, 1990
    Assignee: Oki Electric Industry Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yoshinori Koshida, Minoru Isobe
  • Patent number: 4947027
    Abstract: A credit card system for providing verification of authority of a credit card bearer to use the credit card for a credit transaction. Initial authorization of card use is given to the authorized user upon selection by the user of one of a set of supplemental characters appearing on the card as the authorized user's private identifier. Presentation of the card at a point of sale initiates a check of this private identifier against a supplemental character identified by the presenter of the card as his/her private identifier.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 1988
    Date of Patent: August 7, 1990
    Inventor: Cecelia K. Golightly
  • Patent number: 4945214
    Abstract: Digital data apparatus is programmable by means of digital data encoded on one or more datastrips contained on an application insert. In order to substantially increase the amount of digital data in each datastrip, fixed-length digital data is compressed according to a predetermined compression/decompression code to produce variable length data which are then encoded on the datastrip. The disclosed apparatus minimizes the time required (1) to read the encoded data into the digital data apparatus and (2) to decode the encoded data so that the decoded data can be ready to be used. As disclosed, a reader reads the encoded data into digital memory during one pass of the reader over the length of the datastrip and while the reader returns to its starting position, the encoded data is decoded according to the predetermined code.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 1987
    Date of Patent: July 31, 1990
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventors: David Hancock, Thomas Bond
  • Patent number: 4943708
    Abstract: A module is described for use in data devices such as smart cards. The module consists of a contact carrier having contacts, an integrated circuit, and a base enclosing the integrated circuit. The base is formed to provide a groove around the perimeter such that when the device is formed, material from an intermediate layer will flow into the groove and secure the module to the card.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 1988
    Date of Patent: July 24, 1990
    Assignee: Motorola, Inc.
    Inventors: Marion I. Simmons, Harry J. Geyer
  • Patent number: 4939354
    Abstract: A machine readable binary code which is dynamically variable in size, format and density of information is provided. The binary code is formed as a matrix having a perimeter and data contained therein. The perimeter is provided with density indicia for indicating the density of data contained within the matrix. The perimeter is also provided with size indicia for indicating the size of the matrix. By utilizing the density indicia and size indicia, a scanning device is able to calculate the size and information density of the binary code.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 5, 1988
    Date of Patent: July 3, 1990
    Assignee: Datacode International, Inc.
    Inventors: Dennis G. Priddy, Robert S. Cymbalski
  • Patent number: 4939355
    Abstract: A point of sale bar code scanner, such as a grocery store check-out label scanner, that is attendant-free and completely automated in providing a listing or a total pricing of a customer's selected items. At each automated check-out, the customer initiates the process, places items on a conveyor, which carries each item separately through a scanner. The scanner reads all sides of each package, including the bottom of the package, since the bar code label could be located on any surface. Serial conveyors are used, and gates preferably control the advancement of items onto a conveyor which will carry the item through the scanning area, such that only one item can be scanned at a time. The conveyor in the scanning area includes a series of belt strips through which an upwardly scanned beam can read the package bottom. Various methods and systems are disclosed for handling "no reads". The customer signifies termination of the process at the appropriate time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 1988
    Date of Patent: July 3, 1990
    Assignee: Spectra-Physics, Inc.
    Inventors: Joseph F. Rando, H. Nicks Roberts
  • Patent number: 4939351
    Abstract: An automatic payment machine is provided for electronically checking the validity of instruments of payment with deliverance of a voucher. It includes means for maintaining the voucher in a waiting position in the path of the instrument of payment so that this latter takes it along with it when it passes, for restoring the instrument and the voucher simultaneously.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 1988
    Date of Patent: July 3, 1990
    Assignee: Crouzet
    Inventors: Bernard Alaux, Jacques Cailles, Jacques Perge
  • Patent number: 4937437
    Abstract: A security system is provided for controlling access to information stored in a target memory in which an access key carries a random access binary memory which is electronically programmable, electronically alterable, directly electronically readable and non-volatile. The memory carried on the key constitutes an integral portion of the target system memory when the key is inserted into a receptacle. The receptacle has a zero insertion force socket to reduce wear and provide direct electrical connection. The key may have an extremely wide variety of coded information programmed into it; when the key is removed from the receptacle, the target system will not operate correctly since a portion of its memory is effectively missing. The system may be retrofitted into existing target systems or incorporated in future target systems.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 18, 1987
    Date of Patent: June 26, 1990
    Inventor: Terry T. Ferguson
  • Patent number: 4933539
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for use with a laser scanner which projects a laser light beam in a scan pattern to facilitate finding a label on a package and reading the symbols thereon. The apparatus comprises a window, positioned adjacent the laser scanner which has an illuminating portion through which the scan pattern is transmitted and a background portion through which the scan pattern is not transmitted. The apparatus also comprises graphic means, adjacent a first part of the background portion of the window, for delineating a target area towards which the package should be directed by an operator to ensure that the label is properly oriented within the scan pattern for the laser light beam to acurately illuminate and read the symbols on the label. The apparatus may also comprise mask means, superposed on a second part of the background portion of the window, for substantially obstructing the laser scanner from the view of the operator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 1988
    Date of Patent: June 12, 1990
    Assignee: Spectra-Physics
    Inventors: Brian S. Stewart, Eleanor J. Fulton, Nicolas N. Tabet