Patents Examined by Joseph A. Fischetti
  • Patent number: 7219074
    Abstract: A method for providing a service for a traveler to acquire at least one item at the traveler's destination, comprising the steps of receiving a request from a traveler for obtaining at least one item; providing the traveler with the option to one of rent and purchase the at least one item, arranging for the at least one item to be supplied, arranging for shipping of the at least one item to a location selected by the traveler at a time selected by the traveler; and conducting a transaction with the traveler for obtaining the at least one item.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 14, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 15, 2007
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Peter G. Capek, Dimitri Kanevsky, Sara H. Basson
  • Patent number: 7203572
    Abstract: A beverage distribution and dispensing system and method for distributing drinks such as soda, juice and punch, to a home or business and which involves a computerized system which enables users to dispense such drinks from their refrigerator. The computerized system monitors its own supply levels and, when necessary, automatically orders and delivers drink syrups and CO2 gas supplies. The computerized system can automatically detect dispensing problems and orders and arranges for repair service.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 2004
    Date of Patent: April 10, 2007
    Assignee: Beverage Works, Inc.
    Inventor: Harry Lee Crisp, III
  • Patent number: 7197482
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for managing a decentralized part supply system via a wide area network. A supplier and a customer establish a secure area at the customer's facility. The supplier ships parts to the secure area and the customer stores the parts in the secure area until the customer issues the parts for the customer's use. The supplier and the customer cooperate in managing a secure area inventory database using a virtual storefront. The business rules, database access processes, and user interfaces for the virtual storefront are implemented on a server and accessed by the supplier and the customer via the wide area network.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 19, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2007
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Vicki D. Naish, Nicholas R. Purzer, David A. Reynolds, Louisa W. Yeung
  • Patent number: 7194428
    Abstract: A wardrobe closet that assists users in selecting and purchasing clothing is provided. A radio frequency receiver scans tags embedded in clothing to identify the clothing. When a user removes an article of clothing from the wardrobe closet, the wardrobe closet suggests other articles of clothing that match the removed article of clothing. The wardrobe closet may also be connected to websites via the Internet. The wardrobe closet may determine the user's clothing needs and find clothing offered for sale at one or more web sites. The user is then allowed to purchase the clothing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2007
    Assignee: Accenture Global Services GmbH
    Inventors: Dadong Wan, Anatole V. Gershman
  • Patent number: 7192237
    Abstract: A series of transport carts are positioned in side by side relation in fore and aft extending spaced apart rows disposed along a delivery van to leave an aisle between them. The carts have wheel supported upright frames with bottom supports for the products disposed at a level above the floor of the van and open fronts from which the carts can be unloaded. The carts have rear posts which are disengageably locked in track sections provided in longitudinally spaced relation along the van side walls. Pallets with discs projecting downwardly from the floors of the pallets support the product stacks on the cart bottom supports. A hand truck with a bifurcated nose plate defining disc receiving arms engages under each pallet to enable removal of a pallet and product stack from the cart.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2007
    Inventors: Norman C. Strohfus, Robert W. Grace, David J. Glancy
  • Patent number: 7177829
    Abstract: A tax refund system is disclosed in which in exchange for a taxpayer assigning all or a portion of his or her tax refund, a participating provider provides to the taxpayer a spending vehicle with buying power at participating outlets. Tax return data for an individual's tax return is processed by the IRS. A taxpayer consents to using a portion of the tax return data to acquire a spending vehicle from a financial institution of the taxpayer's choosing. Using a portion of the tax return data, the IRS arranges to electronically transfer an amount related to the taxpayer's refund to an account at the financial institution selected by the taxpayer. A taxpayer then receives a spending vehicle such as a credit, debit, or cash card, spending account, coupon, or rebate from a financial institution or other spending vehicle provider such as a retailer, service provider, wholesaler, distributor, or entertainment entity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 1999
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2007
    Assignee: H & R Block Tax Services, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert D. Wilson, Mark A. Ernst
  • Patent number: 7177827
    Abstract: Generating an order plan is disclosed. Data describing priority levels including at least one item request is accessed. Data describing a supply chain network (10) including network components (11) that supply one or more items to satisfy an item request is accessed. For each priority level, and for each item request of a priority level, an order for an item request of a current priority level is planned according to recorded unplannable network components (11) that are unable to satisfy an item request, and the unplannable network components (11) for the current priority level are determined. For each priority level, the unplannable network components (11) are validated for the current priority level, and the validated unplannable network components (11) for the current priority level are recorded. An order plan including the orders planned for the item requests at each priority level is provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2007
    Assignee: i2 Technologies US, Inc.
    Inventor: Manoj Abraham
  • Patent number: 7136831
    Abstract: Collection status and delivery status of recoverable products are stored in a database in association with a plurality of suppliers, and unitarily managed at a collection center. Collection/delivery information associated with identification information transmitted from a terminal is returned as required.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2006
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Hiromi Mori, Rikio Shiba, Kotaro Yamaguchi
  • Patent number: 7083071
    Abstract: A drink supply canister for a beverage dispensing apparatus. The drink supply canister includes a removable valve assembly member having a drink supply outlet valve and a gas inlet valve. The beverage dispensing apparatus pressurizes the drink supply canister by supplying gas to the gas inlet valve. The beverage dispensing apparatus includes a drink supply canister holder for holding a plurality of such drink supply canisters. The beverage dispensing apparatus directs a supply of water and gas to the drink supply canister holder for producing carbonated and non-carbonated beverages.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2006
    Assignee: Beverage Works, Inc.
    Inventors: Harry Lee Crisp, III, Christopher Paul Ramsey, Roger Tanner
  • Patent number: 7004355
    Abstract: The present invention provides a drink supply canister holder for a beverage dispensing apparatus for a residential refrigerator. The beverage dispensing apparatus includes a drink supplier including the drink supply canister holder for holding or maintaining at least one and preferably a plurality of drink supply canisters, and at least one and preferably a plurality of valve actuators for causing the drink supply to be selectively released from the drink supply canisters, a water supplier for selectively supplying carbonated water and non-carbonated water for producing the beverages, a gas supplier for supplying CO2 gas to carbonate the carbonated water provided by the water supplier and for supplying CO2 gas or other gas for pressurizing the drink supply canisters to provide a consistent flow rate, of the drink supply from the drink supply canisters and one or more beverage requesters for enabling users to request one of a plurality of beverages.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2006
    Assignee: Beverage Works, Inc.
    Inventors: Harry Lee Crisp, III, Todd Erik Duff
  • Patent number: 6960988
    Abstract: A multi-function customer satisfaction survey device, system and method. A plurality of stackable tip trays in a restaurant each include a survey device and a calculator. Survey questions are presented on a display screen, and a survey keypad is used by the customer to enter responses. The responses are stored in a memory in the tray. The trays stack on a base unit that simultaneously collects the responses from the stacked trays, simultaneously programs the stacked trays with survey questions, and simultaneously recharges a battery in each tray.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 1, 2005
    Assignee: Long Range Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Russell P. Blink, Kenneth J. Lovegreen, James A. Henderson
  • Patent number: 6896159
    Abstract: The present invention provides a beverage dispensing apparatus for a residential refrigerator. The beverage dispensing apparatus includes a drink supplier including a drink supply canister holder for holding a plurality of drink supply canisters, a plurality of valve actuators for causing the drink supply to be selectively released from the drink supply canisters, a water supplier for selectively supplying carbonated water and non-carbonated water for producing the beverages, a gas supplier for supplying CO2 gas to carbonate the carbonated water provided by the water supplier and for supplying CO2 gas or other gas for pressurizing the drink supply canisters to provide a consistent flow rate of the drink supply from the drink supply canisters, a fluid director for facilitating the mixing of the drink supply from one of the drink supply canisters and the carbonated or non-carbonated water from the water supplier and one or more beverage requesters for enabling users to request one of a plurality of beverages.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 24, 2005
    Assignee: Beverage Works, Inc.
    Inventors: Harry Lee Crisp, III, Todd Erik Duff
  • Patent number: 6882983
    Abstract: The present invention discloses a system and method for processing business transactions between trading partners using a central interactive platform. The processing may include comparing purchase order data and invoice data to identify matching information and non-matching information. If the information matches, the invoices are processed for payment. If the information does not match, the discrepancies are identified to the buying company or the selling company for resolution.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 5, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2005
    Assignee: Notiva Corporation
    Inventors: Thomas W. Furphy, David W. Bandych, John T. Marron, Jason A. Carreira
  • Patent number: 6862577
    Abstract: A system and method for interactive inquiry and editing throughout the life cycle of the shipping request by the requester and various approving managers. Once the request is approved, shipping labels are automatically printed, and any necessary domestic or export documentation is electronically prepared by the application software. The application is adapted to provide each processing or approving party with the created shipping documentation upon request. All information received and relied upon by this process is saved in a database for tracking the shipping material, and for auditing the shipping process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2005
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Robert R. Gagne, William A. Mayville, Margaret M. Norton
  • Patent number: 6859786
    Abstract: A system and method of displaying information by an electronic price label which uses thresholds to minimize the number of messages to an electronic price label. The system includes a record for an item associated with the electronic price label which contains the thresholds. The thresholds divide the information into a number of ranges including a first range of information and a second range of information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 1999
    Date of Patent: February 22, 2005
    Assignee: NCR Corporation
    Inventors: John C. Goodwin, III, Terry L. Zimmerman
  • Patent number: 6857541
    Abstract: The present invention provides a drink supply canister for beverage dispensing apparatus for a residential refrigerator. The beverage dispensing apparatus includes a drink supplier including a drink supply canister holder for holding a plurality of the drink supply canisters, and a plurality of valve actuators for causing the drink supply to be selectively released from the drink supply canisters, a water supplier for selectively supplying carbonated water and non-carbonated water for producing the beverages, a gas supplier for supplying CO2 gas to carbonate the carbonated water provided by the water supplier and for supplying CO2 gas or other gas for pressurizing the drink supply canisters to provide a consistent flow rate of the drink supply from the drink supply canisters, and one or more beverage requesters for enabling users to request one of a plurality of beverages.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 22, 2005
    Assignee: Beverage Works, Inc.
    Inventor: Harry Lee Crisp, III
  • Patent number: 6853976
    Abstract: A food and drink serving system for an eating and drinking place includes reading units, arranged in customers' tables, respectively, for reading order identifying information of meal tickets of customers, transmitting means for transmitting cooking information including the order identifying information read by the reading unit and a seat number identifying information on the table in which the reading unit is arranged, and cooking information informing means for informing at least either of a cook and a cooking director of at least the order identifying information and the seat number identifying information of the cooking information transmitted by the transmitting means.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 8, 2005
    Assignee: Kura Corporation Ltd.
    Inventor: Kunihiko Tanaka
  • Patent number: 6848600
    Abstract: The present invention provides a carbonated and non-carbonated water supplier for a beverage dispensing apparatus for a residential refrigerator. The beverage dispensing apparatus includes a drink supplier including a drink supply canister holder for holding a plurality of drink supply canisters, a plurality of valve actuators for causing the drink supply to be selectively released from the drink supply canisters, the water supplier for selectively supplying carbonated water and non-carbonated water for producing the beverages, a gas supplier for supplying CO2 gas to carbonate the carbonated water provided by the water supplier and for supplying CO2 gas or other gas for pressurizing the drink supply canisters to provide a consistent flow rate of the drink supply from the drink supply canisters and one or more beverage requesters for enabling users to request one of a plurality of beverages.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2005
    Assignee: Beverage Works, Inc.
    Inventor: Harry Lee Crisp, III
  • Patent number: 6845366
    Abstract: A device captures an image of a check having a payee and/or a payor field. Payee data and/or payor data contained in the payee field and/or the payor field is extracted from the captured image. Extracted payee data and/or extracted payor data is stored in a data warehouse to allow a user to generate business-related information based upon the extracted payee data and/or the extracted payor data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 22, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 18, 2005
    Assignee: NCR Corporation
    Inventors: Khaled S. Hassanein, Geoffrey G. Marlow
  • Patent number: 6799085
    Abstract: The present invention is an appliance supply distribution and dispensing system and method for distributing appliance supplies to a home or business and which involves a computerized system which facilitates dispensing or using one or more supplies from an appliance. The computerized system monitors the supply level(s) and, when necessary, automatically orders and delivers additional supplies. In addition, the computerized system automatically detects dispensing, use or appliance problems and orders and arranges for repair service.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 28, 2004
    Assignee: Beverage Works, Inc.
    Inventor: Harry Lee Crisp, III