Patents Examined by Joseph A. Fischetti
  • Patent number: 6766656
    Abstract: The present invention provides a beverage dispensing apparatus for a residential refrigerator. The beverage dispensing apparatus of the present invention 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, 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: July 27, 2004
    Assignee: Beverage Works, Inc.
    Inventors: Harry Lee Crisp, III, Todd Erik Duff
  • Patent number: 6764272
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for positioning packaged semiconductor devices having different rectangular shapes and sizes. A positioning apparatus includes an adjustable alignment guide releasably coupled to a base. The adjustable alignment guide may be positioned along a first axis to partially define a recess into which the packaged semiconductor devices are placed during positioning. The positioning apparatus may also include additional adjustable alignment guides that may be positioned along the first or a second axis to further define the recess into which the packaged semiconductor device is to placed during positioning. The adjustable alignment guides may have alignment surfaces against which the integrated circuit rests when placed into the recess that is partially defined by the alignment surfaces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 20, 2004
    Assignee: Micron Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Jim Nuxoll, Julian Aberasturi
  • Patent number: 6755603
    Abstract: A substrate transporting apparatus includes a wafer transfer arm 10 for carrying a plurality of semiconductor wafers W being processed horizontally, a pitch changer 20 for carrying the wafers W at predetermined intervals vertically and a posture changing device 30 positioned between the wafer transfer arm 10 and the pitch changer 20, for changing the posture of the wafers W to the horizontal and vertical arrangements. The pitch changer 20 includes a first holding part 21A and a second holding part 21B which are adapted so as to elevate relatively to each other. The wafers W are held by either one of the holding parts 21A, 21B at the predetermined intervals. The posture changing device 30 has a pair of holders 31 between which the semiconductor wafers W is interposed. The holders 31 are respectively provided, on their sides opposing each other, with a plurality of holding grooves 32A, 32B for retaining the wafers W independently.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2004
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventor: Hiroshi Yamahata
  • Patent number: 6751525
    Abstract: The present invention is 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 supplies and CO2 gas supplies. In addition, the computerized system automatically detects dispensing problems and orders and arranges for repair service.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2004
    Assignee: Beverage Works, Inc.
    Inventor: Harry Lee Crisp, III
  • Patent number: 6714918
    Abstract: A system for detecting fraudulent transactions is disclosed. The system breaks the transaction down into its component parameters. A first score is computed depending on the propensity of the transacted commodity to be involved in fraud. A second score is computed as a function of the authentication of the remaining parameters of the transaction. A total fraud score is computed from the first score and the second score and compared against a fraud threshold to determine the likelihood of the transaction being fraudulent.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2004
    Assignee: Access Business Group International LLC
    Inventors: James M. Hillmer, Richard A. Jones, Colleen M. Gessner, Connie S. Johnston, Kelly R. Lewis, Jr., Sanjay H. Deshpande
  • Patent number: 6692219
    Abstract: A wafer handling system and a method of retrofitting the system to an existing wafer handling apparatus are provided that make possible a method of handling wafers by contacting only a narrow area of not more than two millimeters wide adjacent the edge of the wafer, which is particularly useful for backside deposition where device side contact defines an area of exclusion that renders the wafer unusable in that area. The system provides a chuck on a wafer transfer arm that holds a wafer by gravity on a segmented, upwardly facing annular surface. A compatible annular surface is provided on an aligning station chuck so that wafers can be transferred by contact only with the exclusion area of the wafer surface. A load arm has two similarly compatible chucks further provided with pneumatically actuated grippers to allow the wafer to be loaded into a vertical processing apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2004
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventors: Stephen D. Coomer, Stanislaw Kopacz, Glyn Reynolds, Michael James Lombardi, Todd Michael Visconti
  • Patent number: 6641358
    Abstract: A separator and stacker apparatus and method for separating a completed stack of web product from a stack of product being built thereafter. Preferred embodiments of the present invention utilize a stack building carriage having a forked or slotted floor cooperating with a load finger assembly to discharge the completed product stack from the stack building carriage. The load finger assembly preferably has a set of load fingers which mesh with the carriage floor so that when the load finger assembly is actuated, the load fingers pass substantially unobstructed through the stack building carriage. The load finger assembly and the stack building carriage can therefore pass through their motions independently of one another, permitting the stack building carriage to return to a stack building position without waiting for the load finger assembly to retract.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 27, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 4, 2003
    Assignee: C.G. Bretting Manufacturing Co., Inc.
    Inventors: Charles Louis Schmidt, V, Jie Ning
  • Patent number: 6626634
    Abstract: A method of utilizing a mini-pallet to create, organize, and move product stacks. In a preferred configuration, the mini-pallet is a nestable lightweight shipping tray which provides a convenient means for handling packaged units, in particular packages of beverage containers. The mini-pallet can support loads at an elevation above a supporting surface through the use of a deck supported by two side legs and a central support. The legs are located to facilitate a user in positioning a carrier under the deck for transportation. The central support, in a preferred embodiment, compatibly fits with a designated opening in the lifting portion of the carrier. When not loaded, the mini-pallet is capable of “nesting” within another mini-pallet for convenient storage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 30, 2003
    Assignee: Coca Cola Enterprises
    Inventors: Phillip C. Hwang, William P. Apps, Norman C. Strohfus, Robert W. Grace, David J. Glancy
  • Patent number: 6609875
    Abstract: A material table 39 supporting materials W is provided so as to be able to move between a plate material taking-in/out area 11 and material wait area 13, and when the material table 39 is positioned in the plate material taking-in/out area 11, the material table 39 is positioned in a lower position adjacent to an upper end portion of a slat conveyor 33.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2003
    Inventor: Yuji Araki
  • Patent number: 6572325
    Abstract: A freight container for use in intermodal freight transportation systems that includes lift castings having a top lift aperture located on the lift casting at an outboard position, such that when other containers are stacked on top of the container, loads are properly distributed through reinforcement beams of the container, thereby substantially reducing bending stresses in the container, substantially reducing the possibility fatigue failure of the container, and reducing the costs of maintenance and inspection of the container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 3, 2003
    Assignee: The Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Co.
    Inventor: Thomas P. Kelly
  • Patent number: 6547508
    Abstract: A load bearing lift attachment apparatus for a multipurpose loader bucket including a first jaw and a second jaw movably mounted thereto between an opened condition and a closed condition. The lift attachment apparatus includes a lift member formed and dimensioned to engage an object to be lifted; and a lift support device removably coupling the lift member to the loader bucket. The lift support device is configured to cooperate with the first jaw and the second jaw, in the closed condition, to distribute the cantilever forces, caused by the weight of the object acting on the loader bucket, across a substantial transverse portion of a support member of the first jaw and a rear engaging wall of the second jaw.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2003
    Assignee: Perrybuilt Incorporated
    Inventor: James A. Perry
  • Patent number: 6543986
    Abstract: The present invention discloses either an apparatus that is adapted for selective mounting to and demounting from a pallet jack for use therewith or a transport vehicle having an apparatus permanently mounted thereto, which can effectively and efficiently transport articles or stacks of objects, such as boxes, furniture, trays, or the like from one location to another. The apparatus comprises a housing and an article engaging and lifting member, which includes a base and a back support member for supporting the article or stacks of objects. The article engaging and lifting member is pivotally mounted to the housing, preferably adjacent the bottom of the back support member. In one embodiment, the apparatus further includes a first clamp member for maintaining the article adjacent the back support member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2003
    Assignee: Multi-Shifter, Inc.
    Inventors: Eric D. Springston, John R. Pratt, John Schoenma ker, Dale A. Williams
  • Patent number: 6543990
    Abstract: A palletizing system includes a reusable pallet and a reusable anchoring device for securing a load. The anchoring device comprises a strap and clamping mechanism for selectively receiving and clamping to the strap and, alternatively, releasing the strap. The pallet includes a base and one or more housings fixed to the base for receiving the clamping mechanism. Each housing has an opening for receiving the clamping mechanism and providing access to the clamping mechanism so that the clamping mechanism can be manipulated in the housing, and an aperture for receiving the strap, the aperture being sized to prevent the clamping mechanism from passing through the aperture.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2003
    Assignee: Burnham Service Company, Inc.
    Inventor: Julius F. Heil
  • Patent number: 6524049
    Abstract: The drilling vessel includes at least one floating body and a platform which is supported by one or more support columns on the floating body and includes a drilling installation. The vessel is provided with storage provisions for tubular drilling equipment. The storage provisions include one or more shafts which are disposed in one or more of the support columns, extend downwards from the platform and in which a number of items of the drilling equipment can be vertically disposed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2003
    Assignee: Workships Contractors B.V.
    Inventor: Roelof Arnoldus Minnes
  • Patent number: 6520728
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) is provided for elevating a watercraft out of a body of water and maintaining the watercraft at a predetermined elevation over the water or removing the watercraft therefrom for towage behind a vehicle. Apparatus (10) includes a forwardly elevated ramp (12) onto which the watercraft may propel itself. Also included is displaceable catch arms (36) which pivot between an engaged position and a released position. Each catch arm (36) is biased toward the engaged position and is constructed and arranged such that it is displaced to the released position when the watercraft is propelling itself up ramp (12). After the watercraft has passed an engagement member (44) attached at the distal end (40) of catch arm (36), catch arm (36) is urged toward the engaged position and engagement member (44) makes contact with the stem of the watercraft and prevents rearward motion thereby.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2003
    Inventor: Wayne Schwitters
  • Patent number: 6503046
    Abstract: An apparatus for extracting a single bar from a plurality of bars, comprises a holding device for nipping the single bar. The holding device comprises nipping-members, which face each other and are capable of being opened and closed. The nipping members have a taper space formed therebetween so that only a single bar locating in a peak portion of the taper space of a plurality of bars received therein can be nipped.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 7, 2003
    Assignee: Alps Tool Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Akio Saiki, Mitsuyoshi Yamaguchi, Yoshimori Kondo
  • Patent number: 6494668
    Abstract: A method and a device are disclosed for stacking unpacked processed cheese slices. Single stacks consisting of a plurality of superimposed processed cheese slices are continuously supplied by a transportation device to a first turning station. At the first turning station, the single stacks are individually rotated through 90° in the direction of transportation. These rotated single stacks subsequently are supplied to a second turning station. At the second turning station, two or more single stacks are arranged behind one another in a row and then are rotated together through 90° in the direction of transportation. Thus, the two or more single stacks come to rest on top of one another and form a multiple stack of processed cheese slices.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2002
    Assignee: Natec, Reich, Summer GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventors: Wilhelm Baur, Franz Hartmann
  • Patent number: 6485252
    Abstract: A palletizing system includes a reusable pallet and a reusable anchoring device for securing a load. The anchoring device comprises a strap and clamping mechanism for selectively receiving and clamping to the strap and, alternatively, releasing the strap. The pallet includes a base and one or more housings fixed to the base for receiving the clamping mechanism. Each housing has an opening for receiving the clamping mechanism and providing access to the clamping mechanism so that the clamping mechanism can be manipulated in the housing, and an aperture for receiving the strap, the aperture being sized to prevent the clamping mechanism from passing through the aperture.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2002
    Assignee: Burnham Service Company, Inc.
    Inventor: Julius F. Heil
  • Patent number: 6478529
    Abstract: A reclining support for a wheelchair includes a supporting platform wall that supports all four wheels of a wheelchair on a surface, and which has a backstop wall for stopping the large rear wheels of a wheelchair so that the wheelchair is stably supported on the platform. Clamps are used for holding the frame on the platform, so that the wheelchair does not move. The platform is mounted onto a base frame through a pivot mounting so it can be tilted rearwardly, and also the platform is adjustable in a vertical direction relative to the base frame. The base frame has four wheels for stably supporting the platform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 7, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2002
    Assignee: Wheelchair Recline, Inc.
    Inventors: Leone V. Willey, Donald L. Willey, Robert G. Willey
  • Patent number: 6468025
    Abstract: It is known to utilize magnets to assist in separating individual blanks from a stack of blanks. The invention utilizes a pressurized fluid, for example pressurized air, to separate one blank from another. The pressurized air system is utilized in a combination with a pick up device which can pick up individual blanks which are separated from a stack with the assistance of the pressurized air system. Suction cup assemblies located, and providing lift, at the edges or corners of the blank can operate to assist in peeling upwards the edges or corners of the top blank on the stack. These edge or corner mounted suction cup assemblies may be actuated by reciprocadg air cylinders, and may work in conjunction with the pressurized air system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2002
    Assignee: ABB Inc.
    Inventors: Peter Stumpf, Roman Z Tracz, Tai C Fok, Chad D Van Dam, Luciano J Bosco, William L Kishonti, Steve K T Yeung