Patents Examined by Kenneth W. Noland
  • Patent number: 6968974
    Abstract: An article dispensing apparatus embodied, for example, as a vending machine, including a controllably positioned suction hose dispenser for retrieving articles from a storage area. In one embodiment, an airflow control mechanism, i.e., a vacuum or suction release (i.e., breaker), is used to facilitate a “quick-release” of the article being handled. A mechanical linkage constructed and operating in accordance with the invention is used to activate, for example, the breaker in response to mechanical contact by the article handling mechanism. Such operation thereby causes a rapid equalization of air pressure inside the housing towards ambient when it is time for the article handling mechanism to release the selected article.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 29, 2005
    Inventor: Munroe Chirnomas
  • Patent number: 6957732
    Abstract: A system which will allow a bill acceptor and dispenser to be incorporated into a vending machine operating on a standardized vending machine protocol to allow the vending machine to dispense change in the form of coins and/or currency according to the amount of change to be dispensed and the availability of specific denominations of coins and currency.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 25, 2005
    Assignee: JCM American Corporation
    Inventors: Joshua Corrick, Raymond Heidel
  • Patent number: 6905046
    Abstract: A vial gripping mechanism (10) includes a pivotally mounted swing arm (26). A sensor receiving array (44) is mounted to a sensor end (34) on an inward edge (46) of the arm (26). A channel (38) protecting a cable (64) follows an outside edge (42) from the receiving array (44) to a cam end (36). A torsion spring (28) forces the cam end (36) against a cam (30) which is fixedly mounted to the mechanism (10) adjacent the arm (26). By action of the mechanism (10), the arm (26) is moved relative to the cam (30) such that in a sensing position, the receiving array (44) is directly opposite a sensor transmitting array (74), and in a shielded position, the receiving array (44) is housed within a shield (32). The shield (32) is fixedly mounted to the mechanism (10) and protects the receiving array (44) while in transit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2005
    Assignee: ScriptPro LLC
    Inventors: Shane P. Coughlin, Michael E. Coughlin, Stacy Orr, Timothy Surgeon
  • Patent number: 6871755
    Abstract: A storage, display and dispensing apparatus for tickets of various sizes that accounts for the tickets dispensed during a selected time period. The apparatus includes a bin housing for storing a pack of tickets, a ticket dispensing assembly through which the tickets are dispensed and includes a friction wheel assembly that is actuated as tickets pass through the ticket dispensing assembly. An optical sensing element is also employed to sense indicia on the tickets to coact with the friction wheel assembly to provide a ticket count.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 29, 2005
    Assignee: Schafer Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Douglas E. DeVries, Trevor E. Meyer, Kevin A. Jankowski, Daniel J. Fahrion, Scott A. Bottorf
  • Patent number: 6857539
    Abstract: A blister pack hook display case with a manual security dispensing system comprised of a display case with a transparent door and lock that has a blister pack dispenser on each hook, wherein the dispenser dispenses a blister pack each time the pulley located in the front is pulled. It will dispense the chosen blister through the transparent door, which will reach the cashier for payment and withdrawal by means of a slide below; the car dispensing the blister packs has a number of blades depending on the space available and the size of the blister pack that oscillates forward only to raise the paddles when the car is released backwards without moving the next blister pack backward. They then fall into position to dispense a new blister pack. The blades do not oscillate backwards so that when it is pulled forward, the first blister pack is moved until it falls off the hook and all others then move one step forward to continue the sequence.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 2003
    Date of Patent: February 22, 2005
    Inventor: Andres Horacio Ahumada Parra
  • Patent number: 6827234
    Abstract: An easy-to-use automatic distributor machine (100) using rotary discs (103), of the type comprising a fixed structure (170) with at least one product-holding disc (103), rotating about its axis, and with at least one flap (150) for the collection of a product which has been selected. According to the invention, said machine (100) foresees at least one guide (120) for the sliding of a container (116), which collects the product selected near to the corresponding product-holding disc (103) and takes it into a collection position, accessible to the user opening the flap (150).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 7, 2004
    Assignee: Officine Meccaniche F.lli Manea S.r.l.
    Inventor: Antonio Nicolini
  • Patent number: 6786355
    Abstract: An article dispensing apparatus embodied, for example, as a vending machine, including a controllably positioned suction hose dispenser for retrieving articles from a storage area. In one embodiment, a sensor having an output responsive to changes in partial pressure inside the air hose, such as an airflow sensor coupled to the suction-hose, can initially act to sense the timing of contact of the suction hose with an article to be dispensed. As long as suction is provided to the gripping end of the suction hose prior to the hose contacting the article to be retrieved, the airflow (and partial pressure) inside the hose will change dramatically as the gripping end of the suction hose makes contact with the article. Furthermore, at the moment when the gripping end of the suction hose is no longer in substantial contact with the article, the airflow sensor again provides an indication signal, due to the sudden change in airflow (and partial pressure) that occurs at the time within the hose.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 7, 2004
    Inventor: Munroe Chirnomas
  • Patent number: 6776304
    Abstract: An automated drug dispensing system includes a cabinet adapted to store a variety of prepackaged pharmaceuticals in a plurality of bins for filling patient prescriptions. Each bin stores a particular variety of packaged multiple-dose pharmaceutical. Each variety of pharmaceutical is associated with a particular code. A controller receives request signals and in response generates dispense signals. Each bin includes a dispenser coupled to the controller for dispensing the packaged pharmaceuticals therefrom in response to a dispense signal sent from the controller. After a package is dispensed, a code reader determines the code of the dispensed package and verifies whether the code on the dispensed package matches the code of the requested package.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 17, 2004
    Assignee: Telepharmacy Solutions, Inc.
    Inventors: Harold J. Liff, Brian T. Hart, Robert L. Wallace, Arthur A. Berube, Richard D. Hart, Enea W. Bossi
  • Patent number: 6758370
    Abstract: A dispensing mechanism is provided for flat faced products. The products are supported in a storage chute between a first upright wall and a second upright wall, stacked one on top of another. The products are supported in the chute by a support surface and a first tongue. Products are dispensed by retracting the first tongue allowing a lowermost product to fall onto a second tongue. The first tongue is advanced to be under the next highermost product in the chute. The second tongue is then retracted allowing the lowermost product to fall onto the support surface and pass through a discharge opening. In a further embodiment, flat faced products are stacked vertically side-by-side on a slightly inclined floor. The products move horizontally to one side to be dispensed. A tongue and a moveable stop are mounted at that side. The spacing between the tongue and the stop is generally equal the thickness of the product.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 6, 2004
    Assignee: Imaging Technologies Pty Ltd.
    Inventors: Brian Cooke, Mark Grondman, Alan Jenkins, Gerry Mussett, Magnus Cameron, Gower Smith
  • Patent number: 6755320
    Abstract: The invention concerns a dispensing apparatus (1) with high refrigerating power, for delivering to users refrigerating elements (10) capable of diffusing frigories over a relatively great lapse of time so as to avoid interrupting the cold chain, comprising an input and disinfecting module (2) arranged above the refrigerating and storage module (6). The input (4) and output (7) orifices of the refrigerating and storage module are located substantially in the same plane and in the upper part of the docule which further includes third transfer mechanism (9) designed to lift the refrigerating elements towards the output orifice.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2004
    Assignee: Internova International Innovation Company B.V.
    Inventor: Franci François-Marie
  • Patent number: 6752273
    Abstract: A novel method for disposing of drill cuttings and more particularly to the process for source identification of such cuttings and the identification of value added processes for commercializing the cuttings in an economical manner. The method of recycling of oil and gas well drill cuttings as disclosed herein begins by identifying drill cuttings by location, type of earth formation and earth strata level from whence extracted, drying, coding and containerizing said cuttings by said grade, mineral type, extraction location, and geological age. Uses for the recycled and graded drill cuttings include graded virgin aggregate for road construction including asphaltic cement, recyclable stone retaining walls and lawn ornaments or other applications useful in landscaping or water drainage control by mixing the dried and refined cuttings with recycled polymer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 22, 2004
    Assignee: Baker Hughes Incorporated
    Inventor: Jeffrey Reddoch
  • Patent number: 6749068
    Abstract: A large percentage of solids are removed from a manure slurry when the slurry is run across a sloped screen separator. The sloped screen on the separator has very small openings. Further, the separator controls the air flow through the sloped screen. In addition, the separator can have a water line with spray heads formed across the sloped screen. The spray heads direct water under pressure on the manure slurry on the sloped screen.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2004
    Inventor: Richard A. Dias
  • Patent number: 6749085
    Abstract: A product dispenser comprising a cover, a slidable push element, a base and a landing is provided. The cover and the base are rotatable with respect to each other about a common axis. The cover comprises a roof opening in which the push element slides in opposing directions, advancing product from the interior of the cover onto the landing. In a preferred embodiment, the dispenser houses miniature zinc air batteries, secured to the base using an adhesive platform. When a cell is advanced from the interior of the cover onto the landing, the cell is separated from the adhesive platform, allowing air to pass into the cell and the cell to be activated. The landing preferably comprises a magnet for releasably securing product. The dispenser is then used as an inserter for orienting and placing the product in position in a device. The product is not directly handled during its removal from the dispenser or during its insertion into a device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2004
    Assignee: Eveready Battery Company, Inc.
    Inventors: Steven S. Garrant, Jonathan W. Hedman, Mark A. Ferguson, Jeffrey P. Pirro, David A. Furth, Richard H. Chapman
  • Patent number: 6749083
    Abstract: The invention relates to a stack of fan folded material and related systems and processes. The stack includes at least two clips of fan folded material. Each clip includes a plurality of fan folded sheets, with each sheet joined to at least one adjacent sheet by a weakened line. Each clip is joined to an adjacent clip by a last sheet of one clip being separably joined to a first sheet of a succeeding clip.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2004
    Assignee: Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.
    Inventors: Gerald Keith Sosalla, Yung Hsaing Huang
  • Patent number: 6745916
    Abstract: The invention concerns a unit (2) for automatic delivery of specimen slides to a coverslipper (3). The unit (2) comprises a housing (27) in which a front panel (25) is provided. Also provided is a passage (20) in the housing (27) that is defined substantially by a first and a second cutout (21 and 23) in the first and the second side wall (22 and 24). A transfer position (8) for racks (4) is provided in the region of the cutout (21) in the first side wall (22), and a transport apparatus (9) extends out substantially from the transfer position (8) to beyond the cutout (23) in the second side wall (24).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2004
    Assignee: Leica Mikrosysteme GmbH
    Inventors: Heinz Plank, Hubert Goll, Siegfried Tanki
  • Patent number: 6742674
    Abstract: A snack dispenser consists of a series of tiers stacked to resemble a wedding cake. Each tier includes a trough divided into slots. A snack may be placed into each slot. The front of each slot is transparent. The troughs or trays are mounted on a rotatable carousel. The carousel is covered with a backshell and a transparent front shell. The front shell has transparent doors therein. By inserting a proper amount of money and aligning the carousel so that the desired snack is beneath a door; the door may be opened and the customer may withdraw his snack from that slot. The opening of the door blocks the rotation of the carousel, blocks the opening of the remaining doors, and also resets or cancels the credit of the coins inserted. When the single door is closed again, all doors will be blocked so that a person can not again open a door until proper coins are inserted. To service the dispenser the front shell is removed. A segment of all tiers is removed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2004
    Assignee: Newco Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventor: Billy J. Castleberry
  • Patent number: 6742672
    Abstract: The invention relates to a device for delivering electronic components, in particular SMD components, to an insertion unit. The electronic components are kept ready in the form of a bar unit. A control unit interacts with an actuating unit in each case arranged on delivery rails of a delivery unit, so that the assignment of the bar unit to a predefined delivery rail is made possible, by the actuating unit being brought into a locked position in which the delivery rail is blocked or into an unlocked position in which the delivery rail is released.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2004
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventor: Hans-Werner Lueckehe
  • Patent number: 6742673
    Abstract: A mobile vending machine for transporting and vending a number of products. The mobile vending machine includes a storage compartment for storing the products, a dispensing mechanism for dispensing the products, and a drive mechanism. The storage compartment is positioned about the drive mechanism for movement therewith.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2004
    Assignee: The Coca-Cola Company
    Inventors: William S. Credle, Jr., John P. Giles, James Michael Watson
  • Patent number: 6740836
    Abstract: An embodiment of the system of the present invention generally comprises a mailpiece sorting apparatus which includes a feeder, an OCR scanner, a video scanner, a mailpiece transporter, a diverter and output module, compartments or bins for receiving sorted mailpieces, optical character recognition system for reading addressee information, an addressee database, a suspect database, and microprocessor based control system. In alternate embodiments of the present invention: the system is contained in a detection area and clean room and/or connection to an investigation entity. The system and method of integrates prediction of the presence of life harming material in mailpieces with mailpiece processing so as to help deter delays in incoming mail delivery caused by the presence of life harming material the suspected presence of life harming material and to protect the intended recipients from harm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 31, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2004
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: William E. Ryan, Mark Cullen, Robert K. Gottlieb, Joseph D. Mallozzi, Alberta A. Vitale
  • Patent number: RE38835
    Abstract: A brake release mechanism for an elevator machine includes apparatus to reduce the braking force on the machine shaft. The apparatus may be actuated from a position located remotely from the machine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 6, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 18, 2005
    Assignee: Otis Elevator Company
    Inventors: Jose Sevilleja, José M. Sandoval