Patents Examined by Phillip Groutt
  • Patent number: 5806043
    Abstract: A method for a sponsor/vendor to provide customer on-line help support for consumer products such as software includes providing a prepaid Internet access account which is supplied with the consumer product. Upon accessing the Internet the customer is "hot-linked" to the domain of the sponsor/vendor where help queries can be input and help answers received, either in real time or in a time delayed fashion via E-mail. The sponsor/vendor can mandate a tour of the domain for marketing purposes prior to allowing access to on-line help services. Finally, registration of the customer is promoted since registration can be made an integral part of the log on procedure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 8, 1998
    Assignee: Interactive Media Works, L.L.C.
    Inventor: Adrian Toader
  • Patent number: 5799281
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a computer-automated laundry management system which is designed to improve access, control operation, record activities, and monitor multiple laundry machines in a facility. The automated system provides a user interface, an account manager, and a local machine controller. The invention can be retrofitted to domestic and commercial laundry machines (washers and dryers) with simple modification of the laundry machines. The system also uses a modem to provide remote functions such as notifying customers when the laundry service is completed as well as remote monitoring and accounting. The invention emphasizes software control to provide a highly flexible, feature-rich, and an easily adaptable functionality at a significantly lower cost than hardware-centered implementations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 25, 1998
    Assignee: E.L.M.S., LLC
    Inventors: Gary R. Login, Ronald B. Wilkinson
  • Patent number: 5794221
    Abstract: An Internet billing method comprises establishing an agreement between an Internet access provider and a customer, and an agreement between the Internet access provider and a vendor, wherein the Internet access provider agrees with the customer and the vendor to bill the customer and remit to the vendor for products and services purchased over the Internet by the customer from the vendor. The provider creates access to the Internet for the customer. When the customer orders a product or service over the Internet from a vendor, transactional information transmitted between the customer and the vendor is also transmitted to the provider. The provider then bills the transaction amount to the customer and remits a portion of the transaction amount to the vendor, keeping the differential as a fee for providing the service. As a result of this method, there is no need for any customer account numbers or vendor account numbers to be transmitted over the Internet, thereby maintaining the security of that information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 1995
    Date of Patent: August 11, 1998
    Inventor: Andrew Egendorf
  • Patent number: 5781892
    Abstract: A method and apparatus is disclosed for interacting with a computer reservation system. A client computer (12) generates commands in response to user input. A server computer (14) receives the commands and generates requests to a computer reservation system through application program interfaces responsive to the commands. After receiving sets of reservation data from the computer reservation system in response to the requests, the received data is normalized and selected portions are returned to the client computer (12).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 1995
    Date of Patent: July 14, 1998
    Assignee: Electronic Data Systems Corporation
    Inventors: Douglas J. Hunt, George A. Smith, Wayne L. Flake
  • Patent number: 5774878
    Abstract: A virtual reality generator having an input module that receives as input financial information is disclosed. The virtual reality generator outputs to a display device a virtual reality world generated from the financial information. The financial information can be preprocessed by a financial analytic system prior to input to the virtual reality generator. The financial information can be received from a data file. The virtual reality generator can dynamically display and continuously update the virtual reality world. Further, movement through the virtual reality world can be simulated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 1994
    Date of Patent: June 30, 1998
    Inventor: Paul Steven Marshall
  • Patent number: 5774869
    Abstract: A method for promoting a sponsor's products by providing a consumer or potential consumer with sponsor-paid access to the Internet includes the step of distributing a floppy disc with Internet access software thereon. Associated with the floppy disc is a unique PIN number along with instructions on installing and using the Internet access software on a personal computer (PC). The Internet access software accesses and "handshakes" with an "Internet Entry Server", which verifies the PIN number, provides the access and times the sponsor paid Internet access time. In return, the Internet Entry Server performs as registration process which includes a number of personal questions and custom data gathering queries tailored by the sponsor for response by the user and initially gives the user a mandatory "guided tour" of the sponsor's Internet Home Page and domain where the user is exposed to current products and/or services of the sponsor and can download promotional coupons, product information, etc.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 30, 1998
    Assignee: Interactive Media Works, LLC
    Inventor: Adrian Toader
  • Patent number: 5774845
    Abstract: In a processor for extracting information on a specified field from a text described in a natural language, keywords and structural analysis are jointly used to improve the performance. When a set of keywords is divided in more than one sentence, this set of keywords is assembled by context defining words in a sentence. A multi-language summary generator uses this type of a processor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 1994
    Date of Patent: June 30, 1998
    Assignee: NEC Corporation
    Inventors: Shinichi Ando, Shinichi Doi
  • Patent number: 5761648
    Abstract: A data processing system issuing electronic certificates through "online" networks of personal computers, televisions, or other devices with video monitors or telephones. Each electronic certificate includes transaction data and identification data, and can be printed out on a printing device linked to a consumer's personal input device, or electronically stored in a designated data base until a specified expiration date. The certificate can be used for various purposes, including use as a coupon for a discounted price on a product or service, proof of a gift or award, proof of reservation, or proof of payment. Consumers access the data processing system online, browse among their choices, and make their selections. The data processing system provides reports on the selected certificates and their use following selection.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 2, 1998
    Assignee: Interactive Coupon Network
    Inventors: Steven M. Golden, Hillel Levin, Bradley A. Anderson, Gary D. Gentry, James A. Barbour, Albert Schornberg
  • Patent number: 5761681
    Abstract: A method of substituting names in an electronic book (100) involves selecting an original name to be replaced. In one version the original name is selected by the user highlighting the original name. A substitute name is then determined and the electronic book (100) is updated with the substitute name. In one embodiment, the user types in the substitute name.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 2, 1998
    Assignee: Motorola, Inc.
    Inventors: James R. Huffman, Ronald D. Cruickshank, Shrirang Nikanth Jambhekar, Russell L. Collins
  • Patent number: 5752233
    Abstract: A budget compilation process for executing budget compilation for a plurality of bank branch offices is executed in parallel at the same time. Process conditions (participant clients in the budget compilation process, and etc.) are inputted to an input/output control unit, and in accordance with the process conditions, a data server starts up a client to execute the budget compilation process. By referring to a scheduling file formed by a budget compilation process start-up unit, the client determines a branch office for which the budget compilation process is executed. In this manner, clients execute the budget compilation process for the subject branch offices in parallel at the same time. The execution state of the budget compilation process can be monitored on a display screen, and an operator can instruct to stop the operation of the whole network at the intermediate of the operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 1994
    Date of Patent: May 12, 1998
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Takao Sekimoto, Masahiro Sakashita, Kenji Ando, Mitsushige Tsukada
  • Patent number: 5752234
    Abstract: A method of supplying health care workers with disposable supplies appropriate for a single patient visit determines a requirement for disposable medical supplies for a patient during an associated single visit by a health care worker. An accounting code is recorded in an accounting database, the code corresponds to the disposable supplies determined to be associated with the visit. The disposable supplies are placed in a disposable container, which is delivered a first site whereat a patient is to receive treatment, prior to the visit by the health care worker. The container is subsequently delivered to a second site for disposal after the visit. Movement of the disposable container is recorded in a computer database when the disposable container is delivered to the first site and to the second site.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 1995
    Date of Patent: May 12, 1998
    Assignee: Patient Solutions
    Inventor: Andrew Withers