Patents Examined by Robert A. Weinhardt
  • Patent number: 5797132
    Abstract: The invention is directed to an electronic labelling system such as for display pricing information on the edge of shelves in retail supermarkets which system comprises a computer (1), a transceiver (2) connected thereto, as well as electronic tags (4) preferably fixed to shelves, with the transceiver (2) transmitting, by means of electromagnetic waves (5), communications frames to update the tags (4), said frames holding the specific address (7) of a tag (4) as well as the data (8) to be displayed, said tags (4) including a receiver which is periodically activated to receive the communications frames. To reduce the power consumption of the tags (4), it is suggested that the tags (4) comprise devices for synchronizing the receivers, said devices activating the receivers at the same instant in time when a communications frame is being transmitted from the transceiver (2).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 1, 1995
    Date of Patent: August 18, 1998
    Assignee: Pricer AB
    Inventor: Richard Altwasser
  • Patent number: 5794211
    Abstract: An electronic price label (EPL) price verification system which ensures that a price for an item obtained from a price look-up (PLU) file by a bar code scanner is equal to another price displayed by an electronic price label (EPL) for the item. The EPL price verification system includes a computer system coupled to the EPL, which includes a terminal and a storage medium coupled to the terminal. The storage medium contains an EPL data file, which contains EPL identification information and an EPL price verifier. The computer terminal executes a price verification program which reads the PLU file to obtain the price of the item, calculates another price verifier from the price of the item in the price file, reads EPL data file to obtain the one price verifier, compares the one and the other price verifiers to determine whether they are equal, and changes the displayed price to the price in the PLU file if the one and the other price verifiers are different.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 1995
    Date of Patent: August 11, 1998
    Assignee: NCR Corporation
    Inventors: John C. Goodwin, III, Terry L. Zimmerman
  • Patent number: 5787404
    Abstract: A method and system for providing an investment fund, such as a long term investment fund which may be suitable for retirement purposes, comprising the steps of establishing a credit based account with a credit card issuer for the benefit of a credit card holder, providing an investment account with a financial institution for the benefit of the credit card holder, funding the investment account by the credit card issuer with a predetermined amount of money on a periodic basis, and charging an amount of money so funded against the credit based account of the credit card holder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 1995
    Date of Patent: July 28, 1998
    Inventor: Ernesto Fernandez-Holmann
  • Patent number: 5781889
    Abstract: A central management system manages a plurality of computer jukeboxes and communicates compressed digital data with each jukebox via a transmission link. The management system also includes a host computer that maintains a master set of compressed digital data representing a plurality of songs, song associated graphics, and song identity information. Each jukebox includes a storage unit that is capable of storing a subset of the master set and a processing circuit having a decompression circuit. The processing circuit controls the operation and flow of digital data into and out of the jukebox through the transmission link as well as a visual song information display, user song selection keys, a money detector, and an audio reproduction circuit coupled to a speaker system so as to provide audio output to users of the jukebox.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 1996
    Date of Patent: July 14, 1998
    Inventors: John R. Martin, Michael L. Tillery, Samuel N. Zammuto
  • Patent number: 5778345
    Abstract: A method and system for evaluating health care provider performance, forecasting health care resource consumption on a macroeconomic scale, and optimizing the allocation of health care resource. The method includes the steps of a) providing patient discharge data which includes an address field indicating one of a plurality of micro-geographical areas (MGAs) wherein a patient resides, b) establishing a referral population for a subject health care provider based upon the market share it has for each cohort in each MGA, c) calculating occurrence rates of medical service demand for the referral population, d) providing and applying population growth factors to the referral population thereby projecting it to a future time, e) applying the occurrence rates to the projected referral population thereby forecasting the consumption of health resources, and f) allocating health care resources in accordance with the forecast.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 1996
    Date of Patent: July 7, 1998
    Inventor: Michael J. McCartney
  • Patent number: 5774868
    Abstract: An automated sales promotion selection system uses neural networks to identify promising sales promotions based on recent customer purchases. The system includes a customer information device that receives customer data relating to customer purchases of items from an inventory of items, a central processing unit having a sales promotion neural network and a storage unit containing a plurality of item identifiers comprising potential customer purchases of additional items from the inventory, wherein the sales opportunity neural network responds to customer data received from the customer information device by determining if one or more of the item identifiers in the storage unit corresponds to an item likely to be purchased by one of the customers, and an output device that receives the item identifiers of the likely purchases determined by the sales promotion neural network and produces a sales promotion relating to at least one of the item identifiers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 1994
    Date of Patent: June 30, 1998
    Assignee: International Business and Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Brian John Cragun, Todd Mark Kelsey, Stephen Hollis Lund
  • Patent number: 5774881
    Abstract: The invention provides a method of simulating future cash flow for a given asset allocation under a variety of economic conditions, comparing the results of the simulation to a predefined risk tolerance baseline, and preferably adjusting the asset allocation until the results of the simulation reflect a maximum rate of return for a given risk tolerance. The simulation of cash flow generates a plurality of asset cash flow projections for a given asset allocation that are preferably graphically represented with respect to the predefined risk tolerance baseline. The risk tolerance baseline is plan specific and is preferably set to a multiple of a preferred risk factor such as percentage of payroll cost or benefit cost. The occurrence of an asset cash flow projection falling below the risk tolerance baseline defines a risk tolerance failure event.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 30, 1998
    Assignee: EFI Actuaries
    Inventors: Edward H. Friend, Robert T. McCrory
  • Patent number: 5774866
    Abstract: A computer system for checks for conflicts associated with proposed new matters in an organization which deals with numerous clients. The system compares data concerning potential relationships of a party to the organization with data denoting existing relationships and identifies potential problem situations where the client in a potential matter is the same as the client in an existing matter. For at least some of these matches, the system uses stored data defining associations between existing parties and persons within the organization to select one or more persons within the organization associated with the existing party, and sends a signal denoting the potential problem to one or more of the persons. The potential problem signal is selectively routed to only those persons concerned. These persons can signal the system that the problem does not exist, or that the problem has been resolved. The system can resolve potential conflicts rapidly while still providing thorough review.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 30, 1998
    Assignee: Hannoch Weisman
    Inventors: Lois Horwitz, William J. Heller, Denise Mariano, Todd M. Sahner, John Price
  • Patent number: 5774883
    Abstract: A transaction management system and method of validating the sale of an asset. The system may be used by a vehicle dealership to evaluate a customer's credit risk, budgetary factors, and profitability of the sale during negotiations for sale of a vehicle, thereby facilitating the sale from both the customer's and dealership's point of view by properly structuring the transaction. The system enables the dealer to pool front-end and back-end profit items to maximize profits. The system performs expert functions to funnel the customer's credit information into a best fit with one of a plurality of specific finance program tiers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 30, 1998
    Inventors: Lloyd R. Andersen, Gregory P. Smith
  • Patent number: 5761631
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method and system to improve the accuracy of natural language processing systems by enabling them to acquire a parsing output that is accurate to a degree for any type of sentence. The feature of the present invention is that a sentence (a non-grammatical, ill-formed sentence) that cannot be parsed when using a conventional parsing process, which relies on grammatical knowledge, is re-analyzed by using the parsing results for an identical word row in a sentence (a well-formed sentence) in the same context that could be parsed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 2, 1998
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventor: Tetsuya Nasukawa
  • Patent number: 5761687
    Abstract: A method of correcting a text in a data processing system is described. The method includes the step of locating a first incorrect character in the text. A character list of alternative characters for the first incorrect character is then shown to the user who replaces the first incorrect character with a correct character from the character list. The change of the first incorrect character is then propagated through a remainder of the text in accordance with a matching score and a language probability score of the remainder of the text with respect to the correct character to correct any subsequent incorrect character in the text.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 2, 1998
    Assignee: Apple Computer, Inc.
    Inventors: Hsiao-Wuen Hon, Gerald T. Beauregard, Eric A. Hulteen
  • Patent number: 5754864
    Abstract: A system is provided for detecting pirated copies of a serialized software program. The system has a remote computer including a remote memory for storing a program, a remote revision level, and a program serial number. The system also has a main computer including a main memory for storing the program serial number, the remote revision level corresponding to the program serial number, and a validation code for a remote program corresponding to the serial number. The validation code indicates whether the program stored in the remote memory is valid or invalid. The system changes the validation code to invalid upon detection of a difference between the remote program revision level received from the remote computer and the remote program revision level stored in the memory of the main computer corresponding to the program serial number received from the remote computer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 1996
    Date of Patent: May 19, 1998
    Assignee: Charles E. Hill & Associates, Inc.
    Inventor: Charles E. Hill
  • Patent number: 5752051
    Abstract: Index terms are drawn from text documents without the need for language-specific processes or training and are suitable as gists for the subject documents. Index terms are extracted on the basis of scores of constituent n-grams relative to n-gram counts in a corpus. A method of extracting joint index terms to represent a plurality of documents is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 1994
    Date of Patent: May 12, 1998
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of NSA
    Inventor: Jonathan Drew Cohen
  • Patent number: 5752235
    Abstract: A device for monitoring medication of a patient and for prompting the patient into certain medication taking schedule and/or certain programming steps and routines. The device has a plurality of compartments, each of which may store medication, and an electrical signaling system to emit medication alert signals from time-to-time, each of which said signals indicates (a) that medication should be taken, (b) from which compartment the medication should be taken, (c) and the quantity of medication to be taken. If a designated compartment is not opened and closed within a predetermined period of time, the electrical signaling system will display an alarm and the event will be recorded as a missed medication event, unless the patient then opens the designated compartment. If each designated compartment is opened and closed, the take-medication signal and the alarm (if operating) are turned off and the event is recorded for later review.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 1990
    Date of Patent: May 12, 1998
    Assignee: InforMedix, Inc.
    Inventors: Bruce A. Kehr, David Lerner, Richard D. Demenus, Michael J. Edl
  • Patent number: 5748907
    Abstract: An Interactive Dynamic Real-time Management System includes a microprocessor adapted to sense the automatic interaction of real-time inputs relating to the method of controlling the position, flow of patients, employees, invoicing, appointment scheduling, and financial costs; also controlling of time, space, and tasks automatically of a medical clinic or other types of businesses with this automatic interactive management system. A memory stores historical data related to the interaction of the real-time inputs, and the microprocessor compares sensed real-time information with historical data to determine changes in unknown operating parameters. All information from real-time dynamic interacting, automatic, semiautomatic and manual inputs are fed into a master processor where the information is automatically sent to patients, employees, and other businesses in the network.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 1996
    Date of Patent: May 5, 1998
    Inventor: Harold E. Crane
  • Patent number: 5749074
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for representing and storing the schedules of recurring events is provided. The schedules are represented by recurrence rules generated according to a specific grammar. According to the grammar, each recurrence rule is composed of one or more recurrence commands. Each recurrence command corresponds to a cycle and includes a time interval indicator that specifies the duration of the cycle and a repeat quantity that determines the number of times the cycle is repeated in the schedule. Each recurrence command may also include an occurrence list that specifies at what times during a particular cycle the event occurs. The occurrence list may specify times in absolute or relative terms. Thus, the grammar supports recurrence rules for representing the schedule "first and tenth of every month" as well as the schedule "second Thursday and last Friday of every month".
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 1995
    Date of Patent: May 5, 1998
    Assignees: Sun Microsystems, Inc., International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Chris S. Kasso, Martin Arthur Knutson, Yvonne Yuen-Yee Tso, Frank R. Dawson
  • Patent number: 5745879
    Abstract: A distributed computer system employs a license management system to account for software product usage. A management policy having a variety of alternative styles and contexts is provided. Each licensed program upon start-up makes a call to a license server to check on whether usage is permitted, and the license server checks a database of the licenses, called product use authorizations, that it administers. If the particular use requested is permitted, a grant is returned to the requesting user node. The product use authorization is structured to define a license management policy allowing a variety of license alternatives by values called "style", "context", "duration" and "usage requirements determination method". The license administration may be delegated by the license server to a subsection of the organization, by creating another license management facility duplicating the main facility.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 1995
    Date of Patent: April 28, 1998
    Assignee: Digital Equipment Corporation
    Inventor: Robert M. Wyman
  • Patent number: 5745911
    Abstract: A printing device including a central processing unit, a first memory, a keyboard for inputting characters forming words, and symbols, which are stored in the first memory, a second memory, a printer, and an eraser. The printer prints the information stored in the first memory. The central processing unit determines whether a word printed by the printer means before the commencement of the printing of the next word is correctly spelled. The second memory contains a dictionary used by the central processing unit to determine whether the spelling of the word printed by the printer is correct. The eraser erases a part of or the entire printed word in response to the central processing means determining that the printed word is misspelled.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 1995
    Date of Patent: April 28, 1998
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Noriyuki Sugiyama
  • Patent number: 5745446
    Abstract: A multi-disc storage player in which a plurality of discs can be stored and selected in the desired order for continuous programmable playing. In particular, the player includes a positioning device for relatively positioning a disc storage portion, which is capable of systematically storing a plurality of discs, and a disc playing device in the direction of arrangement of the discs; and a disc moving device for making a selected disc move between the disc storage portion and the playing device. The positioning device includes a movable member for carrying a selected one of the disc storage portion and the playing device, a driving mechanism for making the movable member move according to an instruction of movement, and a controlling device for issuing said instruction of movement to the driving mechanism until a designated position corresponding to a disc designated by an instruction of playing coincides with a current position of the movable member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 28, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 28, 1998
    Assignee: Pioneer Electronic Corporation
    Inventors: Yusuke Akama, Kunio Matsumoto, Noritaka Kunimaru
  • Patent number: RE35861
    Abstract: Method and apparatus for comparing original and modified versions of a document. The system of the present invention utilizes a hash number generator CPU to generate hash numbers for lines and sentences contained in the documents. Matching hash numbers are defined as anchorpoints and stored in an anchorpoint memory. A comparator CPU performs a character-by-character comparison of the respective documents radiating outward from each anchorpoint. This comparison generates identity blocks which are defined as blocks which are the same in both documents. Non-identity blocks are defined as difference blocks and are characterized as insertions or deletions depending on their status. A portion of the original and modified document is displayed in a split-screen format on a display, such as a CRT. Cursors on the top and bottom half of the screen identify corresponding portions of the documents.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 1996
    Date of Patent: July 28, 1998
    Assignee: Advanced Software, Inc.
    Inventor: Cary L. Queen