Patents Examined by Stephen R. Tkacs
  • Patent number: 6019393
    Abstract: Optional gratuities in the food and beverage industry may be defined on a planar surface as a percentage function of the cost of meals instead of an absolute dollar amount. This eliminates the necesity of the customer having to perform arithmetic calculations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 1993
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2000
    Inventor: Hugh Gene Loebner
  • Patent number: 6021398
    Abstract: A computer implemented system and method of executing an auction. The system has at least two intelligent systems, one for the auctioneer and at least one for a user. The auction is conducted by the auctioneer's system communicating with the user system(s). The auctioneer's system receives information from the user system(s) based on bid information entered by the user(s). With this information the auctioneer's system determines whether the auction can be concluded or not and appropriate messages are transmitted to the user(s).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 1999
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2000
    Inventor: Lawrence M. Ausubel
  • Patent number: 6021390
    Abstract: An information center transmits information as the object of sales to each information vending machine in advance through a communication line and stores it in the information storage portion of each information vending machine. Each information vending machine stores correspondence list which specifies the correspondence of each information vending machine with the information as the object of sales which is stored therein. When the information vending machine operated does not store the information requested by a purchaser in the information storage portion thereof, the information vending machine refers to the correspondence list, finds other information vending machine which stores the requested information, receives the information from the other information vending machine through the communication line and copies the information on a recording medium so as to sell the information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2000
    Assignee: Fujitsu Limited
    Inventors: Kazuo Satoh, Masayuki Ishizaki, Yoshimasa Kadooka
  • Patent number: 6018718
    Abstract: The present invention is a method is for providing and managing a customized reward offer to a holder of a financial account. The method includes the step of accessing historical account data associated with the financial account. The method further includes the step of determining a first performance target associated with the financial account. The method also includes the steps of selecting a reward offer having an associated reward description and transmitting the first performance target and the reward description to the account holder. The method continues with the steps of collecting transaction data associated with the financial account and evaluating the collected transaction data to determine a second performance target associated with the financial account. The collected transaction data is then compared to said first performance target. If the collected transaction data exceeds the first performance target, the financial account is updated to reflect the reward.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2000
    Assignee: Walker Asset Management Limited Partnership
    Inventors: Jay S. Walker, Sanjay K. Jindal, Toby Weir-Jones
  • Patent number: 6018716
    Abstract: A network computer system and method for analyzing a system of continuous process lines. Groupware is used to implement the analysis stage of continuous flow manufacturing (CFM) methodology using a network of portable computers. Preferably in one meeting, in response to prompts of a facilitator, participants input all the required qualitative and quantitative data about each process line in the system being analyzed. The input data is anonymously displayed to all the participants, the data is corrected and verified by group consensus achieved informally or by automatic tabulation of anonymous voting as needed. The verified data is organized into a GroupWare database (flat files and/or a part of a relational database). Bridge programs automatically read the GroupWare database and reorganize the data to create a program input database. Then preferably in the same meeting a flow chart program (e.g.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2000
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Patrick F. Denardo, Philip D. Heinlein, Timothy J. Maguire, David J. Wolstromer
  • Patent number: 6014630
    Abstract: A system for producing individualized patient educational reports for patients about to receive medical procedures, such as surgery, the reports including data relating to the particular medical procedure, the particular medical facility, and the particular physician.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 1993
    Date of Patent: January 11, 2000
    Assignee: Patient Education Services, Inc.
    Inventors: Harvey F. Jeacock, Elliott B. Nowak
  • Patent number: 6014641
    Abstract: A system for providing an open-ended subscription to commodity items normally available on a term basis includes a central agent that serves as the front-end for commodity suppliers. This central agent maintains databases containing information associated with a group of commodity items and their sales. Using these databases, the central agent produces subscription records to provide open-ended subscription services to its customers, while supporting the term-based subscriptions of the commodity suppliers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 11, 2000
    Assignee: Walker Asset Management Limited Partnership
    Inventors: Michael R. Loeb, Jay S. Walker
  • Patent number: 6012046
    Abstract: A crossing network that matches buy and sell orders based upon a satisfaction and quantity profile is disclosed. The crossing network includes a number of trader terminals that can be used for entering orders. The orders are entered in the form of a satisfaction density profile that represents a degree of satisfaction to trade a particular instrument at various (price, quantity) combinations. Typically, each order is either a buy order or a sell order. The trader terminals are coupled to a matching controller computer. The matching controller computer can receive as input the satisfaction density profiles entered at each one of the trading terminals. The matching controller computer matches orders (as represented by each trader's satisfaction density profile) so that each trader is assured that the overall outcome of the process (in terms of average price and size of fill) has maximized the mutual satisfaction of all traders. Typically, the matching process is anonymous.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 4, 2000
    Assignee: OptiMark Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: William A. Lupien, John T. Rickard
  • Patent number: 6012048
    Abstract: An automated banking system for wire transfer of funds is provided with a machine where the user has a card to identify the user as being qualified to use the banking system. The user must know and be provided with the transferee's bank number and the transferee's account number. Preferably, the user knows the routing number and the user inputs the routing number at the machine which is preferably an ATM machine that accepts and dispenses cash. The user may pay for the wire transfer at the machine by cash, a credit card, debit card, smart card or a withdrawal from the user's account. The machine has card readers and means for writing down on a card the amount paid therefrom for this wire transaction. The user is assured by the verification that the wire transfer is to the proper receiving account.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 4, 2000
    Assignee: Capital Security Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Robin Haley Gustin, Troy W. Livingston, Namsoo Park
  • Patent number: 6009408
    Abstract: A system (10) for facilitating the processing of travel related expenses includes a database (40) which stores a traveler profile (50), a customer profile (52), and a traveler category rule set (56). A controller (36), connected to the database (40), receives travel itinerary information for a traveler associated with a customer (12). The controller (40) determines a specified amount of funds to be allocated to the traveler and transfers the specified amount of funds from an account of the customer (12). In addition, the controller (40) provides at least a portion of the transferred funds to the traveler, for example, through an automatic teller machine network (20). The controller (40) receives a record, for example, via an electronic data interchange interface (24), of any transactions in which the traveler spends the portion of transferred funds, thereby facilitating the processing of travel related expenses.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 1996
    Date of Patent: December 28, 1999
    Assignee: Electronic Data Systems Corporation
    Inventor: Carla C. Buchanan
  • Patent number: 6003015
    Abstract: A new and improved video order confirmation method and system that is adapted for use with a point-of-sale terminal and an audio order confirmation station to facilitate customer throughput. The video order confirmation system and method includes a point of sales terminal for receiving order input information from an order taker in response to order requests from a customer, and a video confirmation order terminal to facilitate order confirmation by the customer. The order confirmation terminal includes a free standing terminal housing having a microprocessor and display unit mounted therein for translating order items entered by an order taker at the point-of-sales terminal, into pixel images indicative of the description of the item ordered, the quantity of the item ordered, the unit price of the item ordered, the total price of the item or items ordered, and the accumulated total of all items ordered at any given time during the order process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 1996
    Date of Patent: December 14, 1999
    Assignee: HM Electronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Chao Ming Kang, Thomas H. Stanford, David W. Snyder
  • Patent number: 5999909
    Abstract: A method for establishing certifiable patient informed consent for a medical procedure, where, in one embodiment, the patient interacts with a video training system until mastery of all required information is successfully achieved. Training techniques which permit elicitation of measurable behaviors from a patient as a guide to discerning the level of knowledge of the patient are utilized. Certification is only granted when the measurable behavior approximately coincide with the legal and medical standards for establishing informed consent. The system is capable of adapting to various medical procedures, as well as various patient attitudes and knowledge bases, while still maintaining a level of consistency throughout. In one embodiment, a minimum probability of understanding may be preset, and the training procedure will continue until the actual statistical probability of understanding is at least equal to the preset minimum.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 7, 1999
    Assignee: Medical Training and Services International, Inc.
    Inventors: Amitabha Rakshit, Wilson A. Judd
  • Patent number: 5999908
    Abstract: The invention may be embedded in products or services that contain a microprocessor and a facility for communication. The resulting two-way interactive media enables relationships to be built with individual customers and groups of customers throughout a product's or service's life cycle. Customers may also be provided with automatic, portable in-use access to constantly updated information during product use, to increase user success and reduce costly and error-filled processes of acquiring product expertise. The invention may interact with customers, gather information from customers, communicate customer information securely to a vendor or external third party(ies), construct and transmit new pre-programmed interactions to the customer communications system in the product, and analyze and report customer information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 7, 1999
    Inventor: Daniel H. Abelow
  • Patent number: 5995015
    Abstract: A system for communicating between a store computer and locations in the les of a retail facility. A hard wired grid connects the store computer to a plurality of transceivers located in zones throughout the facility and the transceivers establish a wireless link to the locations. One embodiment is a product information display system in which the locations are fixed information display terminals, such as price displaying shelf tags. Another embodiment is an item tracking system, in which the locations are movable shopping carts or baskets.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 30, 1999
    Assignee: Electronic Advertising Solutions Innovators, Inc. D/B/A EASI, Inc.
    Inventors: William C. DeTemple, Peter Abell, E. Frederick Bird, Milton L. Goff
  • Patent number: 5995939
    Abstract: An automated networked service request and fulfillment system and method includes "client" computer systems in the offices of professionals such as doctors, and "sponsor" computers at the sites of service providers such as test labs or insurance companies, interconnected with a mail server system that exchanges e-mail messages via the Internet or a similar network. "Service requests", such as ordering a medical test or requesting authorization for a particular procedure, are prepared using a client system and automatically e-mailed to the sponsor system of an appropriate service provider. The request is fulfilled and the results e-mailed back to the requesting client system using the mail server system. Confidentiality is insured by encrypting all e-mail messages. The system includes a "universal interface" component which automates the process of converting data records found in existing databases into the data record format required by the new system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 14, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 30, 1999
    Assignee: Cymedix Lynx Corporation
    Inventors: Keith Berman, Sima Mishail, William Tappin, Barbara Asbell, Tom V. Nguyen
  • Patent number: 5987439
    Abstract: An unattended banking machine such as an ATM machine has a payment acceptor for accepting payment from the machine user and for determining the amount of payment from the user. A calculator determines the transactional difference between the amount of the transaction and the payment by the user. In ATM machines service fees may be charged to the ATM user for issuing a money order or for a wire transfer that are not in even multiples of the smallest denomination of the currency being dispensed by the ATM machine. The preferred cash dispenser has only bills of different denominations and no coins. To pay the transactional difference without the use of very small denomination currency and/or coins the transactional difference is divided into a cash payment portion which is dispensed in bills from the machine's cash dispenser.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 16, 1999
    Assignee: Capital Security Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Robin Haley Gustin, Troy W. Livingston, Namsoo Park
  • Patent number: 5983198
    Abstract: The system and method include a fleet of vehicles to provide material to a plurality of tanks at various customer locations. An inventory indicator associated with each of the tanks provides a quantity signal to the central station indicating the quantity and temperature of each of the tanks. A processor at the central station monitors the quantity signals of each of the tanks to determine past usage rates of the contents of each of the tanks. The processor projects future tank quantities based on the past usage pattern and determines possible routes for each of the vehicles to each of the tanks. The processor optimizes the routes, delivery amounts, and delivery schedule to minimize total delivered cost for the products based on the projected future tank levels and the possible routes to dispatch each of the vehicles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 9, 1999
    Assignee: Novus International, Inc.
    Inventors: Kevin M. Mowery, John P. Bartley, Robert J. Hantak, Richard E. Etling, Joseph R. Read
  • Patent number: 5978766
    Abstract: A machine, method and computer-readable medium for presenting one or more users with suggestions of items from a choice space, wherein the items chosen for presentation are based upon explicit and/or observed preferences of the user. The present invention contemplates use in any number of paradigms involving large user choice spaces, including those relating to the internet and on-line arenas, as well as those relating to television.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 1995
    Date of Patent: November 2, 1999
    Assignee: Starwave Corporation
    Inventor: William W. Luciw
  • Patent number: 5971931
    Abstract: Methods and systems for monitoring biologic conditions including microsensors, wireless telemetry, expert systems, monitoring stations, and communication abilities. The methods and systems of the invention allow for patient monitoring and analysis at remote locations utilizing wireless telemetry.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 26, 1999
    Inventor: Gilbert Lewis Raff
  • Patent number: RE36360
    Abstract: A system that determines the total demand for a product for each day over four time periods specified by the user of the system. Within the first time period, from the current date up to a demand fence, the total demand cannot be altered. For the next three periods, called the flex fence periods, the total demand for each day can vary by a percentage amount set by the user. If an order exceeding capacity is received for a date beyond the demand fence, the system will recalculate total demand for all days beyond the demand fence and prior to the order date to attempt to produce the total demand quantity necessary to fulfill the order. In calculating the increased quantities, the system uses a formula that prevents the total demand quantity for any day from exceeding the amount of material that was ordered for that day.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 26, 1999
    Assignee: John Costanza Institute of Technology, Inc.
    Inventor: John R. Costanza