Patents Examined by Wynn Coggins
  • Patent number: 7162437
    Abstract: On-line purchasing of products from an electronic commerce (e.g., a Web page) seller is improved by providing samples to users at little or no cost in exchange for feedback that is provided to other users considering purchasing the product. A subset of products available for purchase from an electronic commerce site are provided for a sampling program to users. A predetermined number of users are allowed to sample the product. Feedback from the users are solicited and tracked to provide additional information to the seller and/or potential purchasers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2007
    Assignee: Drugstore.com, Inc.
    Inventors: Karen Shaak, Vijay Varadan, Alex Daniel Gramling
  • Patent number: 7047211
    Abstract: An inventive procurement system includes a requisition system for special item purchases that are not found when searching a catalog database. Using the requisition system the buyer is provided with the desired item while the information associated with the requisition is selectively added to a rule-based knowledge base as well as to an item database. In a preferred embodiment a common language generator has been used to normalize free form data using pre-determined rules to place the data into a class/attribute/value relationship. By having the item requisition follow the same relationship, the pre-determined rules may be updated and the free-form data associated with the item properly coded for inclusion into an item database.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2006
    Assignee: e-Plus Capital, Inc.
    Inventors: William R. Van Etten, Corey Prator
  • Patent number: 7047213
    Abstract: An improved method for purging abandoned shopping carts from an electronic commerce web server. Periodically, the number of shopping carts that belong to guest shoppers is determined and compared with a threshold. When the number shopping carts that belong to guest shoppers exceeds the threshold, a guest shopper garbage collection routine applies to the shopping carts that belong to guest shoppers, and an established shopper garbage collection routine applies to carts that belong to established shoppers. In one embodiment of the invention, the guest shopper garbage collection routine purges shopping carts that have been inactive for a first period of time, whereas the established shopper garbage collection routine purges shopping carts that have been inactive for a second period of time that is longer than the first.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 3, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2006
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Dennis Frank Haynes, Ravesh Lala, Matthew Bunkley Trevathan
  • Patent number: 7047214
    Abstract: A process for providing event photographs for inspection, selection and distribution via a computer network generally includes the steps of taking event photographs, associating identifying data with each photograph taken, transferring the photographs to a computer network server, and permitting access to the server for searching of a particular photograph utilizing the identifying data. The identifying data can include a name of an event participant, a number corresponding to a number worn by the event participant, the date and time the photograph was taken, or a code captured from a component as it passes a sensor. Such a component can be passive or active and can include a bar code, inductive device or an electronic transmitting device which is worn by the event participant. The event participants are informed of the identifying data by posting the identifying data associated with each photograph so that it is made available to the participants of the event for later use in searching the server.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2005
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2006
    Inventor: Peter H. Wolf
  • Patent number: 7031933
    Abstract: An apparatus is provided for locally setting and storing customer preferences. The apparatus includes a personal computer, a computer peripheral device, a reseller web server, and a device manufacturer web server. The personal computer has a web browser and a messaging system. The computer peripheral device has a messaging system communicating with the personal computer. The reseller web server has a messaging system communicating with the personal computer, and configured to capture customer preferences from a customer accessing the reseller web server to order consumables via the computer peripheral device. The device manufacturer web server has a messaging system, communicating with the reseller web server and the computer peripheral device and operative to receive the customer preferences from the reseller web server and forward the customer preferences to the computer peripheral device using the messaging address for the computer peripheral device. A method is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 18, 2006
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.
    Inventor: Mark A. Harper
  • Patent number: 6985875
    Abstract: A process for providing event photographs for inspection, selection and distribution via a computer network generally includes the steps of taking event photographs, associating identifying data with each photograph taken, transferring the photographs to a computer network server, and permitting access to the server for searching of a particular photograph utilizing the identifying data. The identifying data can include a name of an event participant, a number corresponding to a number worn by the event participant, the date and time the photograph was taken, or a code captured from a component as it passes a sensor. Such a component can be passive or active and can include a bar code, inductive device or an electronic transmitting device which is worn by the event participant. The event participants are informed of the identifying data by posting the identifying data associated with each photograph so that it is made available to the participants of the event for later use in searching the server.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 10, 2006
    Inventor: Peter H. Wolf
  • Patent number: 6631356
    Abstract: An online buying group (referred to herein as a “co-op”) is formed for the specific purpose of purchasing a particular product at (102) by defining a start time, end time, critical mass, any minimum number of units offered, any maximum number of units offered, starting price and product cost curve. As data is gathered from buyers, by means of their making binding purchase offers, the co-op is modified at (108) using a pricing tool, so as to take into account for this market data in the definition of the price curve. A buyer chooses a product co-op of interest at (114). The buyer is presented with the following essential co-op information: current price, closing time, next price level (as defined by a price curve visibility window and the price curve) sufficient to entice the buyer to make an offer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 7, 2003
    Assignee: Vulcan Portals, Inc.
    Inventors: Tom Van Horn, Niklas Gustafsson, Dale Woodford
  • Patent number: 6556975
    Abstract: A computer system and method for providing an on-line mall. An on-line mall environment is provided. The on-line mall environment is partitioned into at least one community and having at least one store in each community. Each store is made available to a merchant to occupy. The merchant may customize the store by providing for storage on the on-line mall sight design data and merchandise data. Customers access the on-line mall through a remote location. The customers may connect with the on-line mall website through direct connection to the on-line mall or through links provided by other websites. Customer specific data is stored on the on-line mall allowing the customer to enter purchasing data one time for the many stores in each community. Customer purchasing selections are stored and submitted to the mechant on standard intervals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2003
    Inventor: L. William Wittsche
  • Patent number: 6487541
    Abstract: A rating of a plurality of ratings is predicted. The rating is associated with a user of a plurality of users and the rating corresponds to an item of a plurality of items. One of the plurality of ratings, corresponding to at least one of the plurality of items, is provided for each of the plurality of users. A predictability relation between ones of the plurality of users and other ones of the plurality of users is calculated based on ratings provided by users. One of a plurality of nodes is assigned to each of the plurality of users. Ones of the plurality of nodes are connected with other ones of the plurality of nodes by a plurality of edges based on the predictability relation. A graph which includes the plurality of nodes and the plurality of edges is searched for a path from a node assigned to the user of the plurality of users to another node assigned to another user of the plurality of users.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2002
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Charu Chandra Aggarwal, Joel Leonard Wolf, Philip Shi-Lung Yu
  • Patent number: 6473739
    Abstract: A system and method for enabling patrons at large-scale spectator events at confined venues having identifiable seats utilizes conventional or special hand-held, wireless communication devices to self-order food, drink and souvenir items from remote order fulfillment locations within the venue for delivery to identified seats. Hierarchical menus are provided for display of items for purchase on the devices. A seat identification code is associated with the order when transmitted via the existing telecommunications and Internet infrastructure. Receipt of the order is acknowledged, and a confirmation code is sent upon receipt of order delivery. There is automatic electronic payment for the order charged to a patron account that is established by prearranged means.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2002
    Inventors: Robert S. Showghi, Scott Juds
  • Patent number: 6463418
    Abstract: A method for transacting business electronically includes storing first information in a database management module, reading the first information in the database management module by a network server module, providing a client customized interface with the first information by the network server module, providing client information and product information to a file transfer module responsive to a client ordering a product, and transferring a product to a client by the file transfer module.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2002
    Assignee: Sun Microsystems, Inc.
    Inventor: James W. Todd
  • Patent number: 6453304
    Abstract: A digital information recording apparatus to record digital information to protect copyright of digital information that includes at least first digital information and first copy control information. The digital information recording apparatus records the digital information based upon the first copy control information, which denotes one of: a copy inhibition prohibiting copying of said first digital information; a limited copy permission authorizing a predetermined number of times of copying of said first digital information; and an unlimited copy permission authorizing unlimited copying of said first digital information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2002
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Sasamoto Manabu, Noguchi Takaharu, Aikawa Makoto, Hirahata Shigeru
  • Patent number: 6449599
    Abstract: A network-based sales system includes at least one buyer computer for operation by a user desiring to buy a product, at least one merchant computer, and at least one payment computer. The buyer computer, the merchant computer, and the payment computer are interconnected by a computer network. The buyer computer is programmed to receive a user request for purchasing a product, and to cause a payment message to be sent to the payment computer that comprises a product identifier identifying the product. The payment computer is programmed to receive the payment message, to cause an access message to be created that comprises the product identifier and an access message authenticator based on a cryptographic key, and to cause the access message to be sent to the merchant computer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 10, 2002
    Assignee: Open Market, Inc.
    Inventors: Andrew C. Payne, Lawrence C. Stewart, David J. Mackie
  • Patent number: 6438526
    Abstract: An automated system for collecting and disseminating loan information over a network connection includes a server which receives loan data, including daily loan data, from lenders and stores the loan data in a database. A web server provides to users (e.g., brokers, correspondents, or retail loan customers) interactive web content including loan information and a list of loan criteria which would affect the quoted points, rate, cap, or margin associated with a particular loan. The web server receives a user's applicable loan criteria selected from the list of possible loan criteria. And uses that applicable loan criteria and the loan data from the lender to create a list of adjustments to the points, rate, cap or margin. A quoted interest rate and the list of applicable adustments are transmitted by the web server to the user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2002
    Inventors: Frederick T. Dykes, Richard J. Heiston
  • Patent number: 6434532
    Abstract: Broad-based, systematic, individualized, interactive customer software support is provided through a two-way, voluntary automated exchange of information between a software agent installed on a customer's machine and a server machine via a wide area computer network, e.g., the Internet. Communication between the agent and the server is optimized to be unobtrusive or transparent, e.g. using spare bandwidth of intermittent Internet connections. The agent is software non-specific and may be instructed to operate with respect to any arbitrary software program, and may further be instructed at various different times to operate with respect to various different software programs, including multiple different software programs on a single machine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2002
    Assignee: Aladdin Knowledge Systems, Ltd.
    Inventors: Steve Goldband, Ron van Os, Jeffrey Barth
  • Patent number: 6418419
    Abstract: An apparatus and method of automatically and anonymously buying and selling positions in fungible properties between subscribers. The specific embodiment described in the disclosure relates to the buying and selling of securities or contracts where the offer to purchase or sell the property may be conditioned upon factors such as the ability to purchase or sell other property or the actual purchase or sale of other property.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2002
    Assignee: 5th Market, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert Scott Nieboer, Pedro V. Balcarce, Ivan N. Zhidov, Micah James Eldred
  • Patent number: 6405181
    Abstract: A system and method are disclosed for providing real time approval of credit over a network. The method includes obtaining applicant data from an applicant. The applicant data is analyzed into a form suitable for directly obtaining a credit report from a credit bureau for the applicant. A credit report having credit report data is obtained from a credit bureau for the applicant. It is then determined whether to accept the applicant using the credit report data and it is communicated to the applicant that the applicant has been approved.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 3, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2002
    Assignee: NextCard, Inc.
    Inventors: Jeremy R. Lent, Mary Lent, Eric R. Meeks, Yinzi Cai, Timothy J. Coltrell, David W. Dowhan
  • Patent number: 6401077
    Abstract: A method and system for enabling a page description provided by a source server to perform additional behavior provided by a portal server. The page description (e.g., an HTML document) is associated with one or more items (e.g., a product). The enabling system executes at the portal server and receives a selection of the page description (e.g., a URL) from a client computer. The enabling system then retrieves from the source server the selected page description. The enabling system adds to the retrieved page description a user interface element that describes an action to be performed so that the additional behavior (e.g., placing an order for the product) can be performed for the associated item. The enabling system may also redirect to the portal server the navigation references of the retrieved page description so that all navigation based on the page description is routed through the portal server.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2002
    Assignee: Network Commerce, Inc.
    Inventors: Glenn Godden, John Guthrie
  • Patent number: 6389538
    Abstract: A system for tracking usage of digital content on user devices. Electronic stores coupled to a network sell licenses to play digital content data to users. Content players, which receive from the network the licensed content data, are used to play the licensed content data. Additionally, a logging site that is coupled to the network tracks the playing of the content data. In particular, the logging site receives play information from the network, and the play information includes the number of times that the content data has been played by the associated content player. Also provided is a method for tracking usage of digital content on user devices. According to the method, a license to play digital content data is sold to a user, and the licensed content data is transmitted to a content player for the user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2002
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: George Gregory Gruse, John J. Dorak, Jr., Kenneth Louis Milsted
  • Patent number: 6389403
    Abstract: A system for tracking usage of digital content on user devices. Content sites for distributing digital content over a computer readable medium to users. The content sites associate unique content identifier with the content associated. Electronic stores coupled to a network sell licenses to play digital content data to users. The licenses contain a unique transaction identifier for uniquely identifying the transaction, and the licenses contain a unique item identifier for uniquely identifying at least one item in the transaction. Content players, which receive from the network the licensed content data, are used to play the licensed content data. The content players produce a purchase identifier based upon the mathematical combination of the content identifier, the transaction identifier and the item identifier.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2002
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventor: John J. Dorak, Jr.