Patents by Inventor Michael R. Levine

Michael R. Levine has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 10458880
    Abstract: A sprinkling or irrigation system includes a sprinkler controller that is capable of detecting a leak in one or more zones of the system. The system include a main valve and an adjustable valve in a bypass line around the main valve. The adjustable valve is set to a partially closed state such that a selected on of the zones produces a pressure at a selected proportion of the static pressure provided by the water source such as half the static pressure. A leak is detected when a zone, with the main valve closed and the adjustable valve in the partially closed state, produced a test pressure that is substantially lower than the selected proportion of the static pressure, as modified by a test factor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2019
    Inventor: Michael R. Levine
  • Publication number: 20190297798
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for a battery powered networked irrigation controller that communicates with a backend server to implement updated watering schedules as needed, rather than the irrigation controller waiting until the next scheduled watering event of the obsolete watering schedule. A local wireless network transceiver can be accessed locally by a mobile device to prompt the irrigation controller to wake up from a sleep mode and communicate with the backend server to verify or obtain the updated watering schedule, allowing for changes in the horticultural conditions in the region watered by the irrigation controller, such as the laying of new sod.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 4, 2019
    Publication date: October 3, 2019
    Inventors: Michael R. Levine, Harold Davis
  • Patent number: 10306844
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for a networked irrigation system include a battery powered networked irrigation controller that communicates with a backend server. The backend server monitor rainfall at the location of the irrigation controllers via third party weather resources. General irrigation is set to commence once every several days, and when rain falls at the location of an irrigation controller, the watering schedule is shifted to ensure that watering does not occur more frequently than desired. The irrigation controller uses a cellular transceiver modem to communicate with the backend server, and since the irrigation controller is battery powered, the cellular transceiver modem is maintained in an off state until just prior to commencing a scheduled watering, when the irrigation controller contacts the backend server.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2019
    Inventor: Michael R. Levine
  • Patent number: 10225997
    Abstract: A sprinkler system is controlled to ensure that a given geographic area receives sufficient watering without being over-watered. The sprinkler system, capable of being programmed to deliver a desired amount of water in accordance with a desired daily watering schedule, is programmed to deliver the desired amount of water every day unless interrupted. Rainfall information is received, and a signal is sent to interrupt the sprinkler system, causing the sprinkler system to: a) follow a predetermined watering schedule when there is no rain, in which case the sprinkler system delivers the desired amount of water following a predetermined number of days, n, without watering, or b) increase n by 1 or more days if the rainfall information indicates at least one significant rain event capable of providing the desired amount of water, and c) return to a) when n expires.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2019
    Inventor: Michael R. Levine
  • Publication number: 20180348081
    Abstract: A sprinkling or irrigation system includes a sprinkler controller that is capable of detecting a leak in one or more zones of the system. The system include a main valve and an adjustable valve in a bypass line around the main valve. The adjustable valve is set to a partially closed state such that a selected on of the zones produces a pressure at a selected proportion of the static pressure provided by the water source such as half the static pressure. A leak is detected when a zone, with the main valve closed and the adjustable valve in the partially closed state, produced a test pressure that is substantially lower than the selected proportion of the static pressure, as modified by a test factor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 6, 2018
    Publication date: December 6, 2018
    Inventor: MICHAEL R. LEVINE
  • Patent number: 10101753
    Abstract: An auxiliary sprinkler controller is used to control sprinkling by selectively enabling or inhibiting operation of a legacy sprinkler controller. The legacy sprinkler controller provides electrical power to a particular zone of several zones during each of a plurality of durations, and multiple durations, “n,” are provided for each zone. As a result, each zone can be watered for any of 2n combinations of the durations for a desired total watering duration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2018
    Inventor: Michael R. Levine
  • Patent number: 9504213
    Abstract: A sprinkler system is controlled to ensure that a given geographic area receives sufficient watering without being over-watered. The sprinkler system, capable of being programmed to deliver a desired amount of water in accordance with a desired daily watering schedule, is programmed to deliver the desired amount of water every day unless interrupted. Rainfall information is received, and a signal is sent to interrupt the sprinkler system, causing the sprinkler system to: a) follow a predetermined watering schedule when there is no rain, in which case the sprinkler system delivers the desired amount of water following a predetermined number of days, n, without watering, or b) increase n by 1 or more days if the rainfall information indicates at least one significant rain event capable of providing the desired amount of water, and c) return to a) when n expires.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 29, 2016
    Inventors: Michael R. Levine, Luke Dickens
  • Publication number: 20140148959
    Abstract: A sprinkler system is controlled to ensure that a given geographic area receives sufficient watering without being over-watered. The sprinkler system, capable of being programmed to deliver a desired amount of water in accordance with a desired daily watering schedule, is programmed to deliver the desired amount of water every day unless interrupted. Rainfall information is received, and a signal is sent to interrupt the sprinkler system, causing the sprinkler system to: a) follow a predetermined watering schedule when there is no rain, in which case the sprinkler system delivers the desired amount of water following a predetermined number of days, n, without watering, or b) increase n by 1 or more days if the rainfall information indicates at least one significant rain event capable of providing the desired amount of water, and c) return to a) when n expires.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 14, 2013
    Publication date: May 29, 2014
    Inventors: Michael R. Levine, Luke Dickens
  • Patent number: 7597785
    Abstract: A sub-atmospheric pressure desalinating still employs a closed top, open bottom pipe filled with source water to be distilled, such as seawater, having a height greater than the height of a column of seawater that can be supported by the pressure at the bottom of the tank so that a subatmospheric pressure volume is formed at the top. Water from the source is also pumped into the subatmospheric volume and passed through an evaporator which enlarges its surface volume. A small percentage of the water is vaporized and the balance is cooled to provide the heat of vaporization and falls into the top of the seawater column, creating a downward flow. The vapor is drawn from the vacuum and condensed, preferably in a second subatmospheric volume above a column of fresh water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 4, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 6, 2009
    Assignee: Smart VCR Limited Partnership
    Inventor: Michael R. Levine
  • Publication number: 20090014312
    Abstract: A sub-atmospheric pressure desalinating still employs a closed top, open bottom pipe filled with source water to be distilled, such as seawater, having a height greater than the height of a column of seawater that can be supported by the pressure at the bottom of the tank so that a subatmospheric pressure volume is formed at the top. Water from the source is also pumped into the subatmospheric volume and passed through an evaporator which enlarges its surface volume. A small percentage of the water is vaporized and the balance is cooled to provide the heat of vaporization and falls into the top of the seawater column, creating a downward flow. The vapor is drawn from the vacuum and condensed, preferably in a second subatmospheric volume above a column of fresh water.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 4, 2008
    Publication date: January 15, 2009
    Inventor: Michael R. Levine
  • Patent number: 7431806
    Abstract: A sub-atmospheric pressure desalinating still employs a closed top, open bottom pipe filled with source water to be distilled, such as seawater, having a height greater than the height of a column of seawater that can be supported by the pressure at the bottom of the tank so that a subatmospheric pressure volume is formed at the top. Water from the source is also pumped into the subatmospheric volume and passed through an evaporator which enlarges its surface volume. A small percentage of the water is vaporized and the balance is cooled to provide the heat of vaporization and falls into the top of the seawater column, creating a downward flow. The vapor is drawn from the vacuum and condensed, preferably in a second subatmospheric volume above a column of fresh water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 13, 2005
    Date of Patent: October 7, 2008
    Assignee: LEV Group, LLC
    Inventor: Michael R. Levine
  • Publication number: 20040055866
    Abstract: A sub-atmospheric pressure desalinating still employs a closed top, opened bottom tank filled with seawater, having a height greater than the height of a column of seawater that can be supported by the pressure at the bottom tank so that a vacuum is formed at the top. A compressor draws vapor from the evacuated area, compresses it and passes it through a heat exchanger within the tank volume to condense the vapor in the tank to generate purified water. Replenishing water is drawn in through the bottom of the tank, passes through a heat exchanger, and is pumped through a heat exchanger coil surrounding the compressor, with the outlet feeding a spray head within the vacuum volume. The compressor and the pump for the intake flow are powered by a wind turbine or wave power.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 19, 2003
    Publication date: March 25, 2004
    Inventor: Michael R. Levine
  • Publication number: 20020010594
    Abstract: A method of payment for a healthcare service includes the steps of an intermediary issuing a healthcare credit card to a healthcare user, wherein the healthcare user agrees to repay the intermediary for charges incurred by the healthcare user utilizing the healthcare credit card. The method also includes the steps of the intermediary contracting with a healthcare provider, wherein the healthcare provider agrees to perform a predetermined healthcare service and charge the healthcare user a predetermined fee, and the intermediary agrees to pay the healthcare provider the predetermined fee charged the healthcare user. The method further includes the steps of the healthcare user using the healthcare credit card to charge the predetermined fee for receiving the predetermined healthcare service, wherein the intermediary pays the healthcare provider the predetermined fee and the healthcare user reimburses the intermediary.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 20, 2001
    Publication date: January 24, 2002
    Inventor: Michael R. Levine
  • Patent number: 5988078
    Abstract: A personal computer is used to assist in the selection of television programs to be recorded at future times and to control a video tape recorder to implement the selected recordings. An application program allows the computer to receive data representing a schedule of future programs. The operator can perform data base operations on the data to obtain listings of programs of particular interest. A program to be recorded is selected by moving a cursor into position with the display of the program listing on the computer. An output device generates infrared signals to control the video tape recorder and a cable box to tune and record a selected program.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 23, 1999
    Assignee: Gemstar Development Corp.
    Inventor: Michael R. Levine
  • Patent number: 5915068
    Abstract: A system for programming the automatic operation of a video recorder over an extended time period uses an associated television receiver as a display device for alphanumeric messages to the operator to provide a self-explanatory, interactive programming routine. The video recorder system includes a digital memory, a real time digital clock, and an alphanumeric character generator, all connected to a central digital controller. A keypad allows the operator to initiate a programming routine in which previously stored programming messages are called up from memory and generated on the TV receiver's display tube using the character generator. The operator's responses entered via the keypad are stored in the memory and are called up at future times to generate control signals for the video recorder. The video recorder system further includes a memory storing digital data representing a schedule of programming available for a future period.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 1996
    Date of Patent: June 22, 1999
    Assignee: Smart VCR Limited Partnership
    Inventor: Michael R. Levine
  • Patent number: 5748716
    Abstract: To initialize a remote control device for use in a particular installation, initialization parameters are entered relating to the relationship between user input codes and equipment to be controlled. In the preferred embodiment involving video recorder equipment, the initialization procedure concerns the video channels available to the recorder and remote control codes associated with the operation of the recorder using a receive-only modem on the device attached to a phone jack, initialization is performed by dialing up a remote location with a touch tone phone. At the remote end a computer sends selected audio response signals to the telephone receiver requesting that the user key in information using the touch tone pad. The computer then transmits the appropriate signals to the memory of the remote device to initialize it.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 1996
    Date of Patent: May 5, 1998
    Assignee: Smart VCR Limited Partnership
    Inventor: Michael R. Levine
  • Patent number: 5701383
    Abstract: A video time-shifting system characterized in having a continuous recording track accessed by separate, asychronous read and write facilities enables playback of a video program to commence from any point in the program while continuing to be recorded in real time, thus providing VCR-like program control features such as PAUSE/RESUME, REWIND, and FAST FORWARD. A memory is used to store information relating to various points in the program so that even upon receipt of multiple PAUSE commands, the system automatically keeps track of correct program re-entry. In the preferred embodiment, the storage means takes the form of a continuous recording track in a magnetic disk drive.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 23, 1997
    Assignee: Gemstar Development Corporation
    Inventors: James Russo, Michael R. Levine
  • Patent number: 5692214
    Abstract: A personal computer is used to assist in the selection of television programs to be recorded at future times and to control a video tape recorder to implement the selected recordings. An application program allows the computer to receive data representing a schedule of future programs. The operator can perform data base operations on the data to obtain listings of programs of particular interest. A program to be recorded is selected by moving a cursor into position with the display of the program listing on the computer. An output device generates infrared signals to control the video tape recorder and a cable box to tune and record a selected program.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 1994
    Date of Patent: November 25, 1997
    Inventor: Michael R. Levine
  • Patent number: RE42026
    Abstract: A video recorder, adapted for use in conjunction with a remotely controllable unit associated with television recording and/or viewing, contains a remote-control signal transmitter to transmit control codes to the associated unit, and means to analyze the operation of the associated unit in response to the control codes. An electronic controller causes the transmitter to transmit test codes to the associated unit, then analyzes the resulting operation of the associated unit to determine its control codes, which it stores in a memory for later use.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 11, 2011
    Assignee: Index Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael R. Levine
  • Patent number: RE35954
    Abstract: A single remote control transmitter can advantageously control three units including a cable tuner/descrambler, a video recorder/player and a television receiver. One of these three units, preferably the video recorder/player, is a master unit. It receives remote control signals from a hand held remote control transmitter. The master unit is initialized using on screen prompts to learn the remote control signals for the other units which are slaves. The prompts ask the user to operate various controls on the remote control transmitter of the proposed slave unit, while receiving and analyzing the remote control transmissions. This permits the master unit to build a translation table for control of the slave units. The master unit may include a read only memory of remote control codes for a number of possible slave units. The master unit can abort the initialization process if it recognizes the requested remote control transmission is according to one of the remote control codes stored in the memory.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 20, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 10, 1998
    Assignee: Smart VCR Limited Partnership
    Inventor: Michael R. Levine