Patents by Inventor W. Reed Hastings

W. Reed Hastings 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: 8749426
    Abstract: A remote control comprises a touch-sensitive device configured to detect touching and convert the touching into one or more first data signals; a wireless data transmitter; and logic coupled to the touch-sensitive device and to the wireless data transmitter. The logic is configured to receive the first data signals, transform the first data signals into one or more second data signals that are compatible with a remotely controllable apparatus, and communicate the second data signals to the remotely controllable apparatus using the transmitter. The apparatus can interact with the remote control to generate a graphical user interface on a video display that enables controlling the apparatus using manipulation of the touch-sensitive device. For example, touch gestures can remotely control functions of a DVD player, including functions that are normally accessible only by viewing successive deeply nested menus using a multi-button remote control.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2014
    Assignee: Netflix, Inc.
    Inventors: W. Reed Hastings, Neil D. Hunt
  • Patent number: 8271338
    Abstract: According to an embodiment of the invention, an approach is provided for estimating how a particular user would rate a particular item from a plurality of items. The approach is applicable to any type of items, including rental items such as movies, music and games, and the invention is not limited to any particular type of item. One or more items from the plurality of items that have ratings similar to the particular item are identified. One or more other users are identified that have given ratings to the one or more items that are substantially similar to ratings given by the particular user to the one or more items. An estimation is made of how the particular user would rate the particular item based upon ratings for the particular item given by the one or more other users.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 18, 2012
    Assignee: Netflix, Inc.
    Inventors: Neil Duncan Hunt, Stanley Miguel Lanning, W. Reed Hastings, Shawn Michael Purcell, Lawrence Wen-Kai Shih, John Robert Ciancutti
  • Publication number: 20100010877
    Abstract: According to an embodiment of the invention, an approach is provided for estimating how a particular user would rate a particular item from a plurality of items. The approach is applicable to any type of items, including rental items such as movies, music and games, and the invention is not limited to any particular type of item. One or more items from the plurality of items that have ratings similar to the particular item are identified. One or more other users are identified that have given ratings to the one or more items that are substantially similar to ratings given by the particular user to the one or more items. An estimation is made of how the particular user would rate the particular item based upon ratings for the particular item given by the one or more other users.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 18, 2009
    Publication date: January 14, 2010
    Inventors: Neil Duncan Hunt, Stanley Miguel Lanning, W. Reed Hastings, Shawn Michael Purcell, Lawrence Wen-Kai Shih, John Robert Ciancutti
  • Patent number: 7617127
    Abstract: According to another embodiment of the invention, an approach is provided for estimating how a particular user would rate a particular item from a plurality of items. The approach is applicable to any type of items, including rental items such as movies, music and games, and the invention is not limited to any particular type of item. One or more items from the plurality of items that have ratings similar to the particular item are identified. Then, one or more other users are identified that have given ratings to the one or more items that are substantially similar to ratings given by the particular user to the one or more items. Finally, an estimation is made of how the particular user would rate the particular item based upon ratings for the particular item given by the one or more other users.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 6, 2004
    Date of Patent: November 10, 2009
    Assignee: Netflix, Inc.
    Inventors: Neil Duncan Hunt, Stanley Miguel Lanning, W. Reed Hastings, Shawn Michael Purcell, Lawrence Wen-Kai Shih, John Robert Ciancutti
  • Patent number: 7546252
    Abstract: An “inventory free” approach for managing rental items across a plurality of distribution locations includes sending at least some rental items that are not needed by two or more distribution locations to a designated distribution location. Rental items sent to the designated distribution location may be permanently stored at the designated distribution location, returned to the distribution location from which they were sent, or sent to other distribution locations, depending upon where the rental items are needed. In situations where particular rental items are not currently needed by customers at a distribution location, but there is a high likelihood that the particular rental items will be needed by the customers within a specified time, the particular rental items may be maintained at the distribution location as “float” and not sent to the designated distribution location. The float is re-processed as returned rental items prior to being again rented to customers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2009
    Assignee: Netflix, Inc.
    Inventors: W. Reed Hastings, Tom Dillon, Neil Duncan Hunt
  • Patent number: 7403910
    Abstract: According to another embodiment of the invention, an approach is provided for estimating how a user would rate an item that the user has not yet rated. The approach is applicable to any type of items, including rental items such as movies and games, and the invention is not limited to any particular type of item. The approach is applicable to a wide variety of contexts and is ideally suited for automatically selecting rental items to be recommended for rental. One or more items that have been rated by the user are identified. Then, one or more other users are identified that have rated the one or more items and given ratings to the one or more items that are substantially similar to ratings given by user to the one or more items. Finally, an estimation is made how the user would rate the item that the user has not yet rated based upon how the one or more other users rated the item.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2008
    Assignee: Netflix, Inc.
    Inventors: W. Reed Hastings, Neil Duncan Hunt, Marc B. Randolph, John Robert Ciancutti, Stanley Miguel Lanning
  • Patent number: 7401727
    Abstract: A mailing and response envelope for conveying an item from a sender to a recipient and back is disclosed. The envelope comprises a base panel, a sender address panel, and a recipient address panel. The sender address panel is affixed to the base panel by an adhesive region. The sender address panel and adhesive region define a pocket sized to accept an item. The adhesive region extends laterally on the base panel in an amount selected to ensure that a postal cancellation is not applied to an area overlying the item. The recipient address panel is joined to the base panel by a detachable joint. In this configuration, a fragile item may be conveyed from the sender to the recipient and from the recipient back to the sender without damage to the item.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 6, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2008
    Assignee: Netflix, Inc.
    Inventors: Ligia S. Calonje, Roy Carrillo, Thomas R. Dillion, W. Reed Hastings, Gregory K. Stahl, W. Douglas Strabel, Gordon P. Rosete
  • Patent number: 7024381
    Abstract: According to a computer-implemented approach for renting items to customers, customers specify what items to rent using item selection criteria separate from deciding when to receive the specified items. According to the approach, customers provide item selection criteria to a provider provides the items indicated by the item selection criteria to customer over a delivery channel. The provider may be either centralized or distributed depending upon the requirements of a particular application. A “Max Out” approach allows up to a specified number of items to be rented simultaneously to customers. A “Max Turns” approach allows up to a specified number of item exchanges to occur during a specified period of time. The “Max Out” and “Max Turns” approaches may be used together or separately with a variety of subscription methodologies.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 14, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2006
    Assignee: Netflix, Inc.
    Inventors: W. Reed Hastings, Marc B. Randolph, Neil Duncan Hunt
  • Patent number: 6966484
    Abstract: A mailing and response envelope for conveying an item from a sender to a recipient and back is disclosed. The envelope comprises a base panel, a sender address panel, and a recipient address panel. The sender address panel is affixed to the base panel by an adhesive region. The sender address panel and adhesive region define a pocket sized to accept an item. The adhesive region extends laterally on the base panel in an amount selected to ensure that a postal cancellation is not applied to an area overlying the item. The recipient address panel is joined to the base panel by a detachable joint. In this configuration, a fragile item may be conveyed from the sender to the recipient and from the recipient back to the sender without damage to the item.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2005
    Assignee: Netflix, Inc.
    Inventors: Ligia S. Calonje, Roy Carrillo, Thomas R. Dillon, W. Reed Hastings, Gregory K. Stahl, W. Douglas Strabel, Gordon P. Rosete
  • Publication number: 20040206808
    Abstract: A mailing and response envelope for conveying an item from a sender to a recipient and back is disclosed. The envelope comprises a base panel, a sender address panel, and a recipient address panel. The sender address panel is affixed to the base panel by an adhesive region. The sender address panel and adhesive region define a pocket sized to accept an item. The adhesive region extends laterally on the base panel in an amount selected to ensure that a postal cancellation is not applied to an area overlying the item. The recipient address panel is joined to the base panel by a detachable joint. In this configuration, a fragile item may be conveyed from the sender to the recipient and from the recipient back to the sender without damage to the item.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 6, 2004
    Publication date: October 21, 2004
    Inventors: Ligia S. Calonje, Roy Carrillo, Thomas R. Dillion, W. Reed Hastings, Gregory K. Stahl, W. Douglas Strabel, Gordon P. Rosete
  • Publication number: 20040050919
    Abstract: A mailing and response envelope for conveying an item from a sender to a recipient and back is disclosed. The envelope comprises a base panel, a sender address panel, and a recipient address panel. The sender address panel is affixed to the base panel by an adhesive region. The sender address panel and adhesive region define a pocket sized to accept an item. The adhesive region extends laterally on the base panel in an amount selected to ensure that a postal cancellation is not applied to an area overlying the item. The recipient address panel is joined to the base panel by a detachable joint. In this configuration, a fragile item may be conveyed from the sender to the recipient and from the recipient back to the sender without damage to the item.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 16, 2002
    Publication date: March 18, 2004
    Inventors: Ligia S. Calonje, Roy Carrillo, Thomas R. Dillon, W. Reed Hastings, Gregory K. Stahl, W. Douglas Strabel, Gordon P. Rosete
  • Patent number: 6584450
    Abstract: According to a computer-implemented approach for renting items to customers, customers specify what items to rent using item selection criteria separate from deciding when to receive the specified items. According to the approach, customers provide item selection criteria to a provider provides the items indicated by the item selection criteria to customer over a delivery channel. The provider may be either centralized or distributed depending upon the requirements of a particular application. A “Max Out” approach allows up to a specified number of items to be rented simultaneously to customers. A “Max Turns” approach allows up to a specified number of item exchanges to occur during a specified period of time. The “Max Out” and “Max Turns” approaches may be used together or separately with a variety of subscription methodologies.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2003
    Assignee: Netflix.com, Inc.
    Inventors: W. Reed Hastings, Marc B. Randolph, Neil Duncan Hunt