Patents by Inventor William L. Thomas

William L. Thomas 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: 10362357
    Abstract: Systems and methods are described for resuming media in different modes of playback, based on attributes of a physical environment that a user has moved to. For example, a user may access a media asset (e.g., television broadcast of a baseball game) in a first environment (e.g., a living room). A media guidance application may then determine that the user has left the first environment. In response, the media guidance application may identify the user's new environment (e.g., a car) and analyze characteristics of the new environment. Based on the characteristics, the media guidance application may determine a suitable mode of playback (e.g., an audio version featuring play-by-play commentary of the baseball game on the car's radio) that the user can access from the playback position from where the user left off at the first environment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2019
    Assignee: ROVI GUIDES, INC.
    Inventors: Adam Bates, Jesse F. Patterson, Mark K. Berner, Eric Dorsey, Jonathan A. Logan, David W. Chamberlin, Paul Stevens, Herbert A. Waterman, William L. Thomas
  • Publication number: 20190208242
    Abstract: Systems and methods are provided for managing subscriptions. A media guidance application obtaining viewing patterns of a subscriber and determining a first and second media package of interest to the subscriber. A first and second release schedule are obtained related to media content in the first and second media packages. The media guidance application predicts a first viewing impact of the first subscription and a second viewing impact of the second subscription, for the upcoming time period, wherein the viewing impact indicates a total predicted amount of time spent viewing the media packages in the upcoming time period. An available amount of time for viewing media in the upcoming time period is also determined. The media guidance application generates a subscription recommendation for the upcoming time period based on the first viewing impact, second viewing impact, and available amount of time for viewing media in the upcoming time period.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 28, 2017
    Publication date: July 4, 2019
    Inventors: Adam Bates, Hafiza Jameela, Jesse F. Patterson, Mark K. Berner, Eric Dorsey, Jonathan A. Logan, David W. Chamberlin, Paul Stevens, Herbert A. Waterman, William L. Thomas
  • Publication number: 20190208270
    Abstract: Systems and methods are described for resuming media in different modes of playback, based on attributes of a physical environment that a user has moved to. For example, a user may access a media asset (e.g., television broadcast of a baseball game) in a first environment (e.g., a living room). A media guidance application may then determine that the user has left the first environment. In response, the media guidance application may identify the user's new environment (e.g., a car) and analyze characteristics of the new environment. Based on the characteristics, the media guidance application may determine a suitable mode of playback (e.g., an audio version featuring play-by-play commentary of the baseball game on the car's radio) that the user can access from the playback position from where the user left off at the first environment.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 28, 2017
    Publication date: July 4, 2019
    Inventors: Adam Bates, Jesse F. Patterson, Mark K. Berner, Eric Dorsey, Jonathan A. Logan, David W. Chamberlin, Paul Stevens, Herbert A. Waterman, William L. Thomas
  • Publication number: 20190206444
    Abstract: Systems and methods for alerting users to differences between first and second media versions of a story are provided. Given a first version of the media asset, a first sequence of plot segments in the first version that collectively represent a story arc may be identified. A second version of the media asset may be processed to identify a second sequence of plot segments that collectively represent the story arc. The first sequence and second sequence of plot segments may be compared to identify a set of plot segments representing a difference between the sequences. In response to detecting that a user consuming the first version of the media asset has reached a given plot segment that represents a resolution to the story, a summary of the set of plot segments representing the difference between the first and second sequences may be generated for display.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 3, 2018
    Publication date: July 4, 2019
    Inventors: Adam Bates, Jesse F. Patterson, Mark K. Berner, Eric Dorsey, David W. Chamberlin, Paul Stevens, Herbert A. Waterman, William L. Thomas
  • Patent number: 10318112
    Abstract: Systems and methods for enabling quick access to media options are provided. A display of a plurality of icons is generated, wherein each of the plurality of icons represents a different one of a plurality of applications. A user input is detected that identifies a first of the plurality of icons associated with a first of the plurality of applications. In response to determining that the user input corresponds to a quick access operation, first and second media asset identifiers and corresponding media options are retrieved from each of second and third applications. A menu that includes the retrieved first and second media asset identifiers is generated for display with the plurality of icons.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2019
    Assignee: Rovi Guides, Inc.
    Inventor: William L. Thomas
  • Patent number: 10307012
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to a spray head assembly for a beverage making machine comprising a mounting for connection to a flow of liquid from a reservoir or other water source and a surface for joining to a spray head. A face portion of the spray head has an interior surface with relative rises and depressions or hills and valleys. Orifices are located generally at the peak of a hill with valleys being defined between neighboring hills.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2019
    Assignee: BUNN-O-MATIC CORPORATION
    Inventors: Burton L. Hart, Randy D. Pope, William H. Thomas
  • Publication number: 20190158902
    Abstract: In some aspects, control circuitry detects a plurality of instances in which the number of requests to simultaneously stream media from a subscription service to different devices exceeds a number of streams available to the user from the subscription service. The control circuitry generates a plurality of timestamps corresponding to the plurality of instances, and compares each timestamp to a range of timestamps that corresponds to a subscription period for the subscription service in order to determine a number of instances that occurred during the subscription period. The control circuitry compares the number of instances that occurred during the subscription period to a threshold number for the subscription period. Control circuitry transmits a message, from the server to one of the different devices, if the threshold is exceeded.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 3, 2019
    Publication date: May 23, 2019
    Inventors: William L. Thomas, Walter R. Klappert
  • Patent number: 10299006
    Abstract: Methods and systems for a media guidance application that aggregates media content and media guidance data for users. For example, the media guidance application may aggregate content from numerous providers and provide the content through a single interface. Moreover, the media guidance application described herein may provide service providers with finder's fees for sharing information about media assets that users are interested in viewing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2019
    Assignee: Rovi Guides, Inc.
    Inventors: William L. Thomas, Walter R. Klappert, Richard M. Beaty
  • Patent number: 10298973
    Abstract: An interactive television program guide system is provided. An interactive television program guide provides users with an opportunity to select programs for recording on a remote media server. Programs may also be recorded on a local media server. The program guide provides users with VCR-like control over programs that are played back from the media servers and over real-time cached copies of the programs. The program guide also provides users with an opportunity to designate gift recipients for whom programs may be recorded.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2019
    Assignee: Rovi Guides, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael D. Ellis, William L. Thomas, Thomas R. Lemmons
  • Publication number: 20190149865
    Abstract: Methods and systems are described for a media guidance application that manages media subscriptions between a user and a content provider. In particular, the media guidance application may automatically identify subscription terms that are beneficial for both a user and for a content provider.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 18, 2018
    Publication date: May 16, 2019
    Inventors: William L. Thomas, Paul T. Stathacopoulos, Walter R. Klappert
  • Publication number: 20190132644
    Abstract: Systems and methods for disambiguation of an ambiguous entity in a search query based on the gaze of a user. These systems and methods may be implemented by a media guidance application (e.g., executed by user equipment associated with the user). In some aspects, the media guidance application may monitor the gaze of the user and attempt to disambiguate the ambiguous entity based on an area of the screen the user viewed while issuing the search query. If the media guidance application receives an indication that it did not disambiguate the ambiguous entity in the search query correctly, the media guidance application may increase the area of the screen that the user viewed in order to find an additional entity. This may allow the media guidance application to quickly and accurately find the correct answer to the user's search query.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 24, 2018
    Publication date: May 2, 2019
    Inventors: Ajay Kumar Gupta, William L. Thomas, Mathew C. Burns, Gabriel C. Dalbec, Alexander W. Liston, Jonathan A. Logan, Margret B. Schmidt
  • Patent number: 10271088
    Abstract: An interactive television program guide with remote access is provided. The interactive television program guide is implemented on interactive television program guide equipment. A remote program guide access device is connected to the interactive television program guide equipment by a remote access link to provide a user with remote access to program guide functions. An interactive television program guide system based on multiple user television equipment devices in a single household is provided. The system provides a user with an opportunity to adjust program guide settings with a given one of the interactive television program guides. Program guide setting include features related to setting program reminders, profiles, program recording features, messaging features, favorites features, parental control features, program guide set up features (e.g., audio and video and language settings), etc.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 19, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2019
    Assignee: Rovi Guides, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael D. Ellis, William L. Thomas, Joel G. Hassell, Thomas R. Lemmons, David M. Berezowski, Robert A. Knee, Robert H. McCoy
  • Patent number: 10263796
    Abstract: Systems and methods are provided herein for managing, based on a portion of media asset consumed, power consumption of user equipment. A media guidance application may, upon determining that user inactivity time at a user equipment exceeds a threshold inactivity time, determine that a media asset currently being presented at the user equipment has not reached its end point. The media guidance application may then determine a playback duration for which the media asset has been presented. The media guidance application may, upon determining that the playback duration exceeds a threshold playback duration, continue monitoring user activity at the user equipment until the end point for the media asset is reached to determine an updated user inactivity time. The media guidance application may determine that the updated inactivity time exceeds the threshold inactivity time and in response, perform a power management process to reduce power consumption of the user equipment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2019
    Assignee: Rovi Guides, Inc.
    Inventors: Alexander W. Liston, Jonathan A. Logan, William L. Thomas, Ajay Kumar Gupta, Mathew C. Burns, Margret B. Schmidt, Gabriel C. Dalbec
  • Publication number: 20190069023
    Abstract: Methods and systems for automatically evaluating an audio description track of a media asset include initializing a rating of an audio description track of a media asset to a default value; receiving a first video frame and a second video frame of the media asset; detecting an object in the first video frame and the second video frame; determining that a difference in a characteristic of the object between the first video frame and the second video frame exceeds a threshold difference; determining that an audio characteristic in a portion of the audio description track that corresponds to the first video frame and the second video frame exceeds a threshold audio characteristic; and increasing the rating of the audio description track by a unit.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 24, 2018
    Publication date: February 28, 2019
    Inventors: William L. Thomas, Ajit Shanware
  • Patent number: 10205982
    Abstract: Methods and systems are described for a media guidance application that manages media subscriptions between a user and a content provider. In particular, the media guidance application may automatically identify subscription terms that are beneficial for both a user and for a content provider.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2019
    Assignee: Rovi Guides, Inc.
    Inventors: William L. Thomas, Paul T. Stathacopoulos, Walter R. Klappert
  • Publication number: 20190028847
    Abstract: Methods and systems are disclosed herein for encouraging particular behavior while occupying vehicles. For example, by granting and restricting access to media and other user comfort devices based on whether or not a user is conforming to a predetermined rule set, the media guidance application may encourage a user to adhere to the rule set.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 11, 2018
    Publication date: January 24, 2019
    Inventors: William L. Thomas, Paul T. Stathacopoulos, Danielle Gonzalez
  • Publication number: 20190014367
    Abstract: Systems and methods are described herein such that, a media guidance application presents, in an interactive program guide, a virtual content source for binge watching a program series. The media guidance application may determine a program series a user is currently watching. The media guidance application may receive a user selection of a media asset. The media guidance application may determine a length of time between a current time and a start time of the media asset. The media guidance application may determine the next episodes of the program series the user can watch before the start time of the media asset and present them using a virtual content source.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 29, 2018
    Publication date: January 10, 2019
    Inventors: William L. Thomas, Margret B. Schmidt, Alexander W. Liston, Jonathan A. Logan, Gabriel C. Dalbec, Mathew C. Burns, Ajay Kumar Gupta
  • Patent number: 10178421
    Abstract: In some aspects, control circuitry detects a plurality of instances in which the number of requests to simultaneously stream media from a subscription service to different devices exceeds a number of streams available to the user from the subscription service. The control circuitry generates a plurality of timestamps corresponding to the plurality of instances, and compares each timestamp to a range of timestamps that corresponds to a subscription period for the subscription service in order to determine a number of instances that occurred during the subscription period. The control circuitry compares the number of instances that occurred during the subscription period to a threshold number for the subscription period. Control circuitry transmits a message, from the server to one of the different devices, if the threshold is exceeded.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2019
    Assignee: Rovi Guides, Inc.
    Inventors: William L. Thomas, Walter R. Klappert
  • Publication number: 20180376201
    Abstract: Methods and systems are provided herein for recommending a media asset based on a geographic location at which that media asset was frequently consumed. For example, the system may monitor a location, such as New York City or Times Square, to determine popular media assets watched there, such as “The Avengers,” and when another user visits New York City, the system may then notify the user that the movie, such as “The Avengers,” is associated with New York City. The system stores the geographic locations associated with the media asset in the database based on the consumption of the media asset so that other users may be notified which media assets are associated with each geographic location.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 10, 2018
    Publication date: December 27, 2018
    Inventors: Gabriel C. Dalbec, Jonathan A. Logan, Ajay Kumar Gupta, Alexander W. Liston, William L. Thomas, Margret B. Schmidt, Mathew C. Burns
  • Patent number: 10154308
    Abstract: Methods and systems for automatically evaluating an audio description track of a media asset include initializing a rating of an audio description track of a media asset to a default value; receiving a first video frame and a second video frame of the media asset; detecting an object in the first video frame and the second video frame; determining that a difference in a characteristic of the object between the first video frame and the second video frame exceeds a threshold difference; determining that an audio characteristic in a portion of the audio description track that corresponds to the first video frame and the second video frame exceeds a threshold audio characteristic; and increasing the rating of the audio description track by a unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2018
    Assignee: Rovi Guides, Inc.
    Inventors: William L. Thomas, Ajit Shanware