Patents by Inventor William M. Houston

William M. Houston 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).

  • Publication number: 20190354954
    Abstract: A method, system and/or device for validating encoded information, the validation device including a memory having computer readable instructions stored thereon and a database including a plurality of validation rules, and at least one processor configured to execute the computer readable instructions to receive formatted data from at least one formatting device, extract attributes associated with encoded information from the formatted data, the extracted attributes including at least one of a formatting device identifier, a store identifier, value information from the encoded information, and time information, validate the formatted data based on the extracted attributes and the plurality of validation rules, store the results of the validation and at least a subset of the extracted attributes in the database, generate modified formatted data compatible with a POS terminal based on the results of the validation, and transmit the modified formatted data to the at least one of formatting device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 30, 2019
    Publication date: November 21, 2019
    Applicant: Altria Client Services LLC
    Inventors: Michael FITZSIMMONS, William M. HOUSTON
  • Patent number: 10395231
    Abstract: A method, system and/or device for validating encoded information, the validation device including a memory having computer readable instructions stored thereon and a database including a plurality of validation rules, and at least one processor configured to execute the computer readable instructions to receive formatted data from at least one formatting device, extract attributes associated with encoded information from the formatted data, the extracted attributes including at least one of a formatting device identifier, a store identifier, value information from the encoded information, and time information, validate the formatted data based on the extracted attributes and the plurality of validation rules, store the results of the validation and at least a subset of the extracted attributes in the database, generate modified formatted data compatible with a POS terminal based on the results of the validation, and transmit the modified formatted data to the at least one of formatting device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2019
    Assignee: Altria Client Services LLC
    Inventors: Michael Fitzsimmons, William M. Houston
  • Patent number: 10287107
    Abstract: Embodiments of a system and method for shingulating, singulating, and synchronizing articles in an article feeder system are disclosed. The article feeder system may include a shingulating device configured to receive a stack of articles and to produce a positively lapped stack of articles, a plurality of picking devices configured to pick one or more articles from the positively lapped stack of articles and to produce one or more singulated articles, and one or more synchronization devices configured to deliver the one or more singulated articles to one or more sorter windows.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2019
    Assignee: United States Postal Service
    Inventors: John W. Brown, Edward F. Houston, Juan A. Roman, Leung M. Shiu, Riley H. Mayhall, Thomas A. Hillerich, Jr., Jacob L. Timm, Matthew G. Good, William P. McConnell, Robert L. Schlender, Christopher D. Austin
  • Patent number: 9928480
    Abstract: Disclosed are a method, system and computer program for collecting inventory data about a group of machines at an office. This method comprises the steps of running an inventory tool on each of the machines, and the tool presenting dialog displays on each of the machines, filling in or changing data in the dialogs presented by the tool, and submitting the collected information to a server. Also disclosed are a method, system and computer program for customizing an inventory data collection tool for a plurality of logical groups of users. Each of the logical groups of users is provided with a copy of the inventory data collection tool and with a first copy of a common control file. Each of the groups of users uses the first copy of the common control file to customize the tool for the group of users.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 28, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2018
    Assignee: PAYPAL, INC.
    Inventors: Carol I. DelGaudio, Scott D. Hicks, William M. Houston, Rachele Shannon Kurtz, Victoria A. Hanrahan, James A. Martin, Jr., Donald P. Mummey, Douglas G. Murray, Jeffrey E. Prince, Richard R. Pritsky, Diane C. Rauch
  • Publication number: 20170372289
    Abstract: A method, system and/or device for validating encoded information, the validation device including a memory having computer readable instructions stored thereon and a database including a plurality of validation rules, and at least one processor configured to execute the computer readable instructions to receive formatted data from at least one formatting device, extract attributes associated with encoded information from the formatted data, the extracted attributes including at least one of a formatting device identifier, a store identifier, value information from the encoded information, and time information, validate the formatted data based on the extracted attributes and the plurality of validation rules, store the results of the validation and at least a subset of the extracted attributes in the database, generate modified formatted data compatible with a POS terminal based on the results of the validation, and transmit the modified formatted data to the at least one of formatting device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 27, 2016
    Publication date: December 28, 2017
    Applicant: Altria Client Services LLC
    Inventors: Michael FITZSIMMONS, William M. HOUSTON
  • Publication number: 20140337187
    Abstract: Disclosed are a method, system and computer program for collecting inventory data about a group of machines at an office. This method comprises the steps of running an inventory tool on each of the machines, and the tool presenting dialogue displays on each of the machines, filling in or changing data in the dialogues presented by the tool, and submitting the collected information to a server. Also disclosed are a method, system and computer program for customizing an inventory data collection tool for a plurality of logical groups of users. Each of the logical groups of users is provided with a copy of the inventory data collection tool and with a first copy of a common control file. Each of the groups of users uses the first copy of the common control file to customize the tool for the group of users.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 28, 2014
    Publication date: November 13, 2014
    Inventors: Carol I. DelGaudio, Scott D. Hicks, William M. Houston, Rachele Shannon Kurtz, Victoria A. Hanrahan, James A. Martin, JR., Donald P. Mummey, Douglas G. Murray, Jeffrey E. Prince, Richard R. Pritsky, Diane C. Rauch
  • Patent number: 8793368
    Abstract: Disclosed are a method, system and computer program for collecting inventory data about a group of machines at an office. This method comprises the steps of running an inventory tool on each of the machines, and the tool presenting dialog displays on each of the machines, filling in or changing data in the dialogs presented by the tool, and submitting the collected information to a server. Also disclosed are a method, system and computer program for customizing an inventory data collection tool for a plurality of logical groups of users. Each of the logical groups of users is provided with a copy of the inventory data collection tool and with a first copy of a common control file. Each of the groups of users uses the first copy of the common control file to customize the tool for the group of users.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 29, 2014
    Assignee: Ebay Inc.
    Inventors: Carol I. DelGaudio, Scott D. Hicks, William M. Houston, Rachele Shannon Kurtz, Victoria A. Locke, James A. Martin, Jr., Donald P. Mummey, Douglas G. Murray, Jeffrey E. Prince, Richard R. Pritsky, Diana C. Rauch
  • Patent number: 7925670
    Abstract: A method and system for updating a database structure. The database structure includes a dynamically changing list of control documents. A control document specifies tasks to be performed on the database structure. An agent finds an approved control document on the list such as by looking into a view of control documents. Processing the approved control document includes causing an execution of at least one task on the approved control document. Execution of a such task includes updating of the database structure, and may be implemented by the agent that found the control document or by another agent called by the agent.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 12, 2011
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: William M. Houston, James A. Martin, Jr., Eric J. Morin
  • Patent number: 7904800
    Abstract: A method and computer system for transforming a portion (e.g., a view) of a database into a custom spreadsheet. The transforming includes determining whether to omit in the custom spreadsheet a column that is in the view, determining whether to add to the custom spreadsheet a column that is not in the view, or both. The transforming may also include implementation of rules that control how various portions of the custom spreadsheet are configured.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 8, 2011
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Jo-Ann M. Geuss, William M. Houston, James A. Martin, Jr., Raymond A. Rupert
  • Patent number: 7853498
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method, system, and computer program product for the on-demand creation and distribution of customized dynamic contracts. At least one business opportunity is extracted from an opportunity database. For each extracted business opportunity, a credit score for a customer associated with the extracted business opportunity is obtained and a dynamically modifiable contract for the extracted business opportunity is generated. The dynamically modifiable contract is distributed to a contact associated with the extracted business opportunity, who presents the dynamically modifiable contract to the customer associated with the extracted business opportunity. The contact can modify the dynamically modifiable contract, if necessary, during negotiations with the customer, to provide a contract that is acceptable to the contact and the customer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 3, 2005
    Date of Patent: December 14, 2010
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Daniel J. Finley, Louis Guglielmo, William M. Houston, Martina L. Kim, Randy B. Klipstein, Joseph L. Simons, Christian Toft-Nielsen
  • Publication number: 20100257072
    Abstract: Disclosed are a method, system and computer program for collecting inventory data about a group of machines at an office. This method comprises the steps of running an inventory tool on each of the machines, and the tool presenting dialogue displays on each of the machines, filling in or changing data in the dialogues presented by the tool, and submitting the collected information to a server. Also disclosed are a method, system and computer program for customizing an inventory data collection tool for a plurality of logical groups of users. Each of the logical groups of users is provided with a copy of the inventory data collection tool and with a first copy of a common control file. Each of the groups of users uses the first copy of the common control file to customize the tool for the group of users.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 18, 2010
    Publication date: October 7, 2010
    Applicant: INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORPORATION
    Inventors: Carol I. DelGaudio, Scott D. Hicks, William M. Houston, Rachele Shannon Kurtz, Victoria A. Locke, James A. Martin, JR., Donald P. Mummey, Douglas G. Murray, Jeffrey E. Prince, Richard R. Pritsky, Diane C. Rauch
  • Patent number: 7725352
    Abstract: Disclosed are a method, system and computer program for collecting inventory data about a group of machines at an office. This method comprises the steps of running an inventory tool on each of the machines, and the tool presenting dialogue displays on each of the machines, filling in or changing data in the dialogues presented by the tool, and submitting the collected information to a server. Also disclosed are a method, system and computer program for customizing an inventory data collection tool for a plurality of logical groups of users. Each of the logical groups of users is provided with a copy of the inventory data collection tool and with a first copy of a common control file. Each of the groups of users uses the first copy of the common control file to customize the tool for the group of users.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 2005
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2010
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Carol I. DelGaudio, Scott D. Hicks, William M. Houston, Rachele Shannon Kurtz, Victoria A. Locke, James A. Martin, Jr., Donald P. Mummey, Douglas G. Murray, Jeffrey E. Prince, Richard R. Pritsky, Diane C. Rauch
  • Patent number: 7685027
    Abstract: Disclosed are a method of and system for enterprise-wide migration. The method comprises the steps of creating instances of databases for a migration, for billing and reporting, and repositing reports; gathering information on the organization, location, hardware, and software affected by said migration into a database for planning said migration; and building an inventory of the affected hardware and software using an inventory tracking tool or an inventory mailer. Migration hardware and software is ordered based on said planning and said inventory, using an inventory tool; and labor, hardware, and software as installed are tracked and billed, using said billing and reporting database. Agents for said creating, gathering, building and tracking are enabled using an agent control facility.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 23, 2010
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Carol I. DelGaudio, Scott D. Hicks, William M. Houston, Victoria A. Locke, James A. Martin, Jr., Douglas G. Murray, Diane C. Rauch
  • Patent number: 7640312
    Abstract: Under the present invention, an initial distribution list of electronic message recipients within an organization undergoing an IT migration is generated using a personnel directory of the organization and at least one selection criterion. Once initial electronic message recipients are known, messages will be generated and sent using information from a mailing database and a designated schedule. User records for each of the initial electronic message recipients will be created in an inventory database and will include user information from the personnel directory as well as message information. Based on responses to the initial electronic message, follow-up and final electronic messages can be sent to respective distribution lists, and corresponding information stored in the user records of the inventory database.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 16, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 29, 2009
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Carol I. DelGaudio, Scott D. Hicks, William M. Houston, Victoria A. Locke, Douglas G. Murray, Jeffrey E. Prince, Diane C. Rauch
  • Publication number: 20080222175
    Abstract: A method and system for updating a database structure. The database structure includes a dynamically changing list of control documents. A control document specifies tasks to be performed on the database structure. An agent finds an approved control document on the list such as by looking into a view of control documents. Processing the approved control document includes causing an execution of at least one task on the approved control document. Execution of a such task includes updating of the database structure, and may be implemented by the agent that found the control document or by another agent called by the agent.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 9, 2008
    Publication date: September 11, 2008
    Inventors: William M. Houston, James A. Martin, Eric J. Morin
  • Patent number: 7395272
    Abstract: A method and system for updating a database structure. The database structure includes a dynamically changing list of control documents. A control document specifies tasks to be performed on the database structure. An agent finds an approved control document on the list such as by looking into a view of control documents. Processing the approved control document includes causing an execution of at least one task on the approved control document. Execution of a such task includes updating of the database structure, and may be implemented by the agent that found the control document or by another agent called by the agent.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2008
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: William M. Houston, James A. Martin, Jr., Eric J. Morin
  • Publication number: 20070282782
    Abstract: Under the present invention, information pertaining to an existing network topology is imported into a migration database. This information typically comprises information about devices in the existing network topology, existing network addresses for the devices, whether each device has a static or a dynamic address, information about locations of the devices, and information about users of the devices. In addition, information pertaining to a new network topology is received in the migration database. This type of information typically comprises new network addresses or ranges of addresses for the devices, network port identifiers, connections to specific closets, racks, and switches, and whether each device requires a static or a dynamic address. Regardless, the information provided will then be sorted according a set of database views, which can then be provided to viewers.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 31, 2006
    Publication date: December 6, 2007
    Inventors: Julie M. Carey, Carol I. DelGaudio, Brenda L. Fowler, Anne M. Henderson, Scott D. Hicks, William M. Houston, Douglas G. Murray, Diane C. Rauch, Jamie P. Rigoni
  • Patent number: 7085764
    Abstract: A system, method and program product for centrally managing agents are provided. Specifically, under the present invention, master agents stored in a control database of a control system are scheduled to execute remote agents stored in remote databases of remote systems. Once executed by the master agents, the remote agents will implement functions thereto. By providing centralized management of agents in this manner, agent scheduling conflicts are prevented.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2006
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Matthew J. Bangel, David M. Filiberti, William M. Houston, James A. Martin, Jr., Eric J. Morin
  • Patent number: 7058630
    Abstract: A system and method for controlling access to an ACL list protected database. Each of one or more access control documents includes a start time or an end time, and a start access control list or an end access control list. An access control agent permits access to the database after the start time by reference to the start access control list and after the end time by reference to the end access control list.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 12, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 6, 2006
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: William M. Houston, James A. Martin, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6996581
    Abstract: A method and computer system for generating and maintaining database instances. A template manager creates the template for generating the instances based on design information, stores the template in a template manager database, generates N instances (N?2) based on the template and on control information for the N instances, stores the N instances in the template manager database, and transmits the N instances to corresponding N locations. The control information includes access control information and configuration control information that includes identification of N locations corresponding to the N instances. The template manager refreshes the template based on update design information, refreshes the N instances based on the refreshed template, and transmits the N refreshed instances to the corresponding N locations. The template manager may refresh M of the N instances (M?N), based on update control information, and transmit the M refreshed instances to the corresponding M locations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 7, 2006
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: William M. Houston, James A. Martin, Jr.