Mail-box Machines Patents (Class 101/71)
  • Patent number: 10108810
    Abstract: The example non-limiting technology herein uses a Microsoft Office module or other application that automatically encrypts an Office document (Excel, PowerPoint, Word) or other software object and embeds the encrypted data within a “mule” or carrier file of the same type. On user's systems without the module installed, the “mule” file will open normally without exposing the embedded secret file. On systems with the module installed and properly authorized, the user will see the encrypted file open without seeing the “mule” file. This allows the secure transport of a file within a plaintext “mule” file.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2018
    Assignee: Global Integrity, Inc.
    Inventors: Anthony C. Fascenda, Emil Sturniolo
  • Patent number: 10061981
    Abstract: A method of validating the authenticity of a ticket including a unique ticket identifier generated at an issuing terminal in accordance with a confidential algorithm is provided. The method includes receiving one or more identification variable values expressed with respect to a first coordinate measurement domain, the one or more identification variable values enabling the location of ticket verification information within the unique ticket identifier to be determined, using a coordinate transform function configured to map coordinate values from the first coordinate measurement domain to a second coordinate measurement domain to calculate one or more values of the one or more received identification variable values with respect to the second coordinate measurement domain, extracting the verification information from the unique ticket identifier on the basis of the calculated identification variable values, and verifying the authenticity of the ticket on the basis of the extracted verification information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2018
    Assignee: Omarco Network Solutions Limited
    Inventor: Ralph Mahmoud Omar
  • Patent number: 10002475
    Abstract: A security system includes a security device with at least two factors of authentication. A method of operating a security system including displaying a pseudo code screen prior to display of an actual access code screen, the pseudo code screen identical to the actual access code screen.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2018
    Assignee: Carrier Corporation
    Inventors: Anantha Krishnan, Michael Ramoutar, Prakash Bodla, Sunilkumar Neckaraje
  • Patent number: 9916464
    Abstract: Examples disclosed herein relate to replacement text for textual content to be printed. Examples include a covert version of a document including textual content to be printed, the covert version including replacement text having, for each character of a plurality of first characters of the textual content, a corresponding second character having a different semantic meaning than the first character. The covert version also includes an encrypted representation of the textual content.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2018
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.
    Inventors: Prashant Asthana, Vipul Garg
  • Patent number: 8091320
    Abstract: A system for automatically packaging prescription orders composed of one or more prescription containers. The system includes a printer for generating literature associated with each order and a packer for packing the prescription containers and the associated literature into a package. The packer has a scale or other means for determining the weight of the prescription containers. A packer controller calculates package weight information based on the container weight information. The package weight information is transmitted to a mail manifest system, which generates shipping information comprising postage. A labeler applies the shipping information to the package. The packer also includes a loading mechanism for inserting the prescription containers and the literature into the package.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 10, 2012
    Assignee: Express Scripts, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael L. Mahar
  • Patent number: 7577617
    Abstract: In a method and apparatus for dependable transmission of data from a data center to terminal equipment, particularly transmission of fee schedule table data to a postage-calculating scale or postage meter machine, new postage fee schedule table data are offered at the data center for future postage calculation. In a first communication between the data center and the terminal equipment, a request for postage fee schedule table data is formed at the terminal equipment and is communicated to the data center, and the data center receives the request and transmits the requested new service data to the terminal equipment, and the terminal equipment receives and stores the new service data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 18, 2009
    Assignee: Francotyp-Postalia AG & Co.
    Inventor: Frank Reisinger
  • Patent number: 7458578
    Abstract: A mailpiece fabrication system including a source for providing sheet material having mailpiece data printed thereon. The mailpiece fabrication system further includes at least one spatial positioning device adapted to direct the sheet material along one of two fabrication paths. Each fabrication path includes a fabrication assembly for producing one of at least two mailpiece configurations. In one embodiment, the spatial positioning device includes an orbiting nip roller for changing the elevation of the sheet material while, furthermore, providing an accurate and controlled mechanism for stacking and aligning sheet material to produce a flats mailpiece. In another embodiment, the spatial positioning device includes a routing roller in combination with the orbit nip roller to change the orientation of the sheet material. The routing roller is employed to change the direction of the sheet material relative to the feed path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 2005
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2008
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventor: Denis J. Stemmle
  • Patent number: 7437993
    Abstract: A postage meter includes a slot to receive insertion of an envelope. A registration plate defines a top side of the slot. The registration plate has a window formed therein. The registration plate is for defining a printing location for a top surface of the envelope. A print head is mounted above the registration plate for printing a postage indicium on the top surface of the envelope. The postage meter includes a spring-loaded platform for pressing the envelope against the registration plate. The platform has a recess therein facing the window in the registration plate. The recess has a depth of at least about 5 mm. A cantilever spring is positioned between the window and the recess to apply an upward force to the envelope.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 2005
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2008
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventor: Walter J. Kulpa
  • Patent number: 7240037
    Abstract: An on-line VBI printing system that includes one or more cryptographic modules and a central database. The cryptographic modules are capable of implementing a variety of required security standards. A client system provides a user friendly GUI for facilitating the interface of the user to the system. The GUI system includes wizards that help the user step-by-step with processes of registration, logging into the system, and printing the VBI. In one aspect, the invention describes an on-line system for securely printing an advertisement on a VBI.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 3, 2007
    Assignee: Stamps.com
    Inventor: Keith David Bussell
  • Patent number: 7152049
    Abstract: A method and system for a virtual stamp dispensing metering system is provided wherein indicia of varying values are calculated at a data center and downloaded to a mailing machine on a periodic basis. The mailing machine securely stores the indicia and dispenses the indicia as needed. At the end of the period, any unused indicia are returned to the data center, the user's account is credited, and a new set of indicia are downloaded to the mailing machine. Accordingly, the processing requirements of the meter are reduced, as there is no longer any need to generate digital signatures, an attacker is prevented from generating indicia indefinitely if the security of the meter is compromised, as the cryptographic key is not resident at the meter, and tracking requirements of the meter are reduced, as the meter alone can not be used to generate postage funds.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 19, 2006
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventor: Frederick W. Ryan, Jr.
  • Patent number: 7051007
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for printing an information-based indicia program (IBIP) postage in a computer printing subsystem is disclosed wherein a third-party word processing software with mail merge capabilities generates text and a matching address as the input for a client application in high-volume document processing and mail systems without programmatically altering the word processing program to accommodate the printing subsystem. Addresses are validated and corrected in the printing subsystems prior to creation of the indicia image and address image to be printed on the mailpiece.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 23, 2006
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Campbell A. Moore, Allen L. Kramer, Patrick Rolling
  • Patent number: 6953293
    Abstract: A system for generating printed mail pieces, starting from a print file, having: a printer for printing; a processing device for processing printed items into mail pieces; a control unit for controlling the printer and the processing device, and memory. The memory contains processing code for controlling the control unit for processing the rough pint file into a processed print file, and representation code for causing the processing instructions of the processing code to be represented in humanly perceptible form. The representation code is editable for changing at least the representations of the processing instructions and convertible into the processing code. Alternatively, the memory can contain a set of processing subroutines with which processing subroutines representation codes can be composed which differ from each other at least as regards processing instructions included therein, and which are each convertible into corresponding processing code.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2005
    Assignee: Neopost Industrie B.V.
    Inventor: Jelle Wiersma
  • Publication number: 20040215583
    Abstract: A method of printing a report sheet using a printer of a postage meter in which the printer is capable of printing only in a print field smaller than required to print the report sheet and in which first and seconfd edges of the sheet are required to be located at predetermined positions is described in which printing of the report sheet is effected in a sequence of printing operations and the report sheet is folded in such a manner as to permit an area thereof intended to receive an imprint in the print field of the printer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 29, 2001
    Publication date: October 28, 2004
    Applicant: Neopost Limited
    Inventor: James Neil Elliott
  • Patent number: 6776544
    Abstract: An arrangement for printing a print image having regions of different print image resolution onto a moving postal item in a mail processing device has a microprocessor, a pixel memory, a read-only memory and a print data controller for pixel data editing while printing with a printhead. The microprocessor is programmed to operate from data in the read-only memory, a number of data strings having a switchable number of data words and to store them in the pixel memory. A maximum number of data words per data string is downwardly transgressed when the pixel data are stored compressed. The print data controller undertakes pixel data editing while printing with the printhead and is equipped to decompress the compressed pixel data per data string and to supplement the pixel data missing due to the compression such that the reduction of the number of data words per data string corresponds to the reduction in the resolution during printing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 3, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 17, 2004
    Assignee: Francotyp-Postalia AG & Co. KG
    Inventor: Joachim Jauert
  • Patent number: 6739245
    Abstract: A method for controlling the printing in a mail processing device proceeds on the basis of a word-by-word storage of binary pixel data in the pixel memory with a predefined number of successive data words forming a data string, and a predefined number of data strings representing at least one print image. This facilitates a modification of variable binary pixel data in the pixel memory when the sequence of the binary pixel data in at least a part of the respective data string coincides with the sequence of pixels in at least one corresponding print image column that is provided for the printing. After a word-by-word transmission of binary pixel data of a data string from the pixel memory by direct memory access (DMA), an intermediate storage of the data string ensues in a pixel data editing unit before a pixel data editing is implemented during the printing with an ink jet printhead.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2004
    Assignee: Francotyp-Postalia AG & Co. KG
    Inventors: Tilmann Schilling, Torsten Schlaaff, Joachim Jauert
  • Patent number: 6733194
    Abstract: An arrangement for controlling the printing in a mail-processing device has a print data controller for pixel data editing while printing with a print heads. The print data controller is composed of a pixel data-editing unit and a circuit including a DMA controller, an address is generator and a printer controller. The DMA controller allows access to the binary pixel data stored in the pixel memory in order to make the data available to the pixel data-editing unit in data strings. The address generator generates addresses that are supplied to the pixel data-editing unit for the selection of the binary pixel data from an intermediately stored data string and for grouping in the required sequence. The printer controller drives the pixel data-editing unit in order to supply the binary pixel data in groups to a driver unit for the print head.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2004
    Assignee: Francotyp-Postalia AG & Co. KG
    Inventors: Tilmann Schilling, Torsten Schlaaff, Joachim Jauert
  • Patent number: 6694874
    Abstract: A method is disclosed for providing a pictorial cancellation mark that may be applied to the postage indicia on a mailpiece. The pictorial cancellation originates as a digital image that is then printed through a printer on the mailpiece. This invention takes advantage of the technology now available in digital printing techniques to vary the pictorial cancellation through a variety of color, sizes, shapes, and images. Pictorial cancellations may thus be individualized for markets, applications, and unique purposes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 4, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2004
    Assignee: The United States Postal Service
    Inventor: Khalid Hussain
  • Patent number: 6692166
    Abstract: The franking machine has a clamping device which can be driven via a drive device and which securely clamps an item of mail to be franked against a stop element. The clamping device has a clamping unit, which is provided for interacting with the item of mail, and a gearing device which is connected to the clamping unit and the drive device. The gearing device displaces the clamping unit in the direction of the stop element. The clamping unit and/or the gearing device have at least one compensation section which is configured elastically such that, in the case of a predetermined drive displacement of the drive device, compensation for different thicknesses of the item of mail is provided by elastic deformation of the compensation section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2004
    Assignee: Francotyp-Postalia AG & Co.
    Inventors: Iain Ansell, Steven Roland Brace
  • Patent number: 6669383
    Abstract: A printing apparatus, particularly, a franking machine, with a movable printing-head guide includes a base, a guide connected to the base, a printing head, and an offsetting device. The guide moves the head, during printing, between first and second longitudinal positions in a given direction with respect to the base to effect a relative movement between the head and a print medium. The offsetting device prints images offset to one another transverse to the given direction and overlapping one another at most in an edge region of the images. The offsetting device is connected to the head and offsets the head relative to the base from a first transverse position into at least one second transverse position spaced from the first transverse position in a direction transverse to the given direction. The offsetting device is connected to the guide. A corresponding printing method, particularly, a franking impression is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 30, 2003
    Assignee: Francotyp-Postalia AG & Co.
    Inventors: Iain Ansell, Steven Roland Brace
  • Patent number: 6623189
    Abstract: A printing device is described that has a print head held displaceably on a print-head holder. To achieve a relative movement between the print head and a medium to be printed, the print-head holder is configured such that during printing it can be moved in a first line with respect to a base element, between a first longitudinal position and a second longitudinal position. An offsetting device is provided which permits a printing of images offset from one another transversely with respect to an imaginary line and which is configured to offset the print head relative to the print-head holder from a first transverse position into at least a second transverse position spaced apart from the first transverse position, transversely with respect to the imaginary line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 23, 2003
    Assignee: Francotyp-Postalia AG & Co.
    Inventors: Iain Ansell, Steven Roland Brace
  • Patent number: 6579019
    Abstract: A printing apparatus, in particular, a franking machine, includes a base, a printing-head mounting moveably connected thereto, and printing head displaceably connected to the mounting. The mounting moves, during printing, between first and second longitudinal positions in a given direction with respect to the base to effect a relative movement between the printing head and a printing medium. An offsetting device for printing images offset to one another transverse to the given direction is included and is configured to offset the printing head relative to the mounting from a first transverse position into at least one second transverse position spaced from the first transverse position in a direction transverse to the given direction. A holder for holding the printing head in at least one of the first and second transverse positions during printing is provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2003
    Assignee: Francotyp-Postalia AG & Co.
    Inventors: Iain Ansell, Steven Roland Brace
  • Publication number: 20030079626
    Abstract: In a mail canceling apparatus 1, a stacking unit 30 includes a pinch roller arrangement 31, an entrance sensor 32, a bottom member 33 for stacking mail pieces 60 thereon, a guide 34, a rotor 35, a position sensor 36 for detecting the rotational position of the rotor 35, a depression sensor 37 for detecting the depression of the rotor 35, a paddle 38, first stacking belts 39 and second stacking belts 40. When a mail piece 60 is stacked, an entrance space 41 is secured for the next mail piece 60.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 30, 2002
    Publication date: May 1, 2003
    Applicant: NEC CORPORATION
    Inventor: Kazuhito Yoshitani
  • Patent number: 6505179
    Abstract: Universally available preprinted forms are used in a general purpose printing device to allow for the subsequent verification of the authenticity of a printed document such as a ticket, stamp, check, or money order. In operation, the user accesses the seller of the goods/services and during an information exchange with the seller there is inputted at least a portion of the preprinted data from the form. The seller then uses this information to formulate a printable control indicia which is then printed on the form at the user's location. When the form is subsequently presented to the seller, for example when the user uses the form he/she printed, the preprinted portion of the form is used to obtain a decipher key which in turn is used to decipher the control indica. If desired, a special security marking may be associated with the form for additional security. Inability to decode the control indicia indicates that the printed material on the form may not be authentic.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 7, 2003
    Assignee: Kara Technology Incorporated
    Inventor: Salim G. Kara
  • Patent number: 6427139
    Abstract: A method for requesting a postage refund includes the steps of generating a postage indicium having a postage value and first data indicative that a refund of the postage value is requested; and printing the postage indicium on a mailpiece.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 30, 2002
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventor: Perry A. Pierce
  • Patent number: 6408286
    Abstract: A postage printing system, comprising a computer, a data center, a control system and a redemption center. The computer is in operative communication with a printer for printing a postal indicium on an envelope. The data center is in operative communication with the computer, which in turn is located remotely from the data center. The data center includes a plurality of user accounts and a plurality of advertiser accounts where each of the plurality of advertiser accounts includes respective ad data including coupon data and restriction data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2002
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventor: Richard W. Heiden
  • Patent number: 6356883
    Abstract: A postage printing system includes a transport device for feeding an envelope in a path of travel through the postage printing system, a printer for printing a postal indicia and an ad slogan on the envelope, and a control system in operative communication with the transport device and the printer. The control system obtains an indication from an operator of a selected print location for the ad slogan and determines if the postal indicia and the ad slogan may be printed in a single pass through the postage printing system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2002
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes, Inc.
    Inventors: Venkata Katikaneni, Angelo N. Chaclas
  • Patent number: 6208980
    Abstract: A system and method for printing an outbound and/or an associated return postage meter stamp, including a desired postage amount, onto a label or onto an outbound document and/or an associated return document. A processor based system is programmed to interact with a customer to produce individualized documents, printed address labels, and a printed postage meter stamp having in one embodiment, a customized postage indicia. The processor based system automatically calculates the postage due for each specific document, prints that postage amount as a meter stamp, interacts with the customer to generate a personalized stamp indicia, encrypts selected information into a machine readable format, and prints the information entered by the customer in a selected format, all on the document or documents for transfer to the outside of a mailing envelope.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2001
    Assignee: E-Stamp Corporation
    Inventor: Salim G. Kara
  • Patent number: 5987441
    Abstract: A method of issuing digital tokens in a open system meter includes the steps of sending a request for digital tokens and predetermined postal information, including addressee information, from a host processor to a vault that is operatively coupled to the host processor; calculating in the vault in response to the request for tokens at least one digital token using the predetermined postal information; debiting postal funds in the vault; issuing the digital token to the host processor; and storing the digital token and the predetermined postal information as a transaction record in the host processor for subsequent generation and printing of an indicia. The method further includes the steps of generating in the host processor an indicia comprising a graphical image of the digital token and the predetermined postal information and storing the indicia in the host processor; and printing the indicia on a mailpiece when requested.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 16, 1999
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: David K. Lee, David W. Riley, Frederick W. Ryan, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5978781
    Abstract: A inexpensive and time saving method and system for reducing the use of gummed service stickers and the completion by hand of special forms for specialty mail is disclosed. This invention also reduces the amount of trips that have to be made to the post. The foregoing may be accomplished by replacing the standard (fixed) graphic cartridge that is normally supplied with a standard digital postage meter with an addressable "ram" image cartridge. The addressable ram image cartridge may also be linked to a personal computer, where a program would allow the user to request specialty mail services. Once the desired service (services) are selected, the required postal graphic images are downloaded into the ram cartridge. Next, postal payment, if any, is totaled and the additional postal value is totaled and passed to the postal meter vault for totaling and printing in an accountable way.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 2, 1999
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventor: Ronald P. Sansone
  • Patent number: 5960418
    Abstract: The present invention provides an apparatus and method for converting a postage amount expressed in a first currency denomination into at least a second currency denomination and printing the postage amount expressed in a second denomination in postal indicia.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 28, 1999
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Ltd.
    Inventors: Stephen Kelly, Timothy J Nicholls, Robert W Allport
  • Patent number: 5901644
    Abstract: Secure printing apparatus, for example printing apparatus of a postage meter, is disclosed in which an ink jet print head with integral ink supply is removable by a user of the apparatus. In order to maintain security of the apparatus, a parking station remote from a printing station is provided for the print head and removal of the print head can be effected only at the parking station through an aperture in a secure housing at the parking station. When the print head is moved to the parking station electrical connection to the print head are disengaged from the print head and means are provided to prevent access to those electrical connections at the parking station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 11, 1999
    Assignee: Neopost Limited
    Inventors: John David Etheridge, Walter Herbert Henson, Raymond John Herbert
  • Patent number: 5884293
    Abstract: Apparatus and a method of forming a franking indicium on a mail item is disclosed. An area of ink is deposited on the mail item at a first station and at a second station the deposited ink is selectively removed to leave a required franking indicium on the mail item. The removal of the deposited ink may be effected by scanning the area with a laser beam and switching the laser beam on to impinge on and remove unrequired portions of the area of ink and switching the laser beam off when the scanning would otherwise cause the laser beam to impinge on portions of the area of ink required to form the franking indicium.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 16, 1999
    Assignee: Neopost Limited
    Inventor: Raymond John Herbert
  • Patent number: 5848401
    Abstract: A highly secure hand-held portable postage meter is disclosed that uses partially pre-printed postal tape. Only the date and postage amount remain to be printed on the tape by the meter. The postal tape, pre-printed by Postal Authority, is enclosed within the meter in a removable cartridge. In one embodiment, a new cartridge being pushed into the meter pushes the used cartridge out. An anti-tamper lock is released by a probe key, on the leading face of the cartridge, that couples with a receptor on the trailing face of the used cartridge.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 1996
    Date of Patent: December 8, 1998
    Inventors: Robert M. Goldberg, Jerome R. Rosenberg
  • Patent number: 5787406
    Abstract: A value dispensing mechanism which prints an indication of value includes a portable accounting device which accounts for the printed indication of value; and a terminal including apparatus for printing the indication of value, a display which displays messages related to functions of the value dispensing mechanism, structure for controlling messages displayed on the display and for initiating operation of the printing means to print the indication of value, a storage device for storing a plurality of display options, and apparatus for removably receiving the portable accounting device such that at times when the portable accounting device is received in the receiving apparatus the controlling structure and the portable accounting device are in operative communication with each other to permit operation of the value dispensing mechanism; wherein the portable accounting device includes means for automatically designating at least one of the display options upon insertion of the portable accounting device into
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 1996
    Date of Patent: July 28, 1998
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Robert G. Arsenault, William F. Bailey, William T. Lefebvre, Joseph M. Mozdzer
  • Patent number: 5778347
    Abstract: Arrangement for an electronic manual franking machine having an ink printer head and an integrated system for controlling and supplying the ink printer head includes a housing containing a first assembly, which includes a carriage, an ink printer head with a replaceable ink tank and a cleaning part with a sealing cap, and a second assembly which includes at least one data input and control electronics as well as a rechargeable battery with a charging connection. The carriage operates such that the recording medium is maintained taut in the printing region. The cleaning ensues by ink ejection and/or extraction into the sealing cap, by sucking the sealing cap empty and wiping the ink printer head. Specifically fashioned extraction channels enable a shortened cleaning procedure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 1996
    Date of Patent: July 7, 1998
    Assignee: Francotyp-Postalia AG & Co.
    Inventor: Ulrich Hetzer
  • Patent number: 5729461
    Abstract: A postage metering system comprising: printing apparatus, the printing apparatus including structure for printing a postage indicia having a first portion including a postage value and a second portion including a town circle; accounting apparatus, the accounting including structure for accounting for the postage value, the accounting apparatus including structure for storing data descriptive of a bit mapped image of the second portion having a predetermined resolution, the accounting apparatus including structure for transferring the descriptive data to the printing apparatus; the printing apparatus including structure for requesting the postage value from the accounting apparatus and receiving therefrom the first portion and thus the postage value, the printing apparatus including structure for generating the bit mapped image of the second portion based on the descriptive data thereof, and the printing apparatus including structure for merging the first portion and bit mapped image of the second portion for
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 17, 1998
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas A. D'Andrea, Edward J. Naclerio
  • Patent number: 5726894
    Abstract: A postage metering system comprising: structure for storing first postal information including a fixed portion of a postage indicia, the postage indicia including a variable portion thereof; structure for storing second postal information including a plurality of portions thereof respectively corresponding to a different one of a plurality of postal processing services for a sheet; structure for selectively providing at least one of the plurality of, postal processing services for the sheet; and structure for digitally printing on the sheet the first postal information and the variable portion of the postage indicia and each portion of the second postal information which corresponds to a different selected postal processing service.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 10, 1998
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventor: Ronald P. Sansone
  • Patent number: 5724245
    Abstract: A postal scale having a programmable capability to automatically select inscriptions to be included in a postage meter indicia. The postal scale includes a CPU and memory, a load cell for determining the weight of a mail piece, a keyboard for input of postal information and a display for output of information to an operator; and determines postage value data for a mail piece in a conventional manner. In an inscription selection mode the postal scale outputs inscription selection data to a postage meter to select an appropriate inscription to be included in the meter indicia. The scale determines the inscription selection data as a prioritized function of postal information input by an operator to determine postage value data. In a programming mode an operator may program the function as a table stored in the scale memory.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 3, 1998
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: James P. Maher, Stanley Rydzak
  • Patent number: 5696685
    Abstract: The printer control module is programmed to output control signals to the printer driver characterized by the data written in the control registers. The control system for a printing apparatus includes a printer unit responsive to a printer driver unit. The printer driver unit is responsive to the control system. The control system has a programmable printer control module in communication with the printer driver unit and a programmable microcomputer in bus communication with the printer control module. The microcomputer has a non-volatile memory unit for storing the data. The printer driver unit is responsive to control signals from the printer control module for driving the printer unit. The printer control module includes a buffer for holding printer data and the registers of the control module, including a control register, a shift register and a strobe width register.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 1994
    Date of Patent: December 9, 1997
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Young W. Lee, Sungwon Moh, Arno Muller
  • Patent number: 5654893
    Abstract: A postage meter comprising print means for printing a postage imprint including a posting date on an article of mail to be posted, an adjustment system for adjusting the posting date printed by the print means and including a processor connected to a calendar clock to receive a current date and controlling the print means to cause a postage imprint to be printed with a current posting date established on the basis of the current date. The processor is also programmed to prevent the postage imprint being printed when the current posting date for printing corresponds to a date on which the postal authorities are closed or a particular date defined by the user of the meter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 5, 1997
    Assignee: Neopost Industrie
    Inventor: Bernard Vermesse
  • Patent number: 5654614
    Abstract: A self-contained postage meter does not have a base separable from a main body. The single secure housing contains everything that would be in the main body of a prior art postage meter and everything that would be in a prior art meter base. Despite containing all these things, the single secure housing is small enough and light enough in weight to permit the entire meter to be readily transported to the post office for inspection or resetting. Within the single secure housing are the print rotor with value wheels, all the mechanisms for setting the print wheels, the descending and/or ascending register and associated microprocessor, and all the mechanisms for transport of the mail piece through the meter. Only a handful of controlled elements are required, chiefly a single inexpensive DC motor for franking and value wheel setting and a few electromagnets.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 1995
    Date of Patent: August 5, 1997
    Assignee: Ascom Hasler Mailing Systems AG
    Inventors: Daniel Fluckiger, Philippe Chollet, Christian Gillieron, Christian Moy, Martin Muller, Heinz Wuthrich
  • Patent number: 5608636
    Abstract: In a method for controlling the column-by-column printing of a franking image in a postage meter machine, the image data are kept ready in encoded form and are converted into binary signals before a printing event for driving printer elements. Invariable and variable image contents are converted into binary data separately from one another, and the converted variable and invariable image data are combined during the printing of the franking image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 1994
    Date of Patent: March 4, 1997
    Assignee: Francotyp-Postalia AG & Co.
    Inventor: Stephen Guenther
  • Patent number: 5408416
    Abstract: A machine for printing a postage stamp for application to a mail item includes a a thermal printer to print the stamp on a tape of thermally sensitive paper. The speed of feeding of the tape is controlled to be uniform to synchronize with the operation of the printer. The printer is non-secure and accounting for the value of postage charge printed on the stamps is accomplished by machine reading of the stamps by the Postal Authority. The stamp printing machine generates an accumulated value of postage charge for a series of stamps printed and then prints, on the same tape, a label including an indication of user account and accumulated value, the value preferably being in encoded form.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 1994
    Date of Patent: April 18, 1995
    Assignee: Neopost Limited
    Inventor: Dennis T. Gilham
  • Patent number: 4829568
    Abstract: A system for the metering of encrypted postage and similar indicia includes a device for printing such indicia and a device for reading such indicia. The printing is accomplished with a dot matrix printer driven by signals obtained by altering character generation signals with encryption signals. The interleaving is accomplished on a row-by-row basis by inserting delays from an encryption circuit into signals from a character generator circuit. The reading is accomplished by correlating received characters against a stored array of a symbols to determine the presence of a symbol, the extraction of coded data from character data of the received and identified character, and the comparison of the separated coded data with a reference code to determine the accuracy of the printed material. Thereby, forgery and alteration is inhibited.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 1986
    Date of Patent: May 9, 1989
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes
    Inventors: John I. Clark, Alton B. Eckert, David M. Warren
  • Patent number: 4796527
    Abstract: A die protection mechanism that prevents the taking of fraudulent, non-metered impressions from the value printing die surface of a postage meter machine. A linkage assembly is pivotally supported adjacent the print wheels of the postage meter machine such that a projecting portion will extend beyond the diameter of the print wheels when the postage meter machine is inoperative, but the linkage assembly will be pivoted during operation for the purpose of allowing the printing of postage on a mail piece. The mechanism is particularly useful in a postage meter having a reciprocating platen.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 1983
    Date of Patent: January 10, 1989
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventor: Timothy R. Erwin
  • Patent number: 4739343
    Abstract: The electronic postage meter includes a microcomputer controlled thermal head opposite a scavenging roller and suitable means of cleaning the scavenging roller. A cassette containing a thermal transfer tape coated on one side with a thermal sensitive ink is received within a cartridge slot in the postage meter. The thermal tape is threaded within the cartridge to journal from a feed reel beyond a guide roller, between a thermal head and scavenging roller, to a transfer roller and be received by a take-up reel, the scavenging roller and thermal head being constituent of the postage meter. The mailing machine includes a back-up roller bias peripherally opposite the transfer roller. An image is traced on the thermal tape by the thermal head in response to a microcomputer constituent to the postage meter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 1986
    Date of Patent: April 19, 1988
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventor: Donald T. Dolan
  • Patent number: 4660221
    Abstract: A system for the metering of encrypted postage and similar indicia includes a device for printing such indicia and a device for reading such indicia. The printing is accomplished with a bar-code printer driven by signals obtained from a keyboard and from an encryption circuit. The reading is accomplished with a bar-code reader to retreive the characters, and permit the comparison of the separated coded data with a reference code to determine the accuracy of the printed material. Thereby, forgery and alteration is inhibited. Both the data and the code are imprinted by a bar-code indicia, a portion of the code being set aside for the data and a portion of the bar-code being set aside for encryption purposes. Thereby, the two portions can readily be separated to allow for automatic reading of the bar code for extraction of the message, while also allowing for automatic verification by use of the encrypted material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 1983
    Date of Patent: April 21, 1987
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventor: Daniel F. Dlugos
  • Patent number: 4641346
    Abstract: A system for the metering of encrypted postage and similar indicia includes a device for printing such indicia and a device for reading such indicia. The printing is accomplished with a dot matrix printer driven by signals obtained by altering character generation signals with encryption signals. The interleaving is accomplished on a row-by-row basis by inserting delays from an encryption circuit into signals from a character generator circuit. The reading is accomplished by correlating received characters against a stored array of symbols to determine the presence of a symbol, the extraction of coded data from character data of the received and identified character, and the comparison of the separated coded data with a reference code to determine the accuracy of the printed material. Thereby, forgery and alteration is inhibited.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 1983
    Date of Patent: February 3, 1987
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: John I. Clark, Alton B. Eckert, David M. Warren
  • Patent number: 4641347
    Abstract: A system for the metering of encrypted postage and similar indicia includes a device for printing such indicia and a device for reading such indicia. The printing is accomplished with a dot matrix printer and a bar-code printer driven by signals obtained by a character generator and an encryption circuit. The reading is accomplished by a bar-code reader and a dot matrix reader. Intelligence is obtained by correlating received characters against a stored array of symbols to determine the presence of a symbol, and the comparison of the separated coded data with a reference code to determine the accuracy of the printed material. Thereby, forgery and alteration is inhibited. The data and the encrypted material are imprinted by indicia utilizing both the formats of alphanumeric characters and the formats of a bar code.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 1983
    Date of Patent: February 3, 1987
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: John I. Clark, Daniel F. Dlugos
  • Patent number: 4637051
    Abstract: A system for the metering of encrypted postage and similar indicia includes a device for printing such indicia and a device for reading such indicia. The printing is accomplished with a dot matrix printer driven by signals obtained from a character generator and an encryption circuit. The reading is accomplished by correlating received characters against a stored array of symbols to determine the presence of a symbol and the comparison of the separated coded data with a reference code to determine the accuracy of the printed material. Thereby, forgery and alteration is inhibited. Alphanumeric characters are utilized for both the data and the code, a group of characters for the data being separated from a group of characters for the code to allow for the reading of the data, while readily extracting the remaining characters for verification purposes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 1983
    Date of Patent: January 13, 1987
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventor: John I. Clark