Recharging Patents (Class 705/403)
  • Patent number: 10050959
    Abstract: Various devices, systems, structures and methods are disclosed related to securely authorizing a transaction by synchronizing digital genomic data with associated synthetic genomic variants. An embodiment of the present invention utilizes digital genomic data associated with an entity, such as a person, who may utilize a genome-based security device to complete a transaction. In one embodiment, a person may use a genome-based security device to communicate with an external device over a wireless or other communication interface, synchronize digital genomic data and an associated synthetic variant received from the external device with digital genomic data and associated synthetic variant stored on the genome-based security device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2018
    Assignees: NantHealth, Inc., Nant Holdings IP, LLC, Nantomics, LLC
    Inventors: Patrick Soon-Shiong, Stephen Benz, Rahul Chaturvedi
  • Patent number: 9129051
    Abstract: A faring system includes a production facility including at least one fare shopping server, a staging facility including at least one fare shopping server, and an entry point for conducting bi-directional communications with customers. The staging facility further includes a database storing transformation rules and a traffic generation subsystem configured to receive a transaction via the entry point from a customer, to determine if the received request is one suitable for use in generating simulation data for the fare shopping server of the staging system and, if so, to modify the received transaction in accordance with at least one rule retrieved from the database to create at least one modified transaction, and to send the at least one modified transaction to the fare shopping server of the staging facility for processing. The fare shopping server of the staging facility processes the modified transaction for evaluating a potential new or modified functionality of the faring system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 8, 2015
    Assignee: Amadeus S.A.S.
    Inventors: Rudy Daniello, Luc Isnardy, Claudine Reynaud, Eric S. Mountain, Damien Ciabrini
  • Patent number: 8775331
    Abstract: Systems and methods which provide metering of postage value using accumulated postage information are shown. Embodiments implement an accumulated postage register in a postage security device which is incremented each time a postage indicium is generated and which is reset when a postage value settlement operation is performed. Accumulated postage may be paid for using various accounts, including pre-funded or pre-paid accounts, credit accounts, debit accounts, and billing accounts. Accordingly, embodiments may be used with respect to a post-paid metering model, a pre-paid metering model, and combinations thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2014
    Assignee: Stamps.com Inc
    Inventors: Mark Tsuie, Keith D. Bussell, J P Leon
  • Patent number: 8768851
    Abstract: Electronic messages may be processed using a stamp authority by receiving an electronic message, identifying a stamp associated the message, determining if the stamp is valid, and, if the stamp is determined to be valid, distinguishing the message from messages with which a valid stamp is not identified.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2014
    Assignee: Facebook, Inc.
    Inventor: Barry Appelman
  • Patent number: 8650088
    Abstract: Methods and systems are presented for managing prepaid usage of document processing devices, in which an account manager system (104) automatically purchases prepaid account credits for customer accounts and applies print units to document processing devices registered to customer accounts periodically and according to preset top off thresholds (123, 128) subject to predefined limits (124, 129), and in which customer computer agents (360) allow just in time printing using devices with job-based application of print units to selected devices.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 11, 2014
    Assignee: Xerox Corporation
    Inventors: James Patrick VanWinckle, Charles Robert Carlson, Peter Charles Rapley, Shanti Villarreal, Christopher Dale Iburg, Sara Kleiman
  • Patent number: 8452715
    Abstract: A method of providing for a money transfer over a network includes the steps of: providing a stamp having a face value and a lifespan both indicated on the stamp, the stamp being a string that is a concatenation of two or more fields including the face value and the lifespan, with at least one of the fields calculated according to a prescription involving a hashing or encryption of a concatenation of others of the fields or of some other field not part of the stamp; affixing the stamp to an e-mail; and allowing the recipient of the e-mail to obtain value for the stamp if the stamp is presented to a predetermined entity (such as a stamp issuer) for the stamp value within the lifespan indicated on the stamp. The stamp may comprise a concatenation of a set of fields, including a lifespan, a stamp value; and hash/encryption.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2013
    Assignee: Kount Inc.
    Inventor: Timothy P. Barber
  • Patent number: 8438115
    Abstract: In a system including a postage printing device and a data center, wherein the postage printing device and the data center have a first set of keys for use in requesting and downloading a plurality of postage data records from the data center for use in printing postal indicia, a method of securely transferring the postage printing device and any postage value stored therein from a first user to a second user. According to the method, a new set of keys for requesting and downloading postage data records is generated, any current postage value stored in the printer device is securely transferred to the second user using the new keys and some of the first set of keys, and the first set of keys is zeroed, thereby protecting the first user from any potential theft or fraud of postage funds on the part of the second user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 2005
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2013
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Steven J. Pauly, Michael J. Shukaitis
  • Patent number: 8429083
    Abstract: Electronic messages may be processed using a stamp authority by receiving an electronic message, identifying a stamp associated the message, determining if the stamp is valid, and, if the stamp is determined to be valid, distinguishing the message from messages with which a valid stamp is not identified.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2013
    Assignee: Facebook, Inc.
    Inventor: Barry Appelman
  • Patent number: 8352383
    Abstract: The present invention provides systems, methods, and computer program products for altering delivery of a piece by altering either the delivery address, mode of processing, and/or the mode of delivery. The invention provide an indicia associated with the piece of mail including instructions that are at least one of a different delivery address, mode of processing, or a mode of delivery than that originally designated for the piece of mail. During mail sorting and processing, the indicia associated with the piece of mail are analyzed. Either the delivery address, mode of processing, and/or mode of delivery currently associated with the piece of mail are altered to conform with the delivery address, mode of processing, and/or mode of delivery indicated by the indicia. In some embodiments, the indicia is altered by on a business parameter, such as a monetary value associated with the contents of the piece of mail.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2007
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2013
    Assignee: Bank of America Corporation
    Inventors: Matthew A. Calman, David T. Frew, Robert Leonard Kee, Johnny David Phillips, Truxton B Pratt, Kim D. Smith, Michael A. Tate
  • Patent number: 8099256
    Abstract: A method of determining the dimensions of a mailpiece by means of a portable measuring device having a housing provided with an opening having a side reference surface along which the mailpiece is guided under a position sensor in a first pass along a first dimension of the mailpiece, after which pass a value for the first dimension of the mailpiece is determined by a processing unit and is communicated to a franking system to which the portable measuring device is connected, and in a second pass along a second dimension of the mailpiece, after which pass a value for the second dimension of the mailpiece is determined by the processing unit and is communicated to the franking system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 17, 2012
    Assignee: Neopost Technologies
    Inventor: Marek Krasuski
  • Patent number: 8090345
    Abstract: An automatic refill system for pre-paid accounts provides enhanced funding flexibility for customers and additional revenue streams for a telecommunication service provider. The automatic refill system solves the technical challenges involved with implementing a scheduled refill channel co-existing with a triggered refill channel for funding a pre-paid account. The scheduled channel regularly refills the pre-paid account. The telecommunication service provider also coordinates funding through a triggered refill channel that refills the pre-paid account when specific conditions are met, such as account balance falling below a threshold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 2007
    Date of Patent: January 3, 2012
    Assignee: Accenture Global Services Limited
    Inventors: Domenico Mastrantuono, Jacopo Clemenzi
  • Patent number: 8060445
    Abstract: In a mail franking system including a central secure metering device (PSD 20) connected to a remote credit reloading server (26) and a plurality of local franking management modules (22-1 to 22-N) each including a local secure metering device (28-1 to 28-N) and connected to said central secure metering device via a user's local area network (LAN), there is provided a method wherein a franking session is opened, each of the local franking management modules books a predetermined franking value from a central secure metering device so as to perform secure frankings up to the limit of this value and at the end of session each of these modules transmits its consumed franking value to the central device which is then debited by an overall franking value equal to the sum of the franking values consumed by each of the local modules.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 15, 2011
    Assignee: Neopost Technologies
    Inventors: Fabien Chatte, Marek Krasuski
  • Patent number: 7925595
    Abstract: A postage funds credit system in which the customer pays for postage funds after they are used in franking mailpieces. A postal device is initialized with postage funds advanced to the customer by a third party. The value of a descending register of the postal device is read a first time and a second subsequent time. The later value is subtracted from the earlier value to obtain an amount of postage funds used by the customer between the two readings. The customer is billed for the amount of postage used after such use. The postal device can be replenished with additional postage funds advanced by the third party.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 12, 2011
    Assignee: Neopost Technologies
    Inventor: James Edward Brunsmann
  • Patent number: 7840492
    Abstract: Methods and systems for dispensing value are described. In one configuration, a unique tangible indicia is enabled with a value and then disabled after the value is redeemed. In another configuration, a user enables a unique coded stamp and associates a postage payment with the stamp. The postal service cancels the stamp by deactivating the stamp from a list of active stamps and optionally audits the payment association.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 23, 2010
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Alan Leung, John W. Rojas, James R. Norris, Jr., Jean-Hiram Coffy, Arthur Parkos, John F. Braun, Wendy Chui Fen Leung
  • Publication number: 20100235267
    Abstract: A system and method for managing a value of a descending register of a postal security device (PSD) in accordance with a guarantee is disclosed. Mailing data including a guarantee rate, and a public rate of postage disbursed for a mailpiece franked under terms of the guarantee, can be received. The public rate and the guarantee rate can be compared, and if the public rate is equal to or less than the guarantee rate, postage funds can be downloaded from an account corresponding to a lessee of the PSD.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 12, 2009
    Publication date: September 16, 2010
    Applicant: Neopost Technologies
    Inventors: George BROOKNER, Gary Morris
  • Patent number: 7774352
    Abstract: A method of reversing a plurality of erroneous invoices proffered by a plurality of vendors/suppliers. The method comprises providing a master database for inputting a plurality of vendor invoices, storing a cancellation request for each of the plurality of erroneous invoices in a response database, executing an agent to extract data pertaining to the cancellation request stored for each of the plurality of erroneous invoices from the response database, creating an intermediate file containing data extracted from the response database, executing a delivery component for adding a header record and trailer record to the intermediate file, and for renaming the intermediate file, and executing a bridge program for delivering the intermediate file from the response database into the master database and processing the intermediate file in the master database in order to reverse each of the plurality of erroneous invoices in the master database.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 10, 2010
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Kimberly L. Doherty, Robert P. Gavazzi, Mark E. Kadlecik, Ann Marie Lukovich, Lisa Ann Materski, Michele Ann Roach
  • Patent number: 7765168
    Abstract: A system and method for the control and distribution of expiring free postage in a PC postage system is disclosed. According to the invention, a predetermined portion of the expiring free postage is transferred to a postage meter and the remainder of the expiring free postage is stored in a free postage account that may be reset upon expiration of the free postage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 27, 2010
    Assignee: Stamps.com
    Inventors: Blake MingQi Dong, Craig Leonard Ogg
  • Patent number: 7756795
    Abstract: A mail piece verification system for processing a mail piece having associated therewith mail piece data includes an incoming mail processing center, an outgoing mail processing center located downstream from the incoming mail processing center and a data center in operative communication with the incoming mail processing center and the outgoing mail processing center. The incoming mail processing center receives the mail piece, obtains the mail piece and uploads the mail piece data to the data center. The data center performs a verification check on the mail piece data and downloads instructions based upon the verification check to the outgoing mail processing center. The outgoing mail processing center uses the instructions to process the mail piece.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 13, 2010
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Frederick W. Ryan, Jr., Thomas J. Foth, Cathy C. Morrissey, Steven J. Pauly, Leon A. Pintsov
  • Patent number: 7707123
    Abstract: In a method for compensation of the first postage value of an unusable printed franking imprint billed in a billing module of a franking arrangement, the occurrence of the unusable franking imprint is detected as a first error event, error information associated with the error event is stored, and information derived from the error information is transmitted to a reimbursement entity for initiation of the reimbursement of the postage value. The error amount information associated with the error event is increased by the postage value and the error amount information is transmitted to the reimbursement entity for initiation of the reimbursement of the postage value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 27, 2010
    Assignee: Francotyp-Postalia GmbH
    Inventor: Gerrit Bleumer
  • 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: 7526454
    Abstract: In a postage meter capable of making a request to refill automatically when postage funds drop below a threshold value, date-based rules are used to disable the refilling request if the request is made before an idle period. In order to avoid having unused funds sit unused during the idle period, thereby losing the time-value of money, refilling request can be made after the end of the idle period instead. The date-based rules can be set by a scheduler implemented in the postage meter. Alternatively, the scheduler is implemented in a funds manager device that oversees the refilling in a group of postage meters in a large mail production facility. Furthermore, the scheduler takes into consideration funds that can be shared by two or more postage meters in the same facility.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 31, 2004
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2009
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Mariano R. Lau, Ralph G. Mezzoni, Surya R. Sagi
  • Patent number: 7219084
    Abstract: In a system and a method for postal matter processing, with automatic reception of postal matter in receiving stations and with a staggered postal matter processing, acquisition of shipping data and providing the postal matter with a machine-readable marking and storage of the mail take place in the receiving stations. The marked postal matter is transported to a remote distributing station having at least one franking means at which transfer of the shipping data allocated to the marking into a memory of the franking means ensues. The postal matter is franked in the distributing station according to the data that are stored in the memory allocated to the marking.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 15, 2007
    Assignee: Francotyp-Postalia AG & Co.
    Inventors: Klaus Gettwart, Henning Hentschel, Hartmut Neumann
  • Patent number: 7191158
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method and apparatus for creating computer-based postage that may be used on any date and with an undetermined addressee includes generating a request to print postage, determining the means for generating the request, determining the master serial number for label stock, tracking the master serial number and printing the postage. The present invention provides for the creation of computer-based postage that may be used in a manner similar to standard postage issued by the USPS. In a presently preferred embodiment, the intended address of the recipient need not be verified at the time the postage is created. Rather the postage may be used at any time in the future with any recipient.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2007
    Assignee: Stamps.com
    Inventors: Craig L. Ogg, Daniel K. Cowles, Anthony Robert Phoenix
  • 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: 7062473
    Abstract: A method to allow a mailer to receive postal discounts for mailing at an eligible postal facility a plurality of mail pieces to a plurality of mailing addresses. The method comprises the steps of creating an entry code lookup file containing a plurality of identification codes for each eligible postal facility according to the Destination Delivery Unit (DDU) rate or discounting and a drop ship file containing a plurality of local ZIP codes and carrier routes associated with each eligible postal facility. When a mailer enters the identification code for the eligible postal facility where the mailer drops the mail for mailing, the drop ship file is used to determine whether the mail piece is available for DDU discounts based on the local ZIP code and the carrier route.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 13, 2006
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventor: Gerald L. Taylor
  • Patent number: 6990469
    Abstract: A method of reissuing secured postage indicium includes the steps of dispensing from a postage meter an original postage indicium as evidence of postage dispensed for a requested postage transaction, the original postage indicium including postage information and authentication information; storing within the postage meter a transaction record for the dispensed original postage indicium, the transaction record including the postage information and the authentication information; and receiving at the postage meter a request to reissue the original postage indicium.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 24, 2006
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventor: Frederick W. Ryan, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6941286
    Abstract: A method for facilitating refunds in a postage metering system includes the steps of receiving at a computer a request for a refund of a postage amount; using the computer for accessing a dispute account data base for identifying a dispute account associated with the request; determining, via the computer, if a value in the dispute account is acceptable for permitting a refund of the postage amount; and at times when the value is determined to be acceptable for permitting the refund of the postage amount, refunding the postage amount to a user of the postage meter. A system incorporates the method steps.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2005
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventor: Thomas J. Foth
  • Patent number: 6868395
    Abstract: In a campaign, a customer's file is reviewed to determine the offer or solicitation to send to the customer and the time such will remain open, and an e-mail message is sent to the customer that contains the offer or solicitation in text, a packet, or a URL address for a protected personalized web page (501). The packet may be opened on-line or off-line allowing the customer to provide information or terms that are subsequently sent to (505) the originator. Alternatively, such information is obtained via the protected, personalized web page to which the customer is referred. If the customer provides acceptable information and terms (510, 515), the transaction is completed (520).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2005
    Assignee: CIM, Ltd.
    Inventors: Aleksander Szlam, Karl A. Walder, Boguslaw Gil
  • Patent number: 6865557
    Abstract: A transaction evidencing system includes a plurality of computer systems operatively configured to form a network with one of the computer systems functioning as a server and the remaining computer systems functioning as clients. Each of the computer systems includes a processor, memory and storage media. At least some of the storage means includes non-metering application programs that are selectively run on the client computer systems. An unsecured printer is operatively coupled to at least one of the computer systems for printing in accordance with the non-metering application programs. A portable vault card, which is removably coupled to the server computer system, includes digital token generation and transaction accounting processing. The client computer systems issue requests for digital tokens to the server computer system in response to requests for indicia from the non-metering application programs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 8, 2005
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Robert A Cordery, David K. Lee, Steven J. Pauly, Leon A Pintsov, David W. Riley, Frederick W. Ryan, Jr., Monroe A Weiant, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6865560
    Abstract: A method and system for providing a delivery confirmation service to a mailer who uses a postage meter to pay the postage for mailing a mail piece. The mailer applies a shipping label containing an identification number on the mail piece to identify the mail piece and the mailer. The identification number is retrieved by the postage meter which sends the identification number to a data processing center or a meter refill data center for processing. Upon receiving the identification number, the data processing center sends a shipping file to the carrier. When the mail piece is delivered, a message regarding the delivery status of the mail piece is sent to the carrier by the mail deliverer. With the shipping file and the delivery status message, the carrier makes available the delivery status of the mail piece to the data processing center which stores the delivery status. Upon request, the data processing center communicates at least a portion of the delivery status to the mailer via a meter refill system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 8, 2005
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Ronald P. Sansone, Susan Garvey, Daniel F. Dlugos, Robert A. Law, Michael W. Wilson
  • Patent number: 6834273
    Abstract: A system for correcting the rating and payment of mail pieces scanned and weighed by the post. The foregoing is accomplished by: uniquely identifying mail pieces during the metering process; maintaining a record of the postage that has been applied to the mail pieces and the characteristics of the mail pieces; scanning the mail pieces to determine if the correct postage has been paid; comparing the scanned and weighed mail pieces to the maintained record; and correcting any underpayments or overpayments.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 21, 2004
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Ronald P. Sansone, Robert A. Law, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6823321
    Abstract: A method and system for dynamically optimizing the amount of an automatic refill of a shared virtual postage meter is disclosed. A desired time between refills is predetermined based on the capacity of the system to perform refills, the time required to process a refill, and the impact of performing a refill on the overall performance of the system. A refill amount candidate is then determined based on the predetermined desired time between refills, the elapsed time since the last refill and the amount of the last refill. The determined refill amount candidate is then further validated to insure that it falls within a range of a predetermined minimum and maximum refill amounts. Once validated, the refill amount candidate is the optimal refill amount, and the shared virtual postage meter is refilled accordingly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 23, 2004
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Robert J. Johnson, Fuming Ye, Manu Sarin, Thomas Shokite, James R. Tobin
  • Patent number: 6813614
    Abstract: A method for communicating a re-keying message from a postage meter to a registration authority includes the steps of determining at the postage meter that a current key needs to be replaced with a new key; generating in the postage meter the new key; creating in the postage meter the re-keying message, the re-keying message including at least a device identifier and the new key; using the postage meter for printing the re-keying message in a machine-readable form on a recording medium; and mailing the recording medium to the registration authority.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 2, 2004
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventor: Robert A. Cordery
  • Patent number: 6623191
    Abstract: There is disclosed a lightweight portable printer having a frame or housing with a print head and a cooperable platen roll mounted in the housing. The housing pivotally mounts a subassembly. The subassembly mounts an electric motor and gearing driven by the motor for driving the platen roll. The subassembly is resiliently urged to press the print head against the platen roll. The printer has a front door which provides access to the inside of the housing. The front door mounts the platen roll, a label delaminator, a pressure roll, a holder for mounting a supply roll of labels or tags, and a latch for latching the door to the housing and for camming the pressure roll into and out of cooperation with the platen roll.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 23, 2003
    Assignee: Paxar Americas, Inc.
    Inventors: Orville C. Huggins, Thomas P. Keller, Dennis S. Prows, David R. Wisecup
  • Patent number: 6619544
    Abstract: A system and method for instantly printing PC postage before establishing a postage meter account. The method includes the steps of a meter vendor obtaining a first meter license from the Post for a first meter; loaning the use of a first meter licensed in the customer's zip code to a customer; requesting a second meter license for the customer; initializing the first meter for use by the customer; and transferring the first meter to the Customer's meter license when the second meter license is received. Alternatively, when the second meter license is received a second meter is assigned to the customer and the first meter is reassigned to the meter vendor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2003
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Felix Bator, David B. Chamberlin, James A. Euchner, Thomas J. Foth, Andrei Obrea, David L. Rich, David W Riley
  • Patent number: 6618709
    Abstract: A method and computer architecture monitoring resource usage via a global computer network. The computer architecture may include a resource-metering data recorder/translator unit having a global computer network node and, in operation, recording resource usage measured by and associated resource meter. The computer architecture further includes a database and at least one global computer network server, in operation, storing resource usage data recorded by the data recorder/translator unit in the database, receiving a resource usage data query from a user, calling the database for resource usage data relevant to the user, and presenting resource management information based on the relevant resource usage data via a global computer network site to the user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2003
    Assignee: Enerwise Global Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: David J. Sneeringer
  • Patent number: 6587843
    Abstract: In a method for improving the security of postage meter machines in credit transfers, having at least two modes, the presence of a security flag is necessary for operation of the machine. The security flag is erased in a step of the system routine if an unauthorized action occurs in an attempt to operate the postage meter machine, and the postage meter machine is switched into a first mode in order to effectively shut it down. Otherwise, a special mode for negative remote crediting is entered by setting a special flag when a predetermined operating action for lateral entry into the special mode is undertaken upon machine turn-on. The communication with the data center sequences under time and status (flag) monitoring by the control unit of the postage meter machine until the transaction is completed. The data center monitors the behavior of the postage meter machine user on the basis of data communicated during the transaction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2003
    Assignee: Francotyp-Postalia AG & Co.
    Inventors: George G. Gelfer, Enno Bischoff, Wolfgang Thiel, Andreas Wagner
  • Publication number: 20030055794
    Abstract: A method and system for dynamically optimizing the amount of an automatic refill of a shared virtual postage meter is disclosed. A desired time between refills is predetermined based on the capacity of the system to perform refills, the time required to process a refill, and the impact of performing a refill on the overall performance of the system. A refill amount candidate is then determined based on the predetermined desired time between refills, the elapsed time since the last refill and the amount of the last refill. The determined refill amount candidate is then further validated to insure that it falls within a range of a predetermined minimum and maximum refill amounts. Once validated, the refill amount candidate is the optimal refill amount, and the shared virtual postage meter is refilled accordingly.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 14, 2001
    Publication date: March 20, 2003
    Applicant: Pitney Bowes Incorporated
    Inventors: Robert J. Johnson, Fuming Ye, Manu Sarin, Thomas Shokite, James R. Tobin
  • Patent number: 6463133
    Abstract: A telecommunications signal routing and data management apparatus for directing incoming telecommunications signals to devices connected thereto, or receiving message signals over a telephone subscriber line from a remote source for display, for receiving and transmitting data to and from a remote source over the telephone subscriber line and for storing received data on a programmable memory module is disclosed. The disclosed apparatus enables the uploading and display of postal rate information, uploading of equipment diagnostic information from a programmable memory module and the downloading of postal rate data onto a programmable memory module. Updating of postal equipment, for example, can be carried out with minimal interruptions to the use of the postal equipment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2002
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel F. Dlugos, Stan T. Hagmajer, Flavio M. Manduley, Stephen J. Sabulis
  • Patent number: 6442571
    Abstract: A computer data signal embodied in a propagation medium is provided. The signal enables a variable number of data transfers and includes an initial connection source code segment and a data transfer source code segment. The initial connection source code segment establishes a connection between at least two devices via predetermined listening ports, with at least one predetermined listening port residing within each device. The initial connection source code segment also dynamically assigns a first data port within a first device, and transmits the address of the first data port to a remaining device via the predetermined listening ports. The data transfer source code segment is for each of the variable number of data transfer operations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2002
    Assignee: Hyperspace Communications, Inc.
    Inventors: Maurice W. Haff, Christopher D. Clarke
  • Patent number: 6405183
    Abstract: A method and system for automatically transferring information in a data processing system, including setting a counter within a data processing device to a predetermined time period and counting the predetermined time period based upon a real time clock maintained within the data processing device. When the counter reaches the predetermined time period, the data processing device automatically initiates a data center connection and requests an information transfer. The data center transfers information to/from the data processing device. The data processing device activates the transferred information, which can then be used by the data processing device. Typical data processing systems include weighing systems, in which frequently changing postal rates and carrier rates are used to determine mail piece and parcel delivery cost, facsimile or other information accumulation systems.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2002
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Edward R. Bass, James P. Maher
  • Patent number: 6381590
    Abstract: A remote postage meter resetting system includes apparatus for sending a request to recharge the postage meter by the postage recharge amount together with first data indicative of a first user prepaid postage account resident in a prepaid postage account data base having a plurality of prepaid postage accounts; and a data center including apparatus for receiving from the sending apparatus the first data together with the request to recharge the postage meter by the postage recharge amount; a line of credit database having a plurality of lines of credit each of which is associated with at least one of the plurality of prepaid postage accounts; a computer, in communication with the receiving apparatus, which is programmed to 1 ) obtain the first data and the postage recharge amount from the receiving apparatus, and 2) communicate with the prepaid postage account data base to determine if sufficient funds are in the first user prepaid postage account to cover the cost of the postage recharge amount, wherein at
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2002
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventor: Elise R. Debois
  • Patent number: 6356919
    Abstract: Apparatus and method for the maintenance of redundant postage accounting datafiles. Redundant postage accounting report data is maintained by the present invention by first creating a datafile on a postage metering device (e.g., an SMD) to store postage accounting data. A second datafile is created on a computer capable of communicating with the SMD (which may be either remote or local to the computer). For every transaction which updates the postage accounting data stored in the SMD, the datafile residing on the computer is updated to reflect the change.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 5, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2002
    Assignee: Neopost Inc.
    Inventors: Chandrakant J. Shah, Keith B. Robertson
  • Patent number: 6073125
    Abstract: A method for controlled acceptance mail accounting and evidencing, includes creating a mail batch including at least one mail piece having an encrypted indicia printed thereon. The encrypted indicia is generated by the use of a key K.sub.m. A statement of mailing file is created containing data related to the mail batch. The statement of mailing file including the key K.sub.m is encrypted with a public key of an authentication unit of a carrier distribution system. The public key has an associated private key. The mail batch and the statement of mailing file is submitted to the carrier distribution system and the mail batch and the mail documentation file is processed using the private key of the authentication unit of the carrier distribution system to decrypt the encrypted information and recover the K.sub.m. The key K.sub.m is then used in an authentication procedure related to the mail batch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 1997
    Date of Patent: June 6, 2000
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Robert A. Cordery, Leon A. Pintsov
  • Patent number: 6064993
    Abstract: A system and method for evidencing postage on a mailpiece includes a printer module transmitting to a remote data center a request for indicia data. The data center includes a processor, a database and a secure coprocessor. The database includes user account data. The request includes postal value for a selected number of indicia to be printed by the printer module. The data center verifies that the printer module is authorized to request the postal value and retrieves user account data stored in a database. The data center verifies the user's account data includes sufficient funds for the number of indicia requested, debits the user's account data for the total postal value requested and then generates a digital token for each of the Indicia. The digital token is generated from information relating to each of the indicia including information unique to each of the indicia.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2000
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventor: Frederick W. Ryan, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6064992
    Abstract: A postage meter includes a memory including an ascending credit register to store an accumulated value of credit and an ascending tote register to store an accumulated tote value of postage charge dispensed by the postage meter in franking mail items. Accounting means of the postage meter determines whether the sum of a required postage value to be applied to a mail item and the accumulated tote value is equal to or less than the accumulated total value of credit stored in the ascending credit register and, if the sum of the required postage value and the accumulated tote value is equal to or less than the accumulated credit value, operates printing means to print a franking impression on the mail item and increments the accumulated tote value stored in the tote register by an amount equal to the required postage value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 6, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2000
    Assignee: Neopost Limited
    Inventor: William James Herring
  • Patent number: 6019281
    Abstract: A primary circuit has an associated parameter, and a display circuit maintains a copy of that parameter. The display circuit displays the parameter based on the copy, and updates the copy by listening in on communications between the primary circuit and an external device. In a preferred embodiment, the primary circuit is a postal security device (PSD) and the parameter is the value of the descending register of the PSD.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2000
    Assignee: Micro General Corp.
    Inventors: James S. Emmett, Andrew L. Rozum, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6010069
    Abstract: A remote postage meter resetting system includes apparatus for sending a request to recharge the postage meter by the postage recharge amount together with first data indicative of a first user prepaid postage account resident in a prepaid postage account data base having a plurality of prepaid postage accounts; and a data center including apparatus for receiving from the sending apparatus the first data together with the request to recharge the postage meter by the postage recharge amount; a line of credit database having a plurality of lines of credit each of which is associated with at least one of the plurality of prepaid postage accounts; a computer, in communication with the receiving apparatus, wherein at times when the computer determines that sufficient funds are not available in the first user account to cover the cost of the postage recharge amount the computer is programmed to automatically 1) communicate with the line of credit data base to determine if one of the plurality of lines of credit is
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 4, 2000
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventor: Elise R. Debois
  • Patent number: 6009417
    Abstract: A proof-of-postage generating system wherein funds, application of those funds, the replenishment of those funds and the auditing of those funds are secure against attempts at fraud. The system may either be a Closed System (CS) wherein the proof-of postage printing means are housed within the system computational means or within a cryptographically secure boundary. Further, the system my be an Open System (OS) wherein the proof-of postage printing means are external to the system computational means.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 28, 1999
    Assignee: Ascom Hasler Mailing Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: George Brookner, Michael Brown, Fetneh Eskandari, Robert Schwartz, Eric Zuidema
  • Patent number: 5909373
    Abstract: A postal meter is contained in a kiosk. The kiosk also contains a postage meter secure classifier; and a modem link, which communicates with a data center, that is located at a different location. The secure classifier records every time postal funds are dispensed by the postal meter and classifies the postal transactions of the postage meter into various categories, which are then stored in funds registers memory. The modem link communicates with the secure classifier and the data center, during a postage meter refill, by exchanging funds and information so that proper rebates will be applied to the kiosk owner. Thus, the data center may also be used to supply additional funds or refills to the postage meter contained within the kiosk.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 1996
    Date of Patent: June 1, 1999
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Ronald P. Sansone, George B. Harvey