Record Keeping Patents (Class 705/404)
  • Patent number: 10346788
    Abstract: A parcel processing system configured to select a permitted shipping service level from among the plurality of permitted shipping service levels based on a plurality of rules, control the sorting of the parcel into one of a plurality of shipping containers, and bill customers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2019
    Assignee: ONE STOP MAILING LLC
    Inventor: Gina Marie Hanks
  • Patent number: 10339489
    Abstract: A parcel processing system configured to select a permitted shipping service level from among the plurality of permitted shipping service levels based on a plurality of rules, control the sorting of the parcel into one of a plurality of shipping containers, and bill customers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2019
    Assignee: ONE STOP MAILING LLC
    Inventor: Gina Marie Hanks
  • Patent number: 9965903
    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: April 14, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2018
    Assignee: Stamps.com Inc.
    Inventors: Mark Tsuie, Keith D. Bussell, J P Leon
  • Patent number: 9218348
    Abstract: A method for archiving files includes determining when a change in an operating file is imminent, capturing the operating file immediately before the change in the operating file occurs, if the operating file has not already been captured; and capturing the operating file immediately after the change in the operating file has occurred.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 22, 2015
    Inventors: Warren Roach, Steven R. Williams, Troy J. Reiber, Steven C. Burdine
  • Patent number: 9183590
    Abstract: Methods and systems using a single centralized database to manage postal accounting data are provided. The central database may interface with remote postal meters by way of one or more transient data collectors, which cache data from associated meters and transmit the data to the central database. The data collectors also validate postage accounts to the associated meters. The use of local transient data collectors allows for a single centralized database to be used without requiring data replication among databases local to each computer that manages postal meters.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 10, 2015
    Assignee: Neopost Technologies
    Inventor: Sean Angelone
  • Patent number: 9069975
    Abstract: A method of concealing customer-provided information from an operator during a telephone conversation between the operator and a customer includes receiving dual-tone-multi-frequency-encoded customer information via a telephone connection to a customer telephone and generating a request asking the customer to confirm the information. The method also includes converting the dual-tone-multi-frequency-encoded customer information into an ASCII data stream and sending the ASCII data stream to a computing device, whereby the operator is unable to discern the customer information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 30, 2015
    Assignee: THE WESTERN UNION COMPANY
    Inventor: Ronald G. Van Volkenburgh
  • Patent number: 9065801
    Abstract: A network connectivity device that when coupled to a mail processing machine enables a cloud application running on a personal computer or other device to interface with and control the mail processing machine without requiring any software to be installed on the personal computer other than a web browser. The network connectivity device plugs into a standard USB port on the mail processing machine to allow wired or wireless connectivity to a network. There is no software or other code required to run on the personal computer other than a standard web browser running a hosted web application. The network connectivity device allows the mail processing machine to be found and addressed by the hosted web application. This allows a user to control operations of the mail processing machine, as well as giving the mail processing machine network connectivity for outside world communication activities.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2015
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Walter J. Baker, Wesley A. Kirschner, George T. Monroe, Sambasivam Thillaikumaran
  • Publication number: 20140351173
    Abstract: A method for automating issuing and attachment of a label including post ID information when a user intends to apply a registered post providing tracking and tracing information such as a registration or a parcel service by using an unmanned device of itself and an apparatus for receiving a registered post including a post receiving unit receiving reception information for receiving the registered post including a registered or parcel service post, and a reception information managing unit authenticating a user who intends to apply the registered post and verifying the reception information of the registered post to generate label information for issuing the label including the reception information.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 11, 2013
    Publication date: November 27, 2014
    Applicant: ELECTRONICS AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS RESEARCH INSTITUTE
    Inventor: Eun Hye KIM
  • Patent number: 8874451
    Abstract: A system and method for linking data objects and physical objects of various kinds to an identified user is described. The system provides to the identified user information relating to the delivery status of mail pieces directed to or sent by the user, and the user then tracks and traces the mail pieces. The system further provides to the identified user information relating to continued sessions through which the user provides to a postal service system information relating to mailing labels and postage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 28, 2014
    Assignee: Escher Group, Ltd.
    Inventors: Joshua R. Smith, Paul Michael Yarin, Michael J. Murphy, Andrew V. Sutherland, II, Eric Metois
  • Patent number: 8857709
    Abstract: Described herein are an automatic package delivery and retrieval apparatus, system and method. The automatic package delivery and retrieval includes a Package Delivery Kiosk (PDK), associated front end and back end package delivery management systems, portals for the consumer and the retailer, portals for the common carrier, sender, and recipient, a package inventory management system, integrated retailer access, a real and automated retailer bidding system and a kiosk for distribution. In one embodiment, a system for automated package retrieval and delivery includes a kiosk, package retrieval apparatus, and various computing systems for running the systems. A method for providing packages to customers includes providing a notification with a code to a user that a package is available for retrieval. The method includes storing a package in the kiosk. The method further includes receiving the code from a user at the kiosk and retrieving the package with the automatic retrieval mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 14, 2014
    Assignee: Flextronics AP, LLC
    Inventors: Stephen H. Hancock, Norman B. Desrosiers, Eric Fiest, John Rupert
  • Publication number: 20140229369
    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: Application
    Filed: April 14, 2014
    Publication date: August 14, 2014
    Applicant: Stamps.com Inc.
    Inventors: Mark Tsuie, Keith D. Bussell, JP 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: 8762235
    Abstract: Apparatus, methods and computer programs provided for metering and accounting in a commercial e-services infrastructure address the requirement for handling composite services in which higher-level services are built using simpler underlying services, each of which may be autonomously owned and operated. Metering records for each service underlying a composite service are correlated by a process associated with the composite service, and then sent to an accounting service where they can be aggregated. The correlation is performed in a distributed manner with correlated usage data provided on a per-request basis. Accounting services can take account of the usage and charges associated with the underlying services to provide accounting and billing on a per-request basis or per customer-provider pair for a billing period.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2014
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Vikas Agarwal, Neeran M. Karnik, Arun Kumar
  • Patent number: 8671037
    Abstract: A system comprises a memory storing a plurality of usage values. A usage value may be based at least on usage of a utility resource measured by a utility meter having a meter identifier. The memory may store a plurality of service point identifiers and a plurality of account identifiers associated with one or more utility accounts. A service point identifier represents a physical location of at least one utility meter. Each service point identifier may be stored in association with one or more usage values. The system may comprise a processor communicatively coupled to the memory. In response to a request comprising a particular service point identifier, the processor may retrieve one or more usage values from the memory based at least on the particular service point identifier in the request. The processor may generate a graphical user interface that displays the one or more retrieved usage values.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 11, 2014
    Assignee: Ecova, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert L. Hart, Jr., Michael S. Robbins
  • Patent number: 8626885
    Abstract: According to the process for monitoring the consumptions of a plurality of franking machines through a public communication network, at least one franking machine not being connected to this network, a link is firstly established with a management server, through the public network, by means of at least one supervision terminal independent of the off-line franking machine, in accordance with a determined protocol of communication, and data is then exchanged between the terminal and the server during which the user inputs at the supervision terminal a current invoicing index relative to the off-line franking machine and receives in return a code of authorization to frank in order to validate the subsequent frankings of the off-line franking machine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 2003
    Date of Patent: January 7, 2014
    Assignee: Neopost Industrie
    Inventors: Thierry Deslandes, Marc Lecarpentier
  • Patent number: 8620260
    Abstract: A method and system of personalizing a mobile phone over a wireless network is provided. The method is fast, reliable, and eliminates the need for an uninterrupted online connection to a host server in order to achieve successful download of user information. With the method and system, a mobile phone can be personalized for various purposes, such as for conducting financial transactions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2013
    Assignee: American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.
    Inventors: Blayn W. Beenau, Jessica U. Jones, Lee J. Peart, Peter D. Saunders
  • Patent number: 8566227
    Abstract: A method and system for offering credit to a prospective borrower are provided. A lender first determines a prospective borrower location, which may be a commercial outlet, such as a retail store where goods or services are offered. The lender then references a purchase history associated with the borrower at that particular location. The lender then determines the credit worthiness of the borrower. Based upon location, purchase history, and credit worthiness, the lender may deliver a customized offer of credit to the prospective borrower. The offer of credit may be location based, and may accompany a suggested good or service that is available at the prospective borrower's location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2006
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2013
    Assignee: CCIP Corp.
    Inventors: Chason Carroll, George Coutros, John W. Giesen, Jr., Dennis H. James, Jr., Ajay Kumar Jindia
  • Patent number: 8527284
    Abstract: A system and method for linking data objects and physical objects of various kinds to an identified user is described. The system provides to the identified user information relating to the delivery status of mail pieces directed to or sent by the user, and the user then tracks and traces the mail pieces. The system further provides to the identified user information relating to continued sessions through which the user provides to a postal service system information relating to mailing labels and postage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 3, 2013
    Assignee: Escher Group Limited
    Inventors: Joshua R. Smith, Paul Michael Yarin, Michael J. Murphy, Andrew V. Sutherland, Eric Metois
  • Patent number: 8521658
    Abstract: Providing an information system in an item delivery system comprises reading a tracking indicia (410) on a unit load, updating a database (415) with first data from the tracking indicia, and updating the database with information that the unit load has been terminated. In addition, receiving (425) second data to be included in a label, and printing the label may be included.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 21, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2013
    Assignee: United States Postal Service
    Inventors: Brent A. Raney, Daryl S. Hamilton, Anthony M. Ferlaino, Jr.
  • Patent number: 8477345
    Abstract: There is provided a method and system for producing a label that can be applied onto a mailpiece. An exemplary method comprises providing a data service via a network node, the data service being performed in a provider server of a service provider. The exemplary method also comprises performing a one-time printing of the label via a control program, such that an intelligent document is transmitted from the provider server via a network to a user client, the one-time printing being done if a network connection exists between the user client and the provider server, and if, on the basis of a query to the provider server, it has been ascertained that that label had not been printed before. The exemplary method additionally comprises transmitting a message from the user client to the provider server when the label is printed for the first time. The exemplary method further comprises logging the printing in the provider server in response to the message.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2013
    Assignee: Deutsche Post AG
    Inventors: Henning Endruscheit, Volker Klös, Thomas Ogilvie, Boris Mayer
  • 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: 8384928
    Abstract: Disclosed is an image forming apparatus in which even in the event that a print job is suspended by reason of payment of an insufficient fee, image formation continues effectively and appropriately. The image forming apparatus, which charges for image formation processing, has determination means for determining whether or not a fee necessary in order to execute a specified print job has been received; printing suspension means for suspending the print job if the determination means has determined that a fee received is insufficient; and authentication means for authenticating user information during suspension of printing. The apparatus further includes printing control means for saving data relating to the suspended print job and accepting a print job from a different user if use of user information that is identical with user information of the suspended print job has not been sensed by the authentication means.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2013
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Junko Nemoto
  • Publication number: 20120317056
    Abstract: A system and method for high-speed processing of mail pieces is disclosed. The high-speed system includes client server that forms and prints a shipping label comprising reduced Information-Based Indicia (RIBI) on each piece of mail. The client server provides funds to the system server and reports the RIBI usage to the system server. The system server issues tokens to the client server that allow the client server to the print a shipping label including RIBI indicia for a certain value of postage.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 22, 2012
    Publication date: December 13, 2012
    Applicant: Stamps.com Inc.
    Inventors: J P Leon, Keith Bussell
  • Patent number: 8315732
    Abstract: For preparing mail pieces including reply items to be returned by addressees of the mail pieces, address carriers (20) are fed one by one from a first feeding station (2). An address (21) is scanned from each fed address carrier (20). Address data sets each representing a scanned address (21) are stored. A unique identification code (23) is scanned from each fed reply item (22) and stored as a reply code data set representing the scanned identification codes (23). Mail pieces of which at least a plurality each comprises at least one of the fed address carriers (20) and at least one of the fed reply items (22) are prepared. For each assembled mail piece comprising at least one of the address carriers (20) and at least one of the reply items (22), an association between the reply code data set and the address data set of that mail piece is stored.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2012
    Assignee: Neopost Industrie
    Inventor: Hendrik Cornelis Fijnvandraat
  • Patent number: 8239322
    Abstract: A method of paying for postage stamps, that involves the generation of a plurality of postage stamps, wherein each of the stamps has a unique identification code; and the debiting of an account for the generation of the plurality of stamps when a carrier processes one of the plurality of stamps.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2012
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Darryl T. Rathbun, Frederick W. Ryan, Jr.
  • Patent number: 8170959
    Abstract: A label and a method for providing a label to a user is described. The label may be a mailing label to be placed on letters or parcels. The label includes information such as postage, delivery address, return address, and a barcode for tracking delivery information. A user may request both a label and postage in what, to the user, appears to be a single computerized connection on a single internet web-page. A postage indicia is provided through a postage provider with whom the user has a deposit or credit. The label itself may be generated through a label-generating application hosted or generated by an entity separate from the postage provider.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2012
    Assignee: United States Postal Service
    Inventors: Stuart Willoughby, Ronald F. Smith, Daniel Lord, Charles Outman, Joseph A. Otten, John Gullo, Anna Vale
  • Patent number: 8165909
    Abstract: Embodiments of the invention provide a system and method for electronically managing an address database such as AMS, and more particularly a system and method for automatically managing an address database through the use of a web-based application. Moreover, embodiments of the invention manage an address database, such as AMS, by comparing data in the address database with data collected from mailpieces during sorting operations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2012
    Assignee: The United States Postal Service
    Inventor: Stephen M. Dearing
  • Patent number: 8131609
    Abstract: A system comprises a memory that stores a plurality of usage values. A usage value may be based at least in part on usage of a utility resource measured by a utility meter having a meter identifier. The memory may store a plurality of service point identifiers and a plurality of account identifiers associated with one or more utility accounts. A particular service point identifier may represent a physical location of at least one utility meter. Each service point identifier may be stored in association with one or more usage values. The system may comprise a processor communicatively coupled to the memory. In response to a request comprising a particular service point identifier, the processor may retrieve one or more usage values from the memory based at least in part on the particular service point identifier in the request. The processor may generate a graphical user interface that displays the one or more retrieved usage values.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 11, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2012
    Assignee: MRDB Holdings, L.P.
    Inventors: Robert L. Hart, Jr., Michael S. Robbins
  • Patent number: 8131652
    Abstract: This invention provides methods, apparatus, and systems for classifying addresses. An address is evaluated based upon a postal code or standardized postal code, such as a U.S. Postal Service ZIP+4 code, serving the address. If the address cannot be classified based on the standardized postal code, the address is classified based on additional information, such as a U.S. Postal Service delivery point code. A mailer may then determine whether the address is a business or residential (or non-business) address. Furthermore, a mailer may predict when surcharges may apply and compare the rates of various carriers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 5, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2012
    Assignee: United States Postal Service
    Inventors: John F. Gullo, James D. Wilson, Robert F. Snapp, David J. Payne
  • Patent number: 8078549
    Abstract: A label and a method for providing a label to a user is described. The label may be a mailing label to be placed on letters or parcels. The label includes information such as postage, delivery address, return address, and a barcode for tracking delivery information. A user may request both a label and postage in what, to the user, appears to be a single computerized connection on a single internet web-page. A postage indicia is provided through a postage provider with whom the user has a deposit or credit. The label itself may be generated through a label-generating application hosted or generated by an entity separate from the postage provider.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 13, 2011
    Assignee: United States Postal Service
    Inventors: Stuart Willoughby, Ronald F. Smith, Daniel Lord, Charles Outman, Joseph A. Otten, John Gullo, Anna Vale
  • 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: 8049139
    Abstract: A system and method for determining the approximate weight of metal consumables used by an electric arc welder over a period of welding time, the system comprises a program to calculate the total energy exerted by the welder over a period of welding, a divider to divide the total energy by a number including a power of a selected non-unity factor to obtain said weight. When the energy is in mega joules the factor is in the range of 3.2-4.2 and preferably approximately 4.0.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 1, 2011
    Assignee: Lincoln Global, Inc.
    Inventor: William S. Houston
  • Patent number: 8036994
    Abstract: Provided is a method of reducing postal revenue losses associated with the processing and delivery of international mail pieces. Algorithmically-resolved image data associated with a mail piece is compared to international-mail-services postage data and a determination is rendered, based on the comparison, as to whether any postage indicated as paid is sufficient to further process the mail piece in accordance with the level of delivery service requested. In various aspects, an attempt to algorithmically ascertain the identity of the sender is undertaken for purposes of automated charge assessment relative to a mail piece for which it is determined that insufficient postage has been tendered. In accordance with alternative aspects, if the sender identity cannot be ascertained, the mail piece is variously (i) rejected for manual handling or (ii) routed for automated sortation and delivery in accordance with a “downgraded” delivery service level for which the amount paid is adequate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2011
    Assignee: Lockhead Martin Corporation
    Inventors: Russell Elliot, Audrey Ferry, Jeffrey S. Poulin, Linda H. Rockwood
  • Patent number: 8015121
    Abstract: This invention relates to a machine for franking mail items, comprising means for printing postal indicia on a mail item and means for also printing on this mail item a unique identification number for this mail item, means for creating at least one data document or file associated with this unique identification number printed on the mail item and means for communicating, through a secure link, the or each data document or file to an information server remote from the franking machine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2011
    Assignee: Neopost Industrie
    Inventor: Denis Gilham
  • Patent number: 7987119
    Abstract: A mailpiece inventory management system. The system includes a franking machine, a mailpiece identification system coupled to the franking machine and a administration system adapted to communicate with the franking machine. There can be at least one mailpiece counter in the franking machine with each mailpiece counter associated with a type of mailpiece and incremented when a particular type of mailpiece as identified by the mailpiece identification system is franked by the franking machine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 26, 2011
    Assignee: Neopost Technologies
    Inventor: Lodovico Minnocci
  • Patent number: 7962241
    Abstract: A method and a system for shipping objects and/or goods which are transferred from a drop-off point (4) constructed as an organized franking system for the application of at least partially coded labels to a delivery service (7-10) for transport of the objects to a remote destination, wherein the delivery or transport of the objects is determined or handled by the franking system or franking machine (3), which is equipped with control functions. In the system for shipping objects and/or goods, which are provided with at least partially coded labels and are sent from a drop-off point (4) equipped with a franking machine (3) to a remote destination by a delivery service (7-10), the franking machine (3) can be connected to an information system (6) which processes the data of a delivery service (7-10) and generates shipping data for the franking machine (3), so that the shipping order can be handled.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2011
    Assignee: Frama AG
    Inventor: Thomas Peter Haug
  • Patent number: 7962421
    Abstract: This invention provides methods, apparatus, and systems for classifying addresses. An address is evaluated based upon a postal code or standardized postal code, such as a U.S. Postal Service ZIP+4 code, serving the address. If the address cannot be classified based on the standardized postal code, the address is classified based on additional information, such as a U.S. Postal Service delivery point code. A mailer may then determine whether the address is a business or residential (or non-business) address. Furthermore, a mailer may predict when surcharges may apply and compare the rates of various carriers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2011
    Assignee: United States Postal Service
    Inventors: John F. Gullo, James D. Wilson, Robert F. Snapp, David J. Payne
  • Publication number: 20110071944
    Abstract: A method of dispensing evidence of postage payment that includes providing a machine readable mechanism, such as a barcode, for being associated with a mailpiece to a customer, wherein the machine readable mechanism includes a first identifier and the customer has a customer identifier. The method further includes receiving first information from a mobile electronic device associated with the customer, the first information including: (i) the first identifier, (ii) the customer identifier, and (iii) mailpiece information, preferably including a postage amount, relating to the mailpiece, the first identifier included in the first information having been obtained based on an image of the pre-printed machine readable mechanism captured by the mobile electronic device, deducting a postage amount based on the mailpiece information from a postage account associated with the customer identifier, and transmitting the first identifier and verification of payment for postage to a carrier.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 22, 2009
    Publication date: March 24, 2011
    Applicant: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Richard W. Heiden, John W. Sussmeier
  • Publication number: 20110066573
    Abstract: During a setting stage, a scanner of an apparatus for preparing mail pieces scans a postal item. From the scanned image an area containing a mark is selected and a mark data set representing the mark or the position of the selected area is generated and stored. Instruction data representing a mail preparation instruction are stored in association with the mark data set. During an operating stage after the setting stage, one or more postal items are fed to the scanner, which scans item image data representing an image of the scanned portion of each postal item that is scanned. In response to agreement between the scanned item image data and the mark data set, instruction data associated to the mark data are selected. The mail piece including the scanned postal item is prepared in accordance with the selected instruction data.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 15, 2009
    Publication date: March 17, 2011
    Applicant: Neopost Technologies
    Inventor: Hendrik Cornelis FIJNVANDRAAT
  • Patent number: 7904394
    Abstract: Exemplary systems and methods for documenting mail work flows are provided. A mailing label is read and the label information stored in a database. Additional information about the mailing service may be added to the database. Billing and/or delivery information is added to the database. A mailing label is read at a postage machine and postage information including a rate is associated to the mailing label. The label information from the mailing label and the associated postage information are compared so that records having matching information can be reported together for billing of the mailing services. The records are updatable as well to provide for article tracking.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 8, 2011
    Assignee: Lynch Marks, LLC
    Inventors: Peter Marks, River C. Lune
  • Publication number: 20110047100
    Abstract: The present subject matter generally relates to techniques and equipment to apply move update address information to mailpieces based on move update requirements. More particularly, the present subject matter relates to a pre-print move update process that updates addresses for moves without affecting stored address data while meeting postal authority standards for move update and pre-sort mailpiece groupings. The move update process is applied to the address data before print and preserves the initial stored address data. The move update address information and initial address information are both printed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 24, 2009
    Publication date: February 24, 2011
    Inventor: Richard WOJDYLA
  • Patent number: 7882036
    Abstract: System and method for printing indicia on mailing items, such as envelopes, cards, or label media, has a host computer system connected to a postal security device. The postal security device stores postage funds and, responsive to the host computer postage requests, provides data to the host computer representing an IBI Lite barcode having at least part of a unique authentication code. The host computer utilizes such data to produce print data representing postage indicia, and send such print data to one of a mailing machine, stand-alone printer, or printing system, for printing on a mailing item to be associated with the authentication code. A plurality of host computer systems each with their respective PSD may be provided. A reset computer system can communicate with each PSD, via their respective host computer, to provide additional postage funds and to receive information representing transaction data stored in the host computer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2011
    Assignee: Data-Pac Mailing Systems Corp.
    Inventors: Richard A. Yankloski, Kenneth M. Yankloski, John A. Keirsbilck
  • 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
  • Publication number: 20100235303
    Abstract: A method to provide consolidated shipping information to a server of a carrier by which a package is to be shipped in exchange for a rebate, a discount, or both, is disclosed. The method includes receiving shipping criteria including destination address information and tracking/confirmation information for the package, creating shipping payment information for the package by a postal meter, and generating consolidated shipping information from the destination address information, the tracking/confirmation information, and the shipping payment.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 13, 2009
    Publication date: September 16, 2010
    Applicant: Neopost Technologies
    Inventor: Daniel Lynch
  • Patent number: 7792765
    Abstract: Disclosed is an improved work-ahead method for efficiently operating a software-controlled, automated postage meter of the type used to print postage and other digital data on batches of mail that are run through the meter during successive jobs which originate from different accounts. The operator enters data relating to the parameters for a first job to be completed. After the meter is initialized and the meter overhead is encountered, the first batch of mail for the first job is run through the postage meter. As the first job is being executed and the first batch of mail is being imprinted with postage, the operator enters the data relating to the parameters for the next job. The operator then loads a second batch of mail for the next job into the postage meter. Provided that the first job has been completed, but without having to once again initialize the postage meter and encounter all of the meter overhead, the second batch of letters for the next job is now run through the meter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 7, 2010
    Assignee: Neopost Technologies
    Inventors: Steven E. Harris, Lawrence G. Marinelli
  • 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
  • Publication number: 20100179896
    Abstract: Systems and methods are disclosed for a brokerage operations support system to facilitate international shipping of goods into a country. The system receives information pertaining to a shipment and rates the shipment for a specific country by applying rules defined for the country's customs regulations. Status information of the shipment is received by the system, including whether the shipment has cleared the importing country's customs process. If the shipment has not cleared, the handling systems ensure the shipment is withheld from delivery until clearance is obtained. A flexible system architecture comprising a server and both attended and unattended workstations for a core system that can be modified to allow rating and processing of shipments occur in various modes to accommodate the procedures for each importing country.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 26, 2010
    Publication date: July 15, 2010
    Inventors: Dale Black, Gary Clements
  • 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
  • Publication number: 20100169240
    Abstract: Systems and methods for providing funds recovery for mailing machines including integrated circuits such as those used in postal security devices are described, and in certain configurations, systems and methods for recovering data such as postal funds records from a partially disabled single integrated circuit in a postal security device are described.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 31, 2008
    Publication date: July 1, 2010
    Inventors: Robert J. Tolmie, JR., Douglas A. Clark, Mark A. Scribe