Specialized Function Performed Patents (Class 705/410)
  • Patent number: 10769693
    Abstract: Various embodiments of the present invention would provide shape-customized, value-bearing item labels, such as, for example, shape-customized, postage-indicia-bearing labels and would further provide systems and methods for creating and providing shape-customized, value-bearing item labels, such as, for example, shape-customized, image-customized, postage-indicia-bearing labels. Various embodiments of the present invention would provide shape-customized labels adapted for receiving value-bearing item indicia, such as, for example, postage indicia and would provide systems and methods for creating and providing shape-customized labels, such as, for example, shape-customized, image-customized labels, adapted for receiving value-bearing item indicia, such as, for example, postage indicia.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 6, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 8, 2020
    Assignee: Stamps.com Inc.
    Inventor: JP Leon
  • Patent number: 10521175
    Abstract: Systems and methods relating to preparing data for use in a printing operation are provided. One method includes receiving selected records from a first data source. The selected records have been subjected to a first record characteristic updating step and the selected records comprise mail information useful for delivery of printed materials. The method further includes updating the selected records with a second record characteristic updating step. A time at which the second record characteristic updating step is performed is determined in relation to a print production schedule for the printed materials. The method further includes creating a postal pre-sort file based upon the updated selected records for use in the printing operation. The printing operation is performed on a printing device based on the pre-sorted records.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2019
    Assignee: Quad/Graphics, Inc.
    Inventors: Eric Blohm, Jeffrey S. Henke
  • Patent number: 10504298
    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: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 10, 2019
    Assignee: Stamps.com Inc.
    Inventors: J P Leon, Keith Bussell
  • Patent number: 10431013
    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: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2019
    Assignee: Stamps.com Inc.
    Inventors: J P Leon, Keith Bussell
  • Patent number: 9911266
    Abstract: A multimode system for receiving data in a retail environment includes: a secure input module for receiving high security input and low security input from a customer, the high security input to be communicated by the secure input module in cipher text, and the low security input to be communicated by the secure input module in plaintext. The multimode system is adapted to operate in a high security mode and a low security mode. The multimode system is adapted to enter the low security mode upon detection by the multimode system of a security breach condition. In the high security mode, the secure input module accepts low security input and high security input. In the low security mode, the secure input module accepts the low security input and does not accept the high security input.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2018
    Assignee: Wayne Fueling Systems LLC
    Inventors: Timothy Martin Weston, Weiming Tang, David Spiller
  • Patent number: 9779430
    Abstract: A licensing envelope provides use of an application or device on a metered basis. The licensing envelope can be used with or without a connection to a computer network. In one embodiment, an application is provided with a dynamically linked library for the licensing envelope. The dynamically linked library verifies that access is enabled and calls a local licensing server when the application is opened. The local licensing server connects to and transfers data to a remote licensing server on a periodic basis. The remote licensing server can provide authorization codes for additional use of the application, bill the user, and forward payment to the application vendor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 20, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 3, 2017
    Assignee: FLOWCHARGE, INC.
    Inventors: Heidi A. Green, M. David Green, Norman D. Corison
  • Patent number: 9747577
    Abstract: Various exemplary embodiments of the present invention will provide methods and systems for automatic tracking and reporting of refunds for parcels for which the United States Postage Service (the “USPS”) fails to provide delivery to the designated delivery address by a guaranteed delivery date. Various embodiments of the present invention will automatically detect a parcel for which a delivery date has been guaranteed, but for which the USPS failed to make delivery by the guaranteed delivery date. For such guaranteed delivery failures, various embodiments of the present invention will display an online report to the user, or will send an electronic report of the failure, such as by electronic mail (“email”), to the user that printed the corresponding USPS Express Mail postage, or will otherwise notify the user of, or make available to the user information regarding, such failures.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2017
    Assignee: Stamps.com Inc.
    Inventor: John Roland Clem
  • Patent number: 9684478
    Abstract: A network-enabled device can operate to permit user access to the depletable resource only if information stored on the device indicates that the replenishment for the depleted resource is being obtained from an appropriate or approved source.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 20, 2017
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.
    Inventor: Padmanabhan Ramchandran
  • Patent number: 9379939
    Abstract: A device detects DNS timeouts indicative of a connectivity problem, determines, after detection of the DNS timeouts, whether a reboot timer has expired prior to troubleshooting the connectivity problem, and reboots the device and collect error logs when the reboot timer has expired. The device determines whether the rebooting of the device has corrected the connectivity problem, and provides a request to perform a reset of the device when the rebooting of the device fails to correct the connectivity problem. The device receives, based on the request, an instruction to perform the reset of the device, resets the device based on the instruction, and determines whether the resetting of the device has corrected the connectivity problem. The device sends the error logs to the log server when either the rebooting of the resetting of the device corrects the connectivity problem.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 28, 2016
    Assignee: Verizon Patent and Licensing Inc.
    Inventors: Alex M. Madonna, Michael Talbert
  • Patent number: 9208620
    Abstract: Systems and methods provide for printing unactivated tokens which can be activated into valid postage indicia at a later time. Monetary liability for postage indicia value is postponed until the token is activated into a postage indicium; thus, the token does not have value and is not valid until activated into indicium. Consequently, a user is not made monetarily liable for printed tokens unless the tokens are activated into postage indicia.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 8, 2015
    Assignee: Stamps.com, Inc.
    Inventors: James Michael Bortnak, Kenneth Thomas McBride, John Roland Clem
  • Patent number: 9165411
    Abstract: Methods and systems that allow a sender of a mail piece to easily specify delivery instructions and/or services for a mail piece and that allows mail processing systems to identify and account for the specified delivery instructions and/or services without the need for any pre-sorting or input of information prior to processing the mail piece. The sender of a mail piece provides a marking on the mail piece representing instructions desired for delivering the mail piece. A mail processing system utilized to process the mail piece reads the marking provided on the mail piece, and based on the type/color of the marking, interprets the delivery instructions requested by the sender. The mail processing system processes the mail piece according to the instructions requested by the sender based on the marking provided on the mail piece by the sender.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2005
    Date of Patent: October 20, 2015
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas J. Foth, James A. Euchner, Jill M. Lawrence, Donna L. Gambino, Michael P. Swenson, Theresa Biasi
  • Patent number: 9098718
    Abstract: A secure data parser is provided that may be integrated into any suitable system for securely storing and communicating data. The secure data parser parses data and then splits the data into multiple portions that are stored or communicated distinctly. Encryption of the original data, the portions of data, or both may be employed for additional security. The secure data parser may be used to protect data in motion by splitting original data into portions of data, that may be communicated using multiple communications paths. A keyed information dispersal algorithm (keyed IDA) may also be used. The key for the keyed IDA may additionally be protected by an external workgroup key, resulting in a multi-factor secret sharing scheme.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 4, 2015
    Assignee: Security First Corp.
    Inventors: Mark S. O'Hare, Rick L. Orsini, Mihir Bellare, Phillip Rogaway
  • Patent number: 9058700
    Abstract: A method of franking a mailpiece that is to be put into a letter box associated with a mail-receiving office, including, in a portable communications device of a sender of the mailpiece, firstly an operation of inputting an identifier of said letter box, and secondly an operation of transmitting the identifier together with other postal data, including at least one franking amount and an unique identification code relating to the mailpiece, to a server of a franking service having the function of issuing a franking authorization for the sender.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 14, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 16, 2015
    Assignee: NEOPOST TECHNOLOGIES
    Inventor: Fabien Chatté
  • Patent number: 9004348
    Abstract: High speed document mailing comprises receiving package tracking data electronically from a courier for a document to be shipped via the courier, digitally placing the package tracking data onto a page within the document, printing out the document, and automatically inserting the document into an envelope such that the package tracking data on the page is visible through a window of the envelope.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2015
    Assignee: United Services Automobile Associations (USAA)
    Inventors: Lionel F. Andrade, Jr., Miguel A. Arguello, Robert M. Pollom
  • Patent number: 8874676
    Abstract: Rolling view optimization is initiated by receiving electronic mail data corresponding to a plurality of mail pieces, the electronic mail data including a first cycle and determining whether substantially all electronic mail data from the first cycle can be processed for mailing. In response to determining that substantially all of the electronic mail data from the first cycle cannot be processed for mailing, a determination is made whether a portion of the mail data from the first cycle can be processed for mailing and in response to determining that a portion of the mail data from the first cycle can be processed for mailing the electronic mail data corresponding to the first cycle for mailing is sent.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 28, 2014
    Assignee: AT&T Intellectual Property I, L.P.
    Inventors: Douglas Belew, Michael Mocettini
  • Patent number: 8862507
    Abstract: The present invention provides a system and method that enables users, such as institutional investors and financial institutions, to interactively engage in capital market transactions, including the trading of Over-the-Counter financial products, via the Internet (including the World Wide Web). The system includes a variety of servers, applications, and interfaces that enable users to interactively communicate and trade financial instruments among one another. Interactive communications supported by the system include: requesting price quotes, monitoring and reviewing quote requests, issuing price quotes, monitoring and reviewing price quotes, negotiation between users, acceptance of price quotes, reporting, portfolio management, analysis of financial information and market data, and communications among users via an automated processor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 14, 2014
    Assignee: Integral Development Corporation
    Inventors: Harpal S. Sandhu, Viral V. Tolat, Stephen Rees
  • 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
  • Patent number: 8805749
    Abstract: A postage evidencing meter system is disclosed. The system comprises an authorization database for storing parameters for at least one user, wherein the parameters limit the at least one user's ability to evidence postage using the meter. The parameters include a maximum postage amount that the at least one user is allowed to use on the meter to evidence postage. The parameters may alternatively or also include a period of time during which the user is allowed to use the meter to evidence postage or a maximum amount of postage that can be used during a period of time. The postage evidencing meter further comprises a user interface, a printer, and a security module. In alternative embodiments, the authorization database is stored on a removable storage device and/or is coupled to the meter via a communication link to a remote postage information system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 12, 2014
    Assignee: Stamps.com
    Inventor: Craig Ogg
  • Patent number: 8775541
    Abstract: Mail manufacturing virtualization is performed at a centralized routing site. This includes receiving, from at least one mailing source, electronic mailing data associated with at least one mailing and determining a mail routing distribution for the received electronic mailing data. Similarly, mail manufacturing virtualization includes routing the electronic mailing data to a plurality of output centers according to the determined mail routing distribution, where the plurality of output centers are configured to generate physical mail from the electronic mailing data and facilitating sending the physical mail to at least one respective recipient.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2014
    Assignee: AT&T Intellectual Property I, L.P.
    Inventors: Douglas Belew, Michael Mocettini
  • 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: 8682801
    Abstract: In a method and an arrangement for provision of at least one secured service via a security module of a franking machine for at least one procedure for data processing that is executed in a data processing device that can be connected with the franking machine, the procedure requests a secured first service from the security module in a request step; and the security module provides the first service in a provision step subsequent to the request step. The security module verifies an authorization to request the first service via the procedure in a verification step preceding the provision step.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2014
    Assignee: Francotyp-Postalia GmbH
    Inventors: Gerrit Bleumer, Clemens Heinrich
  • Publication number: 20130346293
    Abstract: In a method for specifying services provided by a franking machine, a program code is loaded into a data processing device via and, a first communication channel to a remote data center, authorization to access the franking machine is requested using an authorization request message. In response, via a second communication channel, data are provided from the remote data center to the franking machine. In response, the franking machine enables access for executing a specification process via a third communication channel via which communication between the data processing device and the franking machine is established using the program code executed by the data processing device. The specification process is executed using the program code to set at least one feature of at least one service provided by the franking machine.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 26, 2012
    Publication date: December 26, 2013
    Inventors: Dirk Rosenau, Clemens Heinrich, Kai Nicolai
  • Patent number: 8527298
    Abstract: A medical payment system is described in which a provider of medical goods and/or services submits, via telephone or other communications medium, a request for payment amount determination for a patient encounter. A price determination system determines which of a plurality of fee schedules negotiated by the provider applies to the patient encounter and calculates, based at least in part on information entered by the provider, a payment amount for the encounter, which it communicates to at least the provider. In one embodiment, the provider receives the payment amount information while the patient is at the point of service. In one embodiment, the provider may use the system to submit a claim for payment by at least one responsible party.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 3, 2013
    Assignee: First Access, Inc.
    Inventors: Kimberly A. Darling, Dorothy M. Baylor
  • Patent number: 8515792
    Abstract: The invention provides a system and method for chargeback cost allocation in an information technology (IT) system including multiple resources. The method includes categorizing cost attributes of different resources into multiple levels defining a cost attribute hierarchy, defining different chargeback groups for resources with similar cost attributes and chargeback policies at different levels of the hierarchy, and performing chargeback cost allocation by allocating the cost for resources at each hierarchy level independently using chargeback policies defined for the resources at that hierarchy level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2013
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Sandip Agarwala, Ramani R. Routray, Sandeep M. Uttamchandani
  • Patent number: 8510233
    Abstract: Embodiments of the invention involve an integrated thermal printer with a scale that is connected to a computer. The computer is connected to a web server that is authorized by a government postal agency, e.g. the USPS, to issue postage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2013
    Assignee: Stamps.com Inc.
    Inventors: JP Leon, John R. Clem
  • Patent number: 8496163
    Abstract: High speed document mailing comprises receiving package tracking data electronically from a courier for a document to be shipped via the courier, digitally placing the package tracking data onto a page within the document, printing out the document, and automatically inserting the document into an envelope such that the package tracking data on the page is visible through a window of the envelope.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 30, 2013
    Assignee: United Services Automobile Association (USAA)
    Inventors: Lionel F. Andrade, Jr., Miguel A. Arguello, Robert M. Pollom
  • 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: 8457782
    Abstract: The present application relates to the ability to track mail items through a postal authority network with reference to a specific mail target. More particularly, the present application relates to a system and method for enabling tracking of event data by a mail owner of one or more mail items specifically by mail target through a mail delivery network's mail stream.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2013
    Assignee: Bell and Howell, LLC
    Inventor: Steven Ksiazek
  • 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: 8407155
    Abstract: A method for determining the postage associated with the delivery of an article including the steps of receiving an acquired image of the article over a network from a web enabled device (ii) comparing the acquired digital imaged to a plurality of stored digital images to ermine the identity of the acquired digital image, (iii) determining at least one characteristic of the identified digital image useful to determine a delivery cost associated with the identified digital image of the identified article, (iv) calculating the estimated cost of delivering the identified article to a destination address, and, (v) transmitting the estimated cost to the web enabled device. The method also determines the postage associated with the delivery of an article by means of a wireless communication network using a wireless mobile device having an optical imaging device. Furthermore, a system also determines the postage associated with the identified article.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2013
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventor: Jesse G. Greco
  • Patent number: 8401976
    Abstract: Methods and systems consistent with the present invention provide a barcode image. A client is operable to create a request for a barcode image and send the request to a server. The request comprises data to be converted to a barcode. The server is operable to receive the request from the client via a network, generate a barcode image from the data, and encode the barcode image. Thereafter, the server provides the encoded image to the client.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2013
    Assignee: The United States Postal Service
    Inventors: Kyle M. Dixon, Stephen M. Dearing
  • Patent number: 8386571
    Abstract: Mail manufacturing virtualization is performed at a centralized routing site. This includes receiving, from at least one mailing source, electronic mailing data associated with at least one mailing and determining a mail routing distribution for the received electronic mailing data. Similarly, mail manufacturing virtualization includes routing the electronic mailing data to a plurality of output centers according to the determined mail routing distribution, where the plurality of output centers are configured to generate physical mail from the electronic mailing data and facilitating sending the physical mail to at least one respective recipient.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 24, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2013
    Assignee: AT&T Intellectual Property I, L.P.
    Inventors: Douglas Belew, Michael Mocettini
  • Patent number: 8370187
    Abstract: Systems and methods for shipping a package from a package sender to an intended recipient, utilizing Internet communications to place shipping orders, request on demand package pickup, maintain and utilize pre-stored profile information, view shipping history, track orders, etc. A package sender with an Internet-accessible computer accesses an Internet site and associated shipping system operated by a shipping service provider. The package sender enters information required for shipping the package, including shipping options and methods for payment, and the shipment transaction is validated. If the transaction is validated, printer indicia are communicated to the customer's computer, which is enabled to locally print a prepaid label containing special machine-readable as well as human-readable indicia.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2013
    Inventors: Mark R. Hilbush, Anthony G. Creasy, Kurt L. Stadele, Jim Deveney, Jane Sneeringer, Charles G. Orf, David Michel, Christopher T. Schenken, Phillip G. Lawson, John Yanikov, Lawrence Wight, Diane Minahan, Steve Yeung, Thomas Dorris, Mark Trowbridge, Robert Gephart, Diane Lynn T. Rashbaum
  • Patent number: 8344872
    Abstract: A sensor is paired with an emitter, such as in a postage metering machine, and the sensor is calibrated for ambient light conditions. Ambient light is measured with a sensor while the emitter is unpowered. If the measured ambient light is less than a current trip level (voltage level at the sensor), then a current level of light is measured with the sensor while the emitter is powered. If the measured current level of light exceeds the current trip level, then the signal output from the sensor indicates that an object such as an envelope awaiting postage to be printed thereon is present at the sensor. The current trip level may be determined by measuring light at the sensor when the emitter is on and adding some voltage margin to it, but if the sensor is blocked during this calibration a default threshold is used as the current trip level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2013
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventor: Kevin M. Minckler
  • Patent number: 8341094
    Abstract: The invention relates to a franking machine, comprising a print head of an ink-jet printing mechanism for printing flat postal items such as letters or postcards, which can be introduced into said mechanism or which pass through the same. Said franking machine consists of a guiding part which is located around the print head and projects in relation to the nozzle opening plane of said print head, and with which a conveying device is associated, said conveying device transporting the postal items between itself and conveying rollers lying opposite and rotating about axes that are located crosswise to the conveying direction. Said conveying device has two drive-connected driving rollers which together with the guiding part, form a path of travel. The driving rollers are located in front of and behind the print head in relation to the conveying direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2012
    Assignee: Frama AG
    Inventor: Werner Haug
  • Patent number: 8316093
    Abstract: Rolling view optimization is initiated by receiving electronic mail data corresponding to a plurality of mail pieces, the electronic mail data including a first cycle and determining whether substantially all electronic mail data from the first cycle can be processed for mailing. In response to determining that substantially all of the electronic mail data from the first cycle cannot be processed for mailing, a determination is made whether a portion of the mail data from the first cycle can be processed for mailing and in response to determining that a portion of the mail data from the first cycle can be processed for mailing the electronic mail data corresponding to the first cycle for mailing is sent.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 24, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2012
    Assignee: AT&T Intellectual Property I, L.P.
    Inventors: Douglas Belew, Michael Mocettini
  • Patent number: 8290832
    Abstract: A method and system for handling returned prepaid device in a payment system. In one embodiment, upon receipt of a returned prepaid device corresponding to a consumer's account, a method indicates in the consumer's account that an address of the consumer is invalid; and determines whether the device should be stored in order to possibly re-send the device to the consumer if a new valid consumer address is received, or to destroy the device and refund the purchaser.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2012
    Assignee: Visa U.S.A. Inc.
    Inventor: Justin T. Monk
  • Patent number: 8271399
    Abstract: A method of optimizing mail sorting on a envelope sorting machine by eliminating the necessity to pass some of the documents through the machine twice is provided in which a postal code table is created having an order for each of a plurality of postal code ranges. An unsorted document print stream is received and a document parameter table created to store boundaries of each of a plurality of documents and a location of a postal code in each document. An index table is constructed incorporating information from the postal code table indicating the location and order of each document in the unsorted document print stream. The index table is reordered according to the order of each document and a sorted document print stream is generated, whereby the documents are arranged in order of their respective priorities. The documents are then printed from the sorted document print stream, separated into groups in accordance with their respective priorities and sorted in order of each group's respective order.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 2008
    Date of Patent: September 18, 2012
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventor: Brian P. Doyle
  • Patent number: 8214302
    Abstract: A system and method for authenticating a physical address submitted in an online communication is disclosed. An online communication comprising a physical address to be verified is received. A verification identification (VID) is requested and received. A transaction verification document (TVD) comprising an indicia indicative of the VID is generated. An electronic copy of the TVD is transmitted. Verification data produced in response to dispatch of a physical embodiment of the TVD is received, wherein the physical embodiment is generated from the electronic copy. The physical address is authenticated based at least in part on the verification data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 18, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 3, 2012
    Assignee: United States Postal Service
    Inventors: Clayton Bonnell, Ronald Garey, Bradley Reck, Gregory Crabb
  • Publication number: 20120123970
    Abstract: A system and method for determining the dimensions of a mail piece using a built-in touch screen of a mail kiosk. A mailer is instructed to place the mail piece into a specified corner of the touch screen of the mail kiosk. The user is then instructed to touch the touch screen by the opposite corner of the mail piece. The touch screen registers the location touched by the mailer, and provides the information to a processing device of the mail kiosk. The processing device uses the information received from the touch screen to determine the dimensions of the mail piece.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 17, 2010
    Publication date: May 17, 2012
    Applicant: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Michael J. Lorello, Mark E. Sievel
  • Patent number: 8129646
    Abstract: The present subject matter relates generally to techniques and/or equipment for validating mail items within a mail processing system. Sort scheme data and mail item identification data are loaded into the mail processing system. The mail item identification data includes a mail owner identification value and a unique mail item identifier. Then, mail item identification data is acquired from each of the mail items processed in the system and validated against the loaded mail item identification data. The method may involve storing mail item validation data. The mail items are sorted in accordance with the loaded sort scheme data. Further, the present subject matter relates generally to building reports based on the information derived from the techniques and/or equipment utilized therein.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2012
    Assignee: Bell and Howell, LLC
    Inventors: Raymond Lee, Brian Bowers, Gary Van Ermen, Steven Seburn, Paul Kostyniuk
  • Patent number: 8126822
    Abstract: A method that enables the post to deliver letters, flats, post cards and packages (mail) addressed to a recipient's virtual post office box and then to be delivered directly to the recipient. The process enables individuals or entities to rent a virtual post office (VPO) box i.e., a box that does not physically exist, from the post office (“post”). Mail addressed to the virtual post office box would be captured by the post during the post's sortation process and rerouted to the specified address of the renter of the virtual post office box.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 1999
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2012
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Ronald P. Sansone, Fran E. Blackman, Daniel F. Dlugos, Leon A. Pintsov, Denis J. Stemmle, Francis X. Hines, Jr.
  • Patent number: 8103518
    Abstract: Systems and methods are provided for validating an address associated with a delivery item. In one embodiment, a computer-implemented method validates addresses associated with a delivery item. The method includes the steps of electronically receiving a data file from a sender, the data file comprising one or more addresses, and determining whether the addresses can be validated with a first weekly file comprising extended delivery codes and a second weekly file comprising delivery point verifications. The method may further include the steps of processing the data file using a database of addresses that are represented in neither the first weekly file nor the second weekly file, based on the determining step, updating the data file to indicate a status the addresses, and sending the updated data file back to the sender.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 2007
    Date of Patent: January 24, 2012
    Assignee: United States Postal Service
    Inventor: Eric I. Seaberg
  • Patent number: 8078548
    Abstract: A postage evidencing meter system is disclosed. The system comprises an authorization database for storing parameters for at least one user, wherein the parameters limit the at least one user's ability to evidence postage using the meter. The parameters include a maximum postage amount that the at least one user is allowed to use on the meter to evidence postage. The parameters may alternatively or also include a period of time during which the user is allowed to use the meter to evidence postage or a maximum amount of postage that can be used during a period of time. The postage evidencing meter further comprises a user interface, a printer, and a security module. In alternative embodiments, the authorization database is stored on a removable storage device and/or is coupled to the meter via a communication link to a remote postage information system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 6, 2003
    Date of Patent: December 13, 2011
    Assignee: Stamps.com Inc.
    Inventor: Craig Ogg
  • Patent number: 8073782
    Abstract: There is provided a cryptographic round dater and its method of use. By capturing customer profile information and encoding the information on a label affixed to the customer's submitted mailpiece, fraudulent or criminal use of the mail may be deterred by providing traceability to the source of the mail piece. The information attached to the mailpiece may be both human readable and machine readable, said machine readable portion being optionally encrypted to protect the privacy and security of the encoded information. Further benefit is provided by allowing the handling of a mailpiece to be traced, allowing for effective remediation or investigation in the event of an unauthorized use of mail.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 2003
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2011
    Assignee: United States Postal Service
    Inventors: Leon Nathaniel Dillard, Wayne Alan Wilkerson, Roy Roger Gordon
  • 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: 8046312
    Abstract: An enhanced postal data modeling framework, in which postal data which describes characteristics of a mail sortation process is accessed, and the postal data is mapped to production management data which describes characteristics of a model production management process in an initial state and which is capable of being processed by a production management application. The production management data is input for processing by the production management application to produce forecasted production management data which predicts characteristics of the model production management process in a subsequent state, the forecasted production management data is modeled to forecasted postal data which predicts characteristics of the mail sortation process, and at least a portion of the forecasted postal data is provided to a user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 25, 2011
    Assignee: Accenture Global Services Limited
    Inventors: Joel Marchildon, Lisa Fu, Geofrey Owen Kelk, Brian Moran, James A. Kennedy
  • Patent number: 8041645
    Abstract: The present invention includes apparatus and methods for printing and verifying postage stamps on demand via a personal postage stamp printer. The indicium by which the stamp is printed includes a color stripe and a data field including authentication data that corresponds to the color stripe. To authenticate the stamp, the authentication data in the data field is read and compared with authentication data extracted from the color stripe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 18, 2011
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Robert A. Cordery, Donald G. Mackay, Claude Zeller
  • Patent number: 8027927
    Abstract: An on-line value bearing item (VBI) printing system that includes one or more cryptographic modules and a central database is disclosed. The cryptographic modules are capable of implementing the USPS Information Based Indicia Program Postal Security Device Performance Criteria and other required VBI standards. The modules encipher the information stored in the central database for all of the on-line VBI system customers and are capable of preventing access to the database by unauthorized users. Additionally, the cryptographic module is capable of preventing unauthorized and undetected modification, including the unauthorized modification, substitution, insertion, and deletion of VBI related data and cryptographically critical security parameters.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 27, 2011
    Assignee: Stamps.Com
    Inventors: Craig L. Ogg, William W. Chow
  • Patent number: RE43345
    Abstract: The exemplary embodiment of the present invention provides methods and systems for automatically selecting a media type for which to format Value-Bearing Item indicia based on a user's input of a secured paper control number. The exemplary embodiment of the present invention provides a method for selecting a media type format for which to generate value-bearing item indicia, said method comprising receiving an input of a secured paper control number, and identifying a media type format corresponding to the secured paper control number. The exemplary embodiment of the present invention provides a method for determining a media type for a particular unit of secured paper, said method comprising receiving an input of a media type identifier, wherein the media type identifier is displayed on the particular unit of secured paper, and retrieving from a memory storage a record corresponding to the media type identifier, wherein said record defines a media type format corresponding to the media type identifier.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2012
    Assignee: Stamps.com Inc.
    Inventors: Damon Cleckler, Keith David Bussell