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Publication numberUS20070005439 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/296,570
Publication dateJan 4, 2007
Filing dateDec 6, 2005
Priority dateJun 12, 2002
Also published asCA2489417A1, CA2489418A1, CA2489422A1, EP1552361A2, EP1552361A4, US7801763, US8234171, US8438065, US20030225633, US20040015414, US20040030573, US20060178945, US20110010274, US20120296750, US20130246201, WO2003107131A2, WO2003107131A3, WO2003107132A2, WO2003107132A3, WO2003107136A2, WO2003107136A3
Publication number11296570, 296570, US 2007/0005439 A1, US 2007/005439 A1, US 20070005439 A1, US 20070005439A1, US 2007005439 A1, US 2007005439A1, US-A1-20070005439, US-A1-2007005439, US2007/0005439A1, US2007/005439A1, US20070005439 A1, US20070005439A1, US2007005439 A1, US2007005439A1
InventorsPaul Sidlo, Walter Dunn
Original AssigneeEmn8, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Customer-operated ordering system that sets prices based on customer profile
US 20070005439 A1
Abstract
A customer-operated ordering system and method that automatically sets the price of an item offered to a customer to purchase based on a stored profile of that customer. The system may include an input device, output device, customer profile storage media, sales price storage media, price rules storage media and a processing system.
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Claims(28)
1. A customer-operated ordering system comprising:
an input device;
an output device;
customer profile storage media configured to store customer profiles about a plurality of customers;
sales price storage media configured to store sales prices;
price rules storage media configured to store price rules that are based on customer profiles;
a processing system configured to:
communicate with the input device, the output device, the customer profile storage media, the sales price storage media and the price rules storage media;
obtain the identity of the customer from the input device;
query the customer profile storage media for a customer profile of the customer based on the obtained identity;
query the price rules storage media for price rules associated with the obtained customer profile;
query the sales price storage media for sales prices; and
deliver sales prices to the output device that are in accordance with the obtained price rules.
2. The system of claim 1 wherein:
the customer-operated ordering system is configured for the customer to select and consummate a sale himself;
the input device is configured to be operated by the customer during the selection and consummation process; and
the output device is configured for the output to be delivered to the customer during the selection and consummation process.
3. The system of claim 1 wherein the customer-operated ordering system offers to sell items from a merchant and certain customer profiles include information about prior purchases made by the customers from that merchant.
4. The system of claim 3 wherein the information about prior purchases includes the identity of the products or services that were purchased from that merchant.
5. The system of claim 3 wherein the information about prior purchases includes the type of the products or services that were purchased from that merchant.
6. The system of claim 3 wherein the information about prior purchases includes the sales prices of the products or services that were purchased from that merchant.
7. The system of claim 3 wherein the information about prior purchases includes the number of the products or services that were purchased from that merchant.
8. The system of claim 1 wherein the customer-operated ordering system offers to sell items from a merchant and certain customer profiles include information about the number of prior visits by the customers from that merchant.
9. The system of claim 1 wherein the customer-operated ordering system offers to sell items from a merchant and wherein certain customer profiles include information about prior contacts that the customers had with that merchant.
10. The system of claim 1 wherein the customer-operated ordering system offers to sell items from a merchant and wherein certain customer profiles include information about prior contacts that the customers had with a person other than that merchant.
11. The system of claim 1 wherein the customer-operated ordering system offers to sell items from a merchant and wherein certain customer profiles include information about the status of the customer within a loyalty or rewards program of a party other than the merchant.
12. The system of claim 1 wherein certain customer profiles include demographic information about the customers.
13. The system of claim 1 wherein certain price rules affect the price of only some of the items that the customer-operated ordering system offers to sell.
14. The system of claim 1 wherein the customer-operated ordering system offers to sell items from a merchant and certain price rules are based on information about prior purchases made by the customers from that merchant.
15. The system of claim 14 wherein the information about prior purchases includes the identity of the products or services that were purchased from that merchant.
16. The system of claim 14 wherein the information about prior purchases includes the type of the products or services that were purchased from that merchant.
17. The system of claim 14 wherein the information about prior purchases includes the sales prices of the products or services that were purchased from that merchant.
18. The system of claim 14 wherein the information about prior purchases includes the number of the products or services that were purchased from that merchant.
19. The system of claim 1 wherein the customer-operated ordering system offers to sell items from a merchant and certain price rules are based on information about the number of prior visits by the customers to that merchant.
20. The system of claim 1 wherein the customer-operated ordering system offers to sale items from a merchant and wherein certain price rules are based on information about prior contacts that the customers had with that merchant.
21. The system of claim 1 wherein the customer-operated ordering system offers to sale items from a merchant and wherein certain price rules are based on information about prior contacts that the customers had with a person other than that merchant.
22. The system of claim 1 wherein the customer-operated ordering system offers to sell items from a merchant and wherein certain price rules are based in information about the status of the customer within a loyalty or rewards program of a party other than the merchant.
23. The system of claim 1 wherein certain price rules are based on demographic information about the customers.
24. A customer-operated ordering process comprising:
obtaining the identity of a customer from an input device;
querying a customer profile storage media containing customer profiles about a plurality of customers for a customer profile of the customer based on the obtained identify;
querying a price rules storage media containing price rules that are based on customer profiles for price rules associated with the obtained customer profile;
querying a sales price storage media containing sales prices; and
delivering sales prices to an output device that are in accordance with the obtained price rules.
25. A customer-operated ordering system including a computer-based processing system configured to automatically sets the price of an item offered to a customer to purchase based on a stored profile of that customer.
26. A customer-operated ordering process including setting the price of an item offered to a customer using a computer-based processing system based on a stored profile of that customer.
27. An ordering system including a computer-based processing system that automatically sets the price of an item offered to a customer to purchase based on a stored profile of that customer.
28. An ordering process including setting the price of an item offered to a customer using a computer-based processing system based on a stored profile of that customer.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation of and claims priority to U.S. application Ser. No. 10/462,114, attorney docket number 63859/026, entitled “Customer-Operated Ordering System That Sets Prices Based on Customer Profile,” filed Jun. 12, 2003, which is a continuation of U.S. application serial number a continuation application of U.S. application Ser. No. 10/454,010, attorney docket no. 63859/024, entitled “Point of Sale Computer System Delivering Composited Two- and Three-Dimensional Images,” filed Jun. 3, 2003. This application is also based upon and claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/392,758, filed Jul. 1, 2002, entitled “Real Time Engine with 2D/3D Detail,” and U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/388,220, filed Jun. 12, 2002, and entitled “Customer-Operated Ordering System and Method.” This application is also related to: U.S. application Ser. No. 10/461,131, attorney docket number 63859/027, entitled “Customer-Operated Ordering System and Method That Issues Admission Tickets But Does Not Dispense Products,” filed Jun. 12, 2003; and U.S. application Ser. No. 10/461,141, attorney docket number 63859/028, entitled “Customer-Operated Ordering System and Method That Accepts Coupons With Interactive Multimedia Content,” filed on Jun. 12, 2003. The content of all five of these applications is hereby incorporated by reference as though fully set forth herein.

U.S. application Ser. No. 10/462,114 claims the benefit of and priority to the following provisional patent applications: U.S. Provisional Ser. No. 60/392,758, filed Jul. 1, 2002, entitled “Real Time Engine with 2D/3D Detail;” and U.S. Provisional Ser. No. 60/388,220, filed Jun. 12, 2002, and entitled “Customer-Operated Ordering System and Method.” U.S. Utility application Ser. No. 10/462,114 is also related to U.S. Provisional Ser. No. 60/386,089, filed Jun. 4, 2002, entitled “Real Time Engine;” The content of all of these provisional applications is also incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.

DESCRIPTION OF RELATED ART

The traditional selection and ordering process presents challenges to both the merchant and the customer.

The merchant must often incur significant costs to train personnel and to have them present to communicate with the customer during the selection and ordering process. It is also often challenging for the merchant to control the presentation that his personnel make to the customer, a challenge sometimes compounded by the skill level of the personnel and a high turnover rate.

The customer, on the other hand, is often hesitant to speak with a salesperson. The customer may be apprehensive of difficulties in accurately communicating his preferences and purchase decisions. He may also be concerned over having his personal choices evaluated by someone else.

The traditional ordering process also sometimes makes it difficult to encourage customer loyalty. The traditional process is often impersonal, sometimes making it difficult to recognize a loyal customer. The need to keep the process simple also sometimes makes it difficult to reward the loyal customer, even when he or she is recognized.

Traditional sales systems also often fail to take advantage of the opportunity to promote or sell products or services of a different merchant, thereby overlooking other potential avenues of revenue.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

A customer-operated ordering system may include an input device, an output device, a customer profile storage media configured to store customer profiles about a plurality of customers, a sales price storage media configured to store sales prices, a price rules storage media configured to store price rules that are based on customer profiles, and a processing system.

The processing system may be configured to communicate with the input device, the output device, the customer profile storage media, the sales price storage media and the price rules storage media. The processing system may obtain the identity of the customer from the input device, query the customer profile storage media for a customer profile of the customer based on the obtained identify, query the price rules storage media for price rules associated with the obtained customer profile, query the sales price storage media for sales prices, and deliver sales prices to the output device that are in accordance with the obtained price rules.

The customer-operated ordering system may be configured for the customer to select and consummate a sale himself. The input device may be configured to be operated by the customer during the selection and consummation process. The output device may be configured for the output to be delivered to the customer during the selection and consummation process.

Certain customer profiles may include information about prior purchases made by the customers. The information may include the identity of the products or services that were purchased, the type of the products or services that were purchased, the sales prices of the products or services that were purchased, and/or the number of the products or services that were purchased.

Certain customer profiles may include information about the number of prior visits by the customers, information about prior contacts that the customers had with the merchant, information about prior contacts that the customers had with a person other than the merchant or the status held by the customers within loyalty or other rewards programs operated by persons other than the merchant, and/or demographic information about the customers.

Certain price rules may only affect the price of some of the items that the customer-operated ordering system offers to sell and may be based on information about prior purchases made by the customers. The information about prior purchases may include the identity of the products or services that were purchased, the type of the products or services that were purchased, the sales prices of the products or services that were purchased, the number of the products or services that were purchased, and/or the number of prior visits by the customers.

Certain price rules may be based on information about prior contacts that the customers had with the merchant, information about prior contacts that the customers had with a person other than the merchant or their status within a loyalty or other rewards program operated by a person other than the merchant, and/or demographic information about the customers.

A customer-operated ordering process may include obtaining the identity of a customer from an input device, querying a customer profile storage media containing customer profiles about a plurality of customers for a customer profile of the customer based on the obtained identify, querying a price rules storage media containing price rules that are based on customer profiles for price rules associated with the obtained customer profile, querying a sales price storage media containing sales prices, and delivering sales prices to an output device that are in accordance with the obtained price rules.

A customer-operated ordering system may include a processing system that automatically sets the price of an item offered to a customer to purchase based on a stored profile of that customer.

A customer-operated ordering process may include setting the price of an item offered to a customer based on a stored profile of that customer.

An ordering system may include a processing system that automatically sets the price of an item offered to a customer to purchase based on a stored profile of that customer.

An ordering process may include setting the price of an item offered to a customer based on a stored profile of that customer.

These as well as still further features, benefits and objects will now become clear upon an examination of the following detailed description of illustrative embodiments and the attached drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a customer-operated ordering system.

FIG. 2 is a diagram of one schema for customer profiles data that may be stored in the customer profile storage media 105.

FIG. 3 is a diagram of one schema for sales prices data that may be stored in the sales price storage media 107.

FIG. 4 is a diagram of one schema for price rules data that may be stored in the price rules storage media 109.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a customer-operated ordering system. The system includes an input device 101, an output device 103, a customer profile storage media 105, a sales price storage media 107 and a price rules storage media 109.

The input device 101 may include a touch screen, keyboard, mouse, panel buttons, joystick, card reader, proximity detector, TV-type remote control, RFID tag reader, microphone, or any other type of known or hereinafter invented input device, as well as any combination of such devices. The input device 101 may also include a wireless connection to a remote input device, such as a laptop, mobile phone or PDA. The input device 101 may be configured to be operated by the customer as the customer selects and consummates a sale.

The output device 103 may include a display and/or a sound transducer. The output device may be configured such that the customer may directly view the display and/or hear the sound.

The display may operate in the graphics mode and may include an electroluminous display, such as a CRT, plasma display, LCD or even LEDs. The display may also include a front or rear projector.

The sound transducer may include a loudspeaker or headphones.

The output device 103 may also include a remote connection to a remote output device, such as a wireless connection to a laptop or cellular device, or a connection over the telephone line. The output device 103 may also include any other type of known or later invented output device, as well as any combination of such devices.

The customer profile storage media 105 may contain customer profile information, as described in more detail below in connection with FIG. 2. The sales price storage media 107 may contain sales prices, as explained in more detail below in connection with FIG. 3. The price rules storage media 109 may contain rules about prices, as described in more detail below in connection with FIG. 4. Access to all of this data may be managed and regulated by one or more database management systems.

The customer profile, sales price and price rules storage media 105, 107 and 109, respectively, may include magnetic media, such as hard disk and floppies, optical media, such as CDs or DVDs, or electronic media, such as a ROM or memory stick. Each media could be a single device or multiple devices. All of the various storage media could be a single storage media, large enough to store all of the various information that is needed. Each media could also be any other type of storage device now known or later developed, or any combination of these. Each media may be configured to be loaded and updated locally and/or remotely.

The customer-operated ordering system in FIG. 1 may also include a processing system 111. The processing system 111 may communicate with and ultimately control each of the other components in the customer-operated ordering system, such as the input device 101, output device 103, and the customer profile, sales price and price rules storage media 105, 107 and 109, respectively.

The processing system 111 may consist of a single microprocessor or several microprocessors. It may include associated interface, memory and communication devices. It may include one or more complete computer and/or network systems. It may include both hardware and software, all in accordance with well-known design techniques.

In one mode of operation, the processing system 111 obtains information identifying the customer that is using the input device 101 and the output device 103. It may do this through information that is supplied by the input device 101.

For example, a customer might type in his name or customer number on a keyboard that is part of the input device 101. The customer may also or instead insert a card into a card reader that is part of the input device 101 that contains customer-identifying information. The customer may also or instead carry some other type of identifying information that the input device 101 can detect, such as an RFID tag. If needed in the particular application, the processing system 111 may first deliver a message to the customer through the output device 103, alerting the customer of the need to enter identifying information in the input device 101.

The processing system 111 in this configuration may next query the customer profile storage media 105 to locate a customer profile that matches the customer that has been identified.

If no matching profile is located, the processing system 111 may direct that the customer be given the “regular” prices from the sales price storage media 107. It might instead consult the price rules 109 for the appropriate price(s) rule to apply. It may instead or in addition send a message to the customer over the output device 103 asking the customer to enter desired profile information into the input device 101.

If the processing system 111 does locate a matching profile in the customer profile storage media 105, it may extract that profile and query the price rules storage media 109 for the price rules that match the obtained profile.

If no matching price rule is found, the processing system may proceed to offer the customer the “regular” prices from the sales price storage media 107 or query the price rules storage media for default instructions.

If one or more matching price rules are found, the processing system 111 may implement those price rules. One such implementation would be to consult the sales price storage media 107 for sales prices. The prices might be the “regular” prices, which the processing system 111 would then adjust based on the price rules that were obtained. Alternatively, or in addition, the price rules may dictate that the processing system 111 seek certain classes of prices from the sales price storage media 107, as explained in more detail below in connection with a discussion of the sales price storage media in FIG. 3 and the price rules in FIG. 4, in which event the processing system 111 might query the sales price storage media 107 for those classes of prices.

After obtaining the specified classes of prices from the sales price storage media 107 or after adjusting the sales prices that are obtained from the sales price storage media 107, all in accordance with the price rules from the price rules storage media 109, the processing system 111 may then deliver these prices to the output device 103 for the customer to receive.

Of course, it is to be understood that only the prices of certain items may be sought or calculated and delivered to the output device 103. These may be of items that the customer has expressed interest in during the course of his communication with the customer ordering system. In addition or instead, these might be of selected items that the processing system has been programmed to provide automatically, such as prices of daily specials.

In certain situations, the customer profile may elicit more than a single price rule in connection with a single item. In this event, the processing system 111 may need to harmonize these differences. One approach might be for the processing system 111 to provide the customer with the highest price that a rule dictates, the lowest price, or the average of the prices dictated by the rules. Another approach might be to include a price rule within the price rules storage media 109 that specifies how conflicts in price rules should be resolved.

The net effect is that the customer receives prices that are a function of the customer's profile, in accordance with the price rules.

FIG. 2 is a diagram of one schema for customer profile data that may be stored in the customer profile storage media 105. As shown in FIG. 2, the customer profile data may include a Customer ID field 201 and a Profile field 203 on the customer, including a Prior Purchases field. 205, a Prior Contacts With Merchant field 207, a Prior Contacts With Third Party field 209, one or more Demographics fields 211 and other profiling information field 213.

The Customer ID field 201 may be any of the well-known types, as well as any new types that are later invented. In FIG. 2, the Customer ID field 201 is shown as simply the name of the customer, such as John Doe in record 215. Of course, it is to be understood that other forms of ID could be used, such as a customer code.

The Prior Purchases field 205 may signify the number of purchases that the customer previously made, such as the “7” indicated in record 215. The Prior Purchases field 205 may also or instead specify information concerning the identity, types and/or sales prices of products or services that were previously purchased, as well as the total number of prior purchases and/or the total dollar volume of prior purchases.

The Prior Contacts With Merchant field 207 may indicate the number of contacts that the customer has previously had with the merchant, such as the “10” indicated in record 215. These could be a tally of personal visits, phone calls, etc.

The Prior Contacts With Third Party field 209 may be used to track contacts that the customer may have had with a third party merchant, such as the “8” indicated in record 215. It may instead or in addition be used to record the status that the customer holds within a third party's loyalty or rewards program with which the merchant has some relationship, including any agreement for cross-promotional activities with that third party's loyalty or rewards program. This information can later be used in connection with the price rules (discussed below) as part of a cross-selling or cross-promotional campaign.

The Customer Profile field 203 may also include one or more Demographics fields 211 about the customer, such as the “72 years old” entry in record 215. Of course, other demographics, such as residence location, sex or marital status, could also be used.

Other profile information could also be stored in record 215 in connection with remaining field 213.

The customer profiles that are stored in the customer profile storage media 105 can contain as many or as few fields of information as are desired. Although often discussed in the singular above, each of the fields discussed above could, in fact, be representative of several fields.

FIG. 3 is a diagram of one schema for sales price data that may be stored in the sales price storage media 107. As shown in FIG. 3, an Item ID field 301 may include an identification of the items that may be shown to the customer for purchase on the output device 103, such as the “Jumbo Burger” shown in record 303. The ID may take the form of the name of the item, such as is shown in the record 303, a code for the item, or any other form.

A Price field 305 that is associated with the Item ID field 301 may also be stored in the sales price storage media 107. In this example, various classes of prices are shown for each item, such as a Regular price field 307, a Class 1 price field 307, and a Class 2 price field 309.

As will later be demonstrated, certain price rules may include formulas for calculating discounts to be applied to the regular prices stored in the Regular price field 307. Other price rules may designate that a price in a specified class field in the sales price storage media 107 be used, such as the prices from the Class 1 field 309. The use of price classes makes it easy for prices to be changed on an individual item-by-item basis, without having to change the price rules. Either or both approaches can be used in a single system.

FIG. 4 is a diagram of one schema for price rules data that may be stored in the price rules storage media 109. As shown in FIG. 4, each price rule record, such as price rule records 401, 403 and 405, may include a Customer Profile field 407 and an associated Price Rule field 409.

The customer profile field 407 may consist of a logical, Boolean expression that refers to one or more of the Profile fields 203 in the customer profiles that are stored in the customer profile storage media 105. In record 401, for example, the Customer Profile 407 tests for whether the Prior Purchases field 205 in the customer profile is greater than $1,000. The customer profile in record 403, on the other hand, tests for whether the Customer Age field, which may be one of the Demographics fields 211, is greater than 60. The Customer Profile 407 in record 405 tests for whether the Prior Contacts With Third Party field 209 is greater than 10.

Of course, other and more complex expressions could be created. A greater or lesser number of price rules records could also be provided.

Associated with each Customer Profile 407 may be a Price Rule 409. In connection with record 401, when the Prior Purchases exceed $1,000, the Price Rule 409 dictates that a 10% discount should be provided on non-beverages. This demonstrates that meeting a particular aspect of a customer profile may only result in the price of certain products being adjusted, not all products.

In record 403, a profile showing an Age greater than 60 will cause the Class 2 prices to be selected from the sales price storage media 107. This demonstrates how a price rule may make cause a particular class of prices within the sales price storage media 107 to be utilized. As previously indicated, this facilitates adjusting prices on an item-by-item basis. It also facilitates the use of a single price class in connection with multiple customer profile criteria.

Record 405 illustrates a Customer Profile 407 that tests when a customer has had more than 10 prior contacts with a third party. If this criteria is met, the Price Rule 409 is applied to offer the customer an order of french fries at one-half price.

The customer-operated ordering system may be configured for the customer to select and consummate the sale himself. The input device 101 may be configured for the customer to operate directly. Similarly, the output device 103 may be configured for the customer to see and/or hear directly.

The customer-operated ordering system may allow the customer to select and consummate a sale of one or more products and/or services. The products may include retail products. The service may include tickets to events.

The products or services may be ones that are provided by the merchant at whose location the customer-operated ordering system is located. It may also be products or services from a third-party merchant, i.e., not the merchant at whose location the customer-operated ordering system is present.

All or some of the components of the customer-operated ordering system may be in a stand-alone kiosk or may be part of another structure, such as an order desk. The kiosk and/or other components may, as indicated above, be located on the premises of the merchant that is selling the products or services. It may be at a public location, as part of a drive-through, at a concession stand, at a public transportation stop, at a ticketed venue, or at any other location.

Although having been thus-far described as being a “customer operated” system, it is to be understood that the system could instead or in addition be operated by someone other than the customer, such as the salesperson.

The customer-operated ordering system may also be part of a larger system containing several customer-operated ordering systems. Some of these may be at different locations, such as the various locations of a franchise. The various customer-operated ordering systems may be centrally managed or managed through regional offices which, in turn, may be centrally managed. The data that is placed in the customer profile, sales price and price rules storage media 105, 107 and 109, respectively, may originate locally at the merchant or other organization on whose premises the customer-operated ordering system is present, or may originate remotely from a regional or main office, or may originate at one location and be modified or updated by a system at a different location.

The customer-operated ordering system may also be integrated as an add-on to a business's existing point-of-sale computer system. Through appropriate and known database communication techniques, existing databases can be used as the source of at least some of the data in the customer profile, sales price and/or price rules storage media 105, 107 and 109, respectively. All or some of the components of the customer-operated ordering system may be shared with the existing system into which the customer-operated ordering system is integrated. All that might need to be added is appropriate software, data and, perhaps, the input devices 101 and output devices 103.

The customer-operated ordering system may have a broad variety of other components and/or functions. For example, the system may include a payment acceptance device that would accept payment and/or a cash dispenser that would dispense cash (including change), all as needed in connection with the transaction. The system might also include a device that prints and delivers promotional messages. The output device 103, in cooperation with the processing system 111 and other systems, might also deliver graphic presentations to the customer that include rich and possibly interactive multimedia content in a manner that would keep the customer's attention throughout the selection and consummation process. The ordering system could also include a device that issues admission tickets, which could be purchased as part of the ordering process or given as part of a promotion or reward. The ordering system could also be multilingual and function with different currencies, the particular one of which might be selected by the customer. The ordering system might also operate in real-time, meaning that the output the customer receives on the output device 103 follows very quickly the input that the customer might deliver to the input device 101.

Other embodiments and further details about customer ordering systems are set forth in the following patent applications to which the parent application to this application claims priority, namely U.S. Provisional Application 60/388,220, filed Jun. 12, 2002, entitled “Customer-Operated Ordering System and Method”; U.S. Provisional Application 60/392,758, filed Jul. 1, 2002, entitled “Real Time Engine with 2D/3D Detail”; and U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/454,010, entitled “Point of Sale Computer System Delivering Composited Two- and Three-Dimensional Images,” filed on Jun. 3, 2003, attorney docket number 63859-024. This application is also related to U.S. application Ser. No. 10/461,131, attorney docket number 63859/027, entitled “Customer-Operated Ordering System and Method That Issues Admission Tickets But Does Not Dispense Products,” filed Jun. 12, 2003; and U.S. application Ser. No. 10/461,141, attorney docket number 63859/028, entitled “Customer-Operated Ordering System and Method That Accepts Coupons With Interactive Multimedia Content,” filed on Jun. 12, 2003. The content of all of these applications is hereby incorporated by reference as though fully set forth herein. Each of these represents further variations of the customer-operated ordering system of this application.

The descriptions that have now been provided are of the illustrative embodiments and should enable a person of ordinary skill in the art to make and use the technology that is set forth in the claims below without undue experimentation. Numerous modifications to these embodiments will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art, and the principles set forth in this discussion may be applied to other embodiments, all without departing from the spirit or scope of the technology that is set forth and covered solely by the claims below.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8090092May 2, 2006Jan 3, 2012Skype LimitedDialling phone numbers
US8635362 *Sep 15, 2009Jan 21, 2014SkypeCommunication system and method
US8855294Nov 21, 2011Oct 7, 2014SkypeDialling phone numbers
Classifications
U.S. Classification705/26.62, 705/26.61
International ClassificationG06Q30/00, G06F21/00, G07F7/00
Cooperative ClassificationG06Q20/202, G06F21/35, G06Q20/20, G06F2221/2119, G06F2221/2121, G06F2221/2115, G06Q30/0643, G06Q30/06, G06Q10/0637, G06F21/10, G06Q30/0623, G06F2221/2117, G06Q30/0633, G06F2221/0797, G07F7/00, G06F2221/2101, G09F27/00, G06F2221/0711, G06F2221/2151, G06F2221/2135, G06Q30/0625, G06Q30/00, G06Q30/02, G06Q20/204, G06F2221/0775, G06F21/34
European ClassificationG06Q20/202, G06Q10/0637, G06F21/10, G06Q30/06, G09F27/00, G07F7/00, G06F21/35, G06Q30/0643, G06Q30/0633, G06F21/34, G06Q20/204, G06Q30/0623, G06Q20/20, G06Q30/02, G06Q30/0625, G06Q30/00
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Dec 21, 2010ASAssignment
Free format text: RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:SRBA #1, L.P. AS COLLATERAL AGENT FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE PURCHASERS;REEL/FRAME:025534/0135
Effective date: 20101215
Owner name: EMN8, INC., CALIFORNIA
Aug 16, 2010ASAssignment
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Effective date: 20100811
Oct 28, 2008ASAssignment
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Effective date: 20081007