Patent for Sale:

Producing Machine Readable Bar Code    

Technology to Create Machine Readable Bar Code with Low Resolution Printers


Seller needs to receive a computer printed order form, with a check or cash payment, that has a bar code that can be read by a bar code scanner. The problem is that some low resolution ink jet printers throw too much ink onto a page and when printing bar codes, the dark and light spacing is incorrect and cannot be read by a bar code reader. You can end up with a bar code that is mostly black and pretty much unreadable. The same bar code if printed with a high resolution printer (laser printer) will be readable.

Seller's solution to the low resolution printers putting too much ink on the page is to create a second image of the bar code with thinner lines. The technology enables printing both bar codes, and using whichever bar code can be read by the bar code scanner. When the thinner line bar code gets printed with too much ink, it gets printed to look just right and is readable by the bar code reader.

The patent concerns creating both bar code images and printing both onto the paper so that regardless which type of printer one is using, one of the bar codes will be readable. Seller get checks and cash payments in the mail that come with an order form. The order form includes these bar codes which match a record in our database. Seller scans the bar code, sees the order, and then processes the check or cash payment without typing any customer data.

Primary Application of the Technology

Merchants who sell goods online but who receive paper payments, either cash or checks. This technology allows merchants to accurately and efficiently process payments received. Seller is using this technology in its business.

A potential application is to print boarding passes using low resolution inkjet printers that can be accurately scanned at airport security checkpoints.

Anyone that has customers print documents with a bar code that ties back to a record in a database could use this technology.

Another potential market is online orders where a printed form is sent to and read by a company; online order postal mailed with check payment, customer printed event tickets, RMAs (Return Material Authorizations), etc.

The Problem Solved by the Technology

The backup for when the bar code is unreadable is for a human to manually type in the bar code data. All airport gates that scan boarding passes have a keyboard for that purpose. Being unable to scan a customer printed bar code is obviously an issue for them.

Competitive Advantage

For most bar code printing performed by a company, the printer is paired with bar code fonts that work with the printer being used. One set of fonts for a high resolution printer, another set of fonts for a low resolution ink jet printer. Because we cannot load fonts onto a customer’s computer, that solution does not work for customer printed bar codes on web pages.

The best example of customer printed bar codes are airport boarding passes. If the bar code cannot be scanned, the gate agent manually enters the bar code data with a keyboard. Our approach prints two bar codes instead of one so that one of the bar codes will always be readable.

The alternative to two bar codes is to print a single bar code large enough that the resolution of the ink jet printer is irrelevant because the bar code itself is so large. FedEx takes this approach. Typically their customer printed bar code is the width of the customer printed label.

The seller would like to be granted a license back.

The seller may consider selling these patents individually.

Additional Information

Seller has web server code generating the dual bar codes. It is written in Perl and uses a graphic library written in C.

Patent Summary

U.S. Patent Classes & Classifications Covered in this listing:

Class 235: Registers

Machines employed for ascertaining the number of movements of various devices or machines; also, indicating devices where the purpose is to disclose the numerical extent or quantity of movement of a machine and where the device is separate and independent of the machine whose movements are to be noted; also organized machines, such as, cash-registers, fare-registers, voting machines and calculators having registering or counting devices as essential or important elements and having in addition certain other features necessary to make up the complete machines for the purposes desired.

Subclass 462.07: Means to decode multiple types or formats of bar code symbols (e.g., UPC, JAN, EAN, etc.)
Subclass 462.25: Reader processing circuitry
Subclass 494: Particular code pattern