5/18/01- As of April, 2001 Forty-seven (47) patents reference Henry B. Freedman's U.S. Patent 4,839,829 (called the 829 Print eCommerce Patent) for connecting printing requestors with printing production locations as well as online preflighting and printing prodcution expert systems and collaboration. Among the companies recognizing and referencing the Freedman patent (some multiple times) are Xerox, Heidelberg, Man Roland, Eastman Kodak, Standard Register, Hallmark Cards, American Greetings, Moore, Kinko's, Hitachi, Pitney Bowes and many others.
All of these companies reference Freedman as prior art to their inventions. New companies providing and practicing eCommerce in print that have licensed the Freedman patent to date include Impresse Corporation and printCafe. Others to follow. Most recently Freedman's 829 patent is cited as prior art in patent defenses in other patent litigation matters in the printing and publishing field.
One indication of the value of a patent is how new patents reference prior inventions. A "Pioneering Patent" is one that is found at the starting point of a new area of technology. Patent referencing is typically shown in what is a Patent Citation Tree and Freedman now has 47 branches growing from it.
According to Freedman, "The 829 Patent amongst many things is a process patent that was granted under stricter guidelines way before the more recent and many questionable "method of doing business patents were allowed." By applying the technology in the patent, technology providers and printing companies can gain many of the functions advertised by the .com world and Freedman stands to continue to benefit greatly from their using the technology.
Among many innovations the 829 patent disclosed 14 years ago (in 1986) are the connection of printing requestors with printing plants providing automated pricing and production file checking with rules online (today know as networked preflighting), in addition the patent discloses networked communications for the people producing a printed work, what in today's buzzword lingo people call "collaboration." Many other advanced features still not being offered as of yet are discussed in Freedman's work.
According to Freedman, "Less than 300 patents in the area of process software were granted in 1989 when my 829 patent was granted. Last year close to 10,000 software patents were granted." Freedman is a third generation printer born in Philadelphia.
The patent is easy to read so that non technical people can understand the benefits for printing companies to apply and for technology providers to licenses what today is called "Smart Factory" and "Print eCommerce". A copy of the patent is available for free at www.henryfreedman.com. and should provide some valuable incite.
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