Editions   North America | Europe | Magazine


Key Patents Allow IBM Printing Systems To Improve Innovation

Press release from the issuing company

40 Percent Increase In Patents Awarded From 2000 To 2001 BOULDER, CO--Jan 23, 2002 -- On the heels of IBM's announcement of leading the U.S. patent list for the ninth consecutive year and for the highest number of patents ever issued in a single year, IBM Printing Systems today announced it was awarded 30 patents by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in 2001, up from 18 in 2000. With such a large number of patents, IBM Printing Systems is maintaining its leadership position in developing new solutions to manage the output of e-business. "IBM Printing System's 40 percent increase in patents clearly demonstrates our ongoing commitment and passion for pioneering new frontiers in the output of e-business. The inspiration behind each of these new patents is to address the real needs of our commercial and enterprise printing customers," said David Dobson, general manager, IBM Printing Systems. Among the most significant patents issued to IBM Printing Systems in 2001 include new cost-saving breakthroughs that allow different printers to produce comparable output, and one defining a "Virtual Printer," that receives user data and converts it to the appropriate printer format. This allows customers to print documents on their existing printers without having to buy printers to match the various document formats commonly in use today. Different printers, comparable output brings cost-saving benefits When two patents, "Calibrating Digital Halftoning Algorithms with Multiple Personalities," and "Half-tone Screen Calibrations", are applied together, comparable quality outputs can be produced on different printers, even if printer characteristics are different. This flexibility has previously not been available to digital printers. These two patents define a procedure stored in a print server that modifies image data before printing. The resulting output image, when printed on different printers, will appear similar, or in many instances, identical. Digital halftoning algorithms benefit commercial and in-plant printers. Their customers demand consistent, even identical, output from one print run to the next. Today, the commercial printer needs to run the same job on the same printer each time, even if volumes are very different, and it is not the most cost-effective use of the equipment. Ensuring the same output on any printer gives the commercial or in-plant printer the flexibility to match the print run volume to the printer that will provide the most profitable print job. Less paper and ink useage with "Virtual Printer" patent The technology inherent in the Virtual Printer patent allows documents (or print applications) to be created once and then printed, faxed, emailed, archived and presented on the web without having to make any changes to the document. The Virtual Printer receives data streams such as PCL, Postscript, PDF, TIFF, JPEG, ASCII, fax, etc. and converts them into device-independent data format such as a bitmap. The device-independent data is then converted into different, device-specific data streams by adding device specific controls. Thus, data formatted for one type of presentation device (such as a fax machine) can be processed by a different type of presentation device such as a PCL Printer. In addition, the data can be formatted for a display device, allowing a customer to preview a soft copy of the print job before actually printing. This presents a key advantage for testing new applications without wasting paper and ink. The research and development for each of the 30 patents awarded to IBM Printing Systems in 2001 was conducted by a team of inventors and engineers that specialize in solutions surrounding the output of e-business based at IBM Printing Systems' headquarters in Boulder, Colorado and IBM Research in Yorktown Heights, New York and Almaden, California. For a complete list of IBM Printing Systems patents awarded in 2001, please contact Heather Jones at IBM Printing Systems on (415) 593-8465 or via [email protected]