|Numéro de publication||US20050192705 A1|
|Type de publication||Demande|
|Numéro de demande||US 11/001,110|
|Date de publication||1 sept. 2005|
|Date de dépôt||30 nov. 2004|
|Date de priorité||1 juil. 2003|
|Autre référence de publication||CA2589530A1, EP1817249A2, EP1817249A4, EP1817249B1, US7783378, US7787986, US8000836, US8195329, US20070162183, US20070162184, US20100268377, US20110046778, WO2006060448A2, WO2006060448A3|
|Numéro de publication||001110, 11001110, US 2005/0192705 A1, US 2005/192705 A1, US 20050192705 A1, US 20050192705A1, US 2005192705 A1, US 2005192705A1, US-A1-20050192705, US-A1-2005192705, US2005/0192705A1, US2005/192705A1, US20050192705 A1, US20050192705A1, US2005192705 A1, US2005192705A1|
|Inventeurs||Linda Pinney, John Beane, Angus Colson, David Williams, Keith Kopitzke, Keith Reynolds, Erik Barnes|
|Cessionnaire d'origine||Asteres Inc.|
|Exporter la citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Citations de brevets (99), Référencé par (24), Classifications (30), Événements juridiques (2)|
|Liens externes: USPTO, Cession USPTO, Espacenet|
This patent application is a continuation-in-part of prior application Ser. No. 10/880,269, filed on Jun. 29, 2004 (claiming the benefit of prior filed Provisional Patent Application Nos. 60/484,544 filed on Jun. 30, 2003 and 60/576,005 filed on Jun. 1, 2004) which is a continuation application of patent application Ser. No. 10/801,321, filed on Mar. 16, 2004 (claiming the benefit of prior filed Provisional Patent Application No. 60/484,544 filed on Jun. 30, 2003). The entire disclosures of these applications are considered as being part of the accompanying application.
The present invention relates generally to dispensing units for dispensing items to individuals and, more particularly, to automated or computer-controlled dispensing units.
The typical pharmaceutical transaction entails a doctor ordering a prescription for a patient, the prescription being delivered to or filled at a pharmacy, and the patient/customer picking up the finished prescription from the pharmacy.
The typical transaction requires face-to-face interaction between the patient/customer and an available pharmacist, technician, or clerk in order to receive or pick up the finished or filled prescription. In conventional settings, a customer may be required to wait in line to drop off and/or pick up a finished prescription. Further, when the customer can pick up the prescription may be constrained by the hours that a particular pharmacy is open for business. This may result in lost potential sales to a retail establishment in which a pharmacy is located because the customer may cancel a trip to the retail establishment that they otherwise might have made had the pharmacy been open. This may also result in a delay for the customer to pick up time-sensitive prescriptions. A device that allows a customer to pick up a finished prescription without face-to-face contact with pharmacy staff would be welcomed by customers in need of finished prescriptions and the pharmacies serving them.
The present invention provides, in one aspect, a random access and random load dispensing unit including a housing, at least one support located in the housing and defining a first axis, a plurality of platforms movable along the support along the first axis, a plurality of bins supported on the platforms, the bins being movable with the platforms, and a shuttle assembly movable along the first axis and further movable along a second axis substantially perpendicular to the first axis between the plurality of platforms to access and retrieve products stored in the bins.
The present invention provides, in another aspect, a random access and random load dispensing unit including a housing, a shuttle assembly movable in the housing to access and retrieve products stored in random locations in the housing, an access door pivotably coupled to the housing, and a plurality of customer interface components coupled to the access door. At least one of the customer interface components is configured to determine an identity of a customer. The dispensing unit also includes a computer in communication with the customer interface components. The computer is able to match the customer with at least one of the products stored in the random locations in the housing. The dispensing unit further includes a controller in communication with the computer for operating the shuttle assembly. The shuttle assembly is directed to the location in the housing to retrieve the at least one product for the customer.
The present invention provides, in yet another aspect, a random access and random load dispensing unit including a housing, an access door pivotably coupled to the housing, and a plurality of customer interface components coupled to the access door. At least one of the customer interface components is configured to determine an identity of a customer. The dispensing unit also includes at least one substantially vertically-oriented support defining a first axis and located in the housing, a plurality of platforms movable along the first axis and coupled to the support, and a plurality of bins supported on the platforms. The bins are movable with the platforms to selectively allow only the bins on one of the plurality of platforms to be accessed at a given time. The dispensing unit further includes a shuttle assembly movable along the first axis. The shuttle assembly is further movable along a second axis and a third axis coplanar with the second axis. The second and third axes are substantially perpendicular to the first axis and to each other. The shuttle assembly is movable along the second and third axes between the plurality of platforms to access and retrieve products stored in the bins. The dispensing unit also includes a computer in communication with the customer interface components. The computer is able to match a particular product previously specified for the customer with a random location in the housing in which the particular product is stored. The dispensing unit further includes a controller in communication with the computer for operating the shuttle assembly. The shuttle assembly is directed to the random location in the housing to retrieve the specific product for the customer. The dispensing unit also includes a dispense bin located in the access door. The dispense bin is movable between a first position, in which the dispense bin is deployed into the housing for the shuttle assembly to deposit the product into the dispense bin, and a second position, in which the dispense bin is retracted into the access door and the product is ready to be retrieved by the customer. The dispensing unit further includes a dispense bin lid selectively covering the dispense bin. The dispense bin lid is movable between a first position, in which the product in the dispense bin is inaccessible by the customer, and a second position, in which the product in the dispense bin is accessible by the customer for removal.
The present invention provides, in a further aspect, a container for use with a vending apparatus configured to dispense pharmaceuticals, whereby the vending apparatus utilizes an automated picker assembly to retrieve the container. The container includes a receptacle containing the pharmaceuticals, and a substantially rigid header coupled to the receptacle. The header includes opposite end portions extending beyond an outer periphery of the receptacle, two apertures through the header, and a barcode label coupled to the header.
The present invention provides, in another aspect, a container for use with a vending apparatus configured to dispense pharmaceuticals. The vending apparatus utilizes an automated picker assembly to retrieve the container. The container includes a receptacle having an open end to deposit therein the pharmaceuticals, and two opposing side walls defining in part the open end. The container also includes a header having an insertion portion insertable into the open end of the receptacle between the opposing side walls, opposite end portions extending beyond an outer periphery of the receptacle, and two apertures through the header, the apertures each defining a shape having an apex. The container further includes a label having a barcode printed thereon. A first portion of the label is coupled to one of the side walls of the receptacle and to one side of the header. A second portion of the label extends beyond an outer periphery of the header. The second portion of the label is configured to couple to a second side of the header and the other side wall of the receptacle to at least partially close the open end of the receptacle.
The invention also provides a method of managing an item in a dispensing unit that includes a controller, a picker assembly, and a plurality of trays. Each of the trays has a plurality of slots. The method includes selecting a tray from the plurality of trays at the controller, and loading the item into a first slot of the selected tray. The method also includes moving the item to a second slot of another tray with the picker assembly, and at the controller, automatically updating location information relating to the second slot in which the item has been deposited.
Other features and aspects of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon review of the following detailed description, claims and drawings.
In the drawings, wherein like reference numerals indicate like parts:
Before any features of the invention are explained in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and the arrangements of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced or being carried out in various ways. Also, it is understood that the phraseology and terminology used herein is for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting. The use of “including”, “having”, and “comprising” and variations thereof herein is meant to encompass the items listed thereafter and equivalents thereof as well as additional items. The use of letters to identify elements of a method or process is simply for identification and is not meant to indicate that the elements should be performed in a particular order.
The touch screen 104 can also be utilized by the customer to initiate customer login. For example, the customer can utilize the touch screen 104 to enter a user name or other identifying information, such as a prescription number. The touch screen 104 can further be utilized by the customer to verify their identity by inputting, for example, a password (e.g., a birth date, social security number, etc.) or a personal identification number. In some other embodiments, the touch screen 104 can identify a customer by prompting the customer to verify their identity by inputting, for example, a combination of identifiers such as date of birth and customer last name, date of birth and customer street address, date of birth and customer residential zip code, date of birth and customer phone number, and the like, which the customer has provided during a registration process, detailed hereinafter.
The unit 100 may also include a signature pad 304 on which the customer may record their signature to complete a purchase. Further, the unit 100 may include a printer 305 (see
Alternatively, the unit 100 may incorporate more than one touch screen 104, more than one magnetic stripe card reader 105 and/or credit card reader 106, more than one barcode scanner 107, more than one signature pad 304, more than one printer 305, more than one camera 308, and more than one dispense bin 310 to allow more than one customer to utilize the unit 100 at a given time.
Some pharmacies are required to present consumers a variety of papers, such as HIPAA privacy rights statements that also require signatures. In order to track that HIPAA privacy right statements have been signed, the pharmacies often capture the signatures of the consumers and set a flag in the respective files associated with the consumers. The unit 100 can be configured to display information such as the HIPAA privacy rights statements, and to prompt the consumer for signature before dispensing any prescriptions. Once the signature has been captured via the signature pad 304, a flag associated with the consumer is set in the unit 100 electronically.
The customer interface controls or components, including the touch screen 104, magnetic stripe card reader 105 and/or credit card reader 106, barcode scanner 107, signature pad 304, receipt dispense opening 306, camera 308, and dispense bin 310 are located on an access door 313 coupled to the housing 102. The access door 313 may be pivotably coupled to the housing 102, such that an operator may pivot the access door 313 away from the housing 102 to service the working components of the touch screen 104, magnetic stripe card reader 105 and/or credit card reader 106, barcode scanner 107, signature pad 304, receipt dispense opening 306, camera 308, and dispense bin 310.
The unit 100 may incorporate a prescription drop-off bin 500 (see
The unit 100 also includes a computer 124 that is operable to interface with the touch screen 104, the credit card reader 106, the barcode scanner 107, the signature pad 304, and the receipt printer 305. The computer 124 may be physically located almost anywhere in the unit 100, however, in the illustrated construction, the computer 124 is located in the access door 313 of the unit 100. The computer 124 is shown as a component of the unit 100, but it will be understood by those of ordinary skill in the art that the computer 124 could be remote from the unit 100 and operate the unit 100 through an information connection, such as a network. Further, the computer 124 is shown as dedicated to the unit 100, but multiple units 100 could operate off the same computer 124. The unit 100 would not need its own computer 124, but instead could operate off a computer 124 housed in another unit 100 or not housed within a unit 100 at all. The housing 102 may further include a conveniently located countertop (not shown) to facilitate the customer's interaction with the unit 100.
A plurality of vertically-oriented, or “Y-axis” support members 202 a-202 d support a picker or shuttle assembly 208, such that the shuttle assembly 208 is allowed to travel or maneuver along a vertical axis (i.e., Y-axis 112) inside the housing 102. In addition, an “X-axis” support 222 or a carriage (also see
With reference to
With reference to
During operation, the activation rod 320 may contact one of the end walls 318 of the X-axis support 222 to move the rod 320 from its biased central position. Depending on which end wall 318 is contacted, one of the springs 322 is compressed to gently slow down the shuttle assembly 208. As the rod 320 is moved, one of the followers 326 is engaged by the corresponding cam surface 324 on the rod 320 to trigger the corresponding overtravel switch 328. Furthermore, the overtravel switches 328 interface with the controller 128 and the computer 124 to alert the computer 124 when the shuttle assembly 208 is in close proximity to one of the end walls 318 of the X-axis support 222 to de-activate or stop the X-axis drive motor 314. Alternatively, the overtravel system may be configured with non-contact switches (e.g., light switches, magnetic switches, etc.) During impact, the springs 322 also absorb at least a portion of the impact energy to substantially prevent damage to the shuttle assembly 208.
With reference to
With reference to
As shown in
As shown in
The assembled bag 212, as illustrated in
The headers 512 of the bags 212 include opposing alignment tabs 536 that engage slots formed in the trays 214 to maintain consistent spacing between adjacent headers 512 of adjacent bags 212. Also, the alignment tabs 536 facilitate reading of the barcodes 406 on the labels 402 by consistently positioning the labels 402 so they are clearly presented to the barcode reader 210.
As shown in
With reference to
The gear motor 220 may include a pinion (not shown) to drivably engage a rack (also not shown) on the platform support 210 b. The rack utilized by the platforms 216 is separate and distinct from the rack utilized by the Z-axis supports 204, such that the platforms 216 and the Z-axis supports 204 may move without affecting one another. Alternatively, a single motor or gear motor may be utilized to raise and lower all of the platforms 216. In addition, hydraulic motors or pneumatic motors may be utilized in place of or in addition to the electric motors 220.
With reference to
The barcode reader 210 is operable to interface with the computer 124 to output the locations of the individual bags 212 to a database program in the computer 124. The database program thus provides an inventory of the prescription bags 212 stored in the unit 100. When it is desired to access a selected prescription bag 212, the controller 128 interfaces with the computer 124, the gear motors 220 to control movement of the platforms 216, and the drive motors 314, 330, 338 to control movement of the shuttle assembly 208, the X-axis support 222, and the Z-axis supports 204 to position the shuttle assembly 208 in a defined location within the housing 102. In addition, the controller 128 may interface with a hook motor 364 in the shuttle assembly 208 to maneuver hooks 410 to pick a selected prescription bag 212, which is discussed in more detail below. Although the controller 128 is shown as a separate component from the computer 124, it will be understood by those of ordinary skill in the art that the controller 128 and the computer 124 may be incorporated into a single component.
To dispense the selected prescription bag 212, the shuttle assembly 208 is advanced toward the front of the housing 102 along the Z-axis 116, lowered along the Y-axis 112 to a position above the distribution tray 214, then moved along the X-axis 120 to position the prescription bag 212 directly above the deployed dispense bin 310, the operation of which is described in more detail below. The hook motor 364 is then activated to maneuver the hooks 410 to drop the prescription bag 212 into the dispense bin 310.
The dispense bin 310 is illustrated in more detail in
Alternatively, other drive trains may be utilized, including fixing the driven gear to the pivot point 348 of the dispense bin 310, such that the pinion 346 engages the driven gear and causes the dispense bin 310 to pivot without utilizing the link 548. Alternatively, a multiple-gear gear train may be utilized between the pinion 346 and the driven gear on the dispense bin 310. Further, other known drive structures may be utilized to pivot the dispense bin 310 between its deployed and non-deployed positions. A slip-clutch 349 may also be utilized in the drive train of the dispense bin 310 to allow selective slippage between the motor 344 and the dispense bin 310.
The dispense bin drive motor 344 may interface with the controller 128, which may selectively activate the dispense bin drive motor 344 when prompted by the computer 124. With reference to
With reference to
With reference to
With reference to
With reference to
The trap door 356 is actuated by a solenoid 556 (see
With reference to
More than one dispense bin 310 or pickup location may be incorporated into the unit 100 if it is desired to service more than one customer at a given time. Further, additional shuttle assemblies 208 may be incorporated into the unit 100 to service the additional customers or to pick multiple prescription bags 212 at one time. The unit 100 may also be configured as a double-wide or a triple-wide unit (not shown), such that two or three of the illustrated storage units 100 may be incorporated into a single housing. In such a double-wide or triple-wide unit, one or more transfer mechanisms (e.g., conveyor belts, etc.) may be utilized to transfer a prescription bag 212 between the individual storage units 100 in the double-wide or triple-wide units. For example, a shuttle assembly 208 of a first unit 100 may deposit a prescription bag 212 on the conveyor belt, which may transport the bag 212 to a second unit 100 in the double-wide or triple-wide unit. The shuttle assembly 208 of the second unit 100 may then retrieve the bag 212 from the conveyor belt. In some other embodiments, however, instead of the shuttle assembly 208 of the second unit 100 picking up the bag 212 from the conveyor belt, the second unit 100 will deposit the bag 212 from the conveyor belt into an appropriate dispense bin.
With reference to
The prescription bag 212 may include labels 402 on each side of the bag 212, such that the barcode reader 210 may read the barcode 406 to identify the bag 212 from either side of the bag 212 by reference or query of the database. The distribution trays 214 include self-aligning V-notches 408 so that the label 402 of each bag is accurately positioned in the distribution tray 214 to facilitate reading of the barcodes 406 by the barcode reader 210.
As shown in
One or more switches 370 may be utilized to detect the position of the hooks 410. As shown in
The hooks 410 may be maneuvered to disengage the apertures 412 in the prescription bag 212 when the prescription bag 212 is to be dropped into the dispense bin 310. Alternatively, the shuttle assembly 208 may utilize different means for selecting the prescription bags 212, such as, for example, suction, magnets, grabbers, holders, and so forth. As such, the prescription bags 212 may incorporate corresponding structure or features, depending upon the different means for selecting the prescription bags 212, to allow accurate and precise picking of the prescription bags 212. For example, grabbers are particularly suited to pick products having a consistent shape and size (e.g., DVD's). Further, such products may not require bags or other containers for vending, and may be directly grasped by the grabbers.
The housing 102 may include one or more rear doors 602, which may be locked by electronic solenoids (not shown). The electronic solenoids may be controlled by the computer 124 and the controller 128 to lock and unlock the rear doors 602. The pharmacist or technician may utilize another computer (e.g., the computer or computer network in the pharmacy) to interface with the computer 124 to remotely actuate the electronic solenoids to lock or unlock the rear doors 602. Alternatively, the pharmacist or technician may utilize a keypad (not shown) positioned on the housing 102 to interface with the computer 124 to lock or unlock the rear doors 602. The computer 124 may also be used to interface with the computer or computer network in the pharmacy to maintain an inventory of the prescription bags 212 in the unit 100. The computer 124 may further be used to interface with the computer or computer network in the pharmacy to access information specific to the customer, the customer's prescription, and/or the prescription bag 212.
The rear of the housing 102 may further include means to communicate with the technician or system operator to display whether the system is prepared to be accessed and reloaded. For example, lights 606 may be provided to communicate with the technician or operator, such as a red light may indicate that the machine is in operation and for the operator to wait to open the rear doors 602 or to pull out distribution trays 214 (see
When the unit 100 is idle, all of the platforms 216 may be moved to their lowest positions in the housing 102 so that bags 212 may not be removed from the distribution trays 214 without a distribution tray 214 being pulled out of the housing 102. In addition, the platforms 216 may be moved to their lowest positions in the housing 102 when the access door 313 or the rear doors 602 are opened. One or more tray sensors 576 (see
As shown in
The bag 212 may then be placed in any random location in the distribution tray 214 so that the bag 212 is captured between the pair of opposing notches 408. The pharmacist or technician may load the trays 214 with the prescription bags 212 at a remote location from the unit 100, such as a countertop in the pharmacy. The pharmacist or technician may access the rear of the housing 102 via the rear doors 602 and place the filled distribution tray 214 into an open guide 568. The pharmacist or technician may repeat this process as many times as necessary to place new prescription bags 212 into the unit 100 or to fill empty slots in the distribution trays 214.
The unit 100 may also include an auxiliary door (not shown) in one or both of the access door 313 and the rear doors 602 of sufficient size to allow a single tray 214 to be inserted or removed from the housing 102 without opening the access door 313 or the rear doors 602. Such an auxiliary door may allow reloading or restocking the unit 100 without taking the unit 100 off-line.
In addition, the unit 100 may utilize a hopper (not shown) to facilitate loading, re-loading, or restocking the unit 100 with new prescription bags 212. For example, the pharmacist or technician may deposit the bags 212 in the hopper, and the shuttle assembly 208, alone or in combination with other components, may pick the bags 212 and load the bags 212 into a random location in the unit 100.
The unit 100 may be utilized at a location inside of a store, such as adjacent to a pharmacy counter. With reference to
The unit 100 may allow the customers to select, purchase, and receive their prescription drugs, or other consumer items effectively without human interaction in the store. More particularly, customers may purchase their prescription drugs without direct contact with the pharmacist or technician responsible for filing the customer's prescription. In such a capacity, the unit 100 effectively functions as an automated storage facility for storing prescription bags 212 in a location accessible to the customer, even during times when the store or pharmacy is closed. In addition, the unit 100 may be utilized outside of a store location, such as in an automobile drive-through system so that the customer may purchase their prescription bags 212 or other goods while remaining in their automobile.
With reference to
In creating a finished prescription, as is customary, the pharmacist first receives a prescription for a customer from an authorized medical professional, selects an appropriate prescription drug to fill the customer's prescription, and then fills the container 902 with the selected prescription drug to fill the prescription. The pharmacist may then insert the container 902 into the prescription bag 212 and either transfer a label 402 including a barcode 406 from the prescription documentation to the bag 212 to identify the contents of the container 902 and/or the bag 212, or use a barcode reader to scan a pre-printed barcode on the bag 212 and then scan the barcode 406 associated with that prescription to correlate a particular bag 212 to a particular prescription in the database program of the computer 124. The pharmacist or technician may then insert the prescription bags 212 into one or more trays 214 for deposit into the unit 100, or the prescription bags 212 may be deposited into empty slots in partially-empty trays 214 during the loading process.
To load the unit 100, the pharmacist or technician may first initiate a sequence for unlocking the rear doors 602. During the sequence to unlock the rear doors 602, the controller 128 may interface with the computer 124 to request permission to unlock the rear doors 602. If the unit 100 is not in use by a customer, the touch screen 104 may display a message indicating the unit 100 is out of service, and the controller 128 receives a signal from the computer 124 to unlock the rear doors 602. After the rear doors 602 are unlocked, the pharmacist or technician may visually identify empty trays 214 and replace any empty trays 214 with filled trays 214 containing new prescription bags 212. The trays 214 may be removed and/or replaced in random locations in the unit 100. In other words, the trays 214 are not associated with permanent locations in the unit 100. The pharmacist or technician may also identify which trays are partially empty so that new prescription bags 212 may be inserted in the empty slots in the partially empty trays 214. The pharmacist or technician may identify which trays 214 are empty or partially empty by referencing indicator lights 228 (see
After the new prescription bags 212 have been deposited into the unit 100, the pharmacist or technician closes and locks the rear doors 602. The controller 128 may then interface with the computer 124 to relay which trays 214 were accessed by the pharmacist or technician in order to update the database program in the computer 124 to ascertain an accurate inventory of the prescription bags 212 in the unit 100. The updated inventory of prescription bags 212 in the unit 100 is performed by the shuttle assembly 208 passing over the new prescription bags 212 and reading their barcodes 406 with the barcode reader 210. To complete the loading process, the computer 124 may prompt the touch screen 104 to display a message indicating the unit 100 is back in service.
The unit 100 may also automatically consolidate partially-filled trays 214 without any input from the pharmacist or technician. For example, multiple partially-filled trays 214 may be identified while the shuttle assembly 208 re-inventories the bags 212 in the unit 100. The computer 124 and/or controller 128 may then re-assign the bags 212 in one of the partially-filled trays 214 to fill empty slots in other partially-filled trays 214. The controller 128 may then direct the shuttle assembly 208 to reposition the bags 212 accordingly. Prescription bags 212 containing expired filled prescriptions or expired products may be repositioned to a specific tray 214 for the pharmacist or technician to remove from the unit 100, detailed hereinafter.
In some embodiments, when the pharmacy staff needs to load a bag into the unit 100, the pharmacy staff slides out trays of the unit 100 and deposits the bag into an empty slots in the unit 100.
The loading process 3140 then sends an unlock request to the MSM, a lock on the unit 100 is released, and a green LED is lit at block 3168. Each tray then lights a particular tray LED associated with the tray at block 3172. For example, a green LED is lit for the tray if the tray is empty. A yellow LED is lit if some slots of the tray are occupied. A red LED is lit if all of the slots are occupied. Once a yellow LED or a green LED is located, the pharmacy staff opens a corresponding access door of the selected tray at block 3176, deposits bags to the empty slots of the tray at block 3180, and locks the access door when done depositing at block 3184, respectively. Thereafter, the tray LED's are turned off at block 3188. The MSM then instructs the main processor which tray was selected at block 3192. An automated inventory process, described hereinafter, is initiated at block 3194. The touch screen 104 subsequently returns to a standby screen at block 3196. The loading process 3140 then terminates.
With reference to
The database program in the computer 124 may then compare the customer's identity with the list of registered customers in the database. If no information for the particular customer and/or inaccurate login information (such as the password) is provided, the computer 124 may prompt the touch screen 104 to display a message referring the customer to the pharmacist or the technician for assistance.
If the customer enters a password or PIN that is verified by the computer 124, the computer 124 may then query the database program to check the number of prescription bags 212 corresponding to the customer that are stored in the unit 100. The computer 124 may then display on the touch screen 104 a message listing all of the prescription bags 212 corresponding to the customer that are stored in the unit 100, and behind the counter if any. The customer may choose to purchase any/all prescription bags 212 by selecting/touching the button associated with the desired prescription bag(s) 212 on the touch screen 104. At this point, additional information can be captured. For example, if the patient is a Medicare patient, the software will collect information regarding the relationship of the customer using the machine to the patient for whom the prescription was written. Additionally, the patient may be asked to verify that they have requested their prescriptions be stored in non-child resistant (or easy open) packages. Alternatively, if the customer logged in to the unit 100 utilizing the touch screen 104 rather than the credit card reader 106, the customer will be prompted through a payment selection process after selecting their prescription bags 212. Such a payment selection process can include being prompted to enter a credit card into the credit card reader 106 or entering cash into the cash acceptor.
If the customer chooses to continue with the transaction, the computer 124 may prompt the touch screen 104 to display a message instructing the customer to sign their name on a signature pad (see
After taking the photograph, the computer 124 may interface with the controller 128 to provide instructions relating the location of the customer's first selected prescription bag 212. Further, the shuttle assembly 208 and the platforms 216 may be maneuvered as described above and in the flowchart illustrated in
After dispensing the first prescription bag 212, and if the customer has additional prescription bags 212 stored in the unit 100, the computer 124 may prompt the touch screen 106 to return to the message listing all of the customer's prescription bags 212 stored in the unit 100. The customer may purchase a second prescription bag 212 by repeating the above procedure. If the customer does not have additional prescription bags 212 stored in the unit 100, the transaction may be completed.
More particularly, as shown in
The consumer can touch the touch screen 104 to begin the dispensing process 3200 at block 3208. The consumer is then prompted to slide a registration or identification card or a credit card through any of the readers such as the credit card reader 106 at block 3212 to identify him or her. If the unit 100 recognizes the consumer at block 3216, the dispensing process 3200 continues to prompt for a password at block 3220; otherwise, the consumer can be directed to seek help with the pharmacy staff at block 3224. If the password is valid (as determined at block 3228), the dispensing process 3200 continues at block 3244. However, if the password is considered invalid (determined at block 3228), the unit 100 will repeat block 3220 to prompt for another password for a number of times. In the embodiment shown in
If the password is considered valid at block 3228, the touch screen 104 will display a list of the prescriptions ordered at block 3244. At this point, the unit 100 can also record the number of prescriptions. Once the consumer has selected the prescriptions, and selected to continue with the dispensing process 3200, the touch screen 104 will prompt the consumer for purchase or cancellation at block 3248. If the consumer selects cancellation (determined at block 3250), the dispensing process 3200 returns to block 3208. If the consumer selects purchase at block 3250, the consumer is then prompted to sign the signature pad 304 at block 3254. If the consumer signs the signature pad 304 determined at block 3258, the dispensing process 3200 continues at block 3262 which snaps a picture of the consumer, or takes some biometrics information of the consumer. If the consumer has not signed the signature pad 304 within a predetermined amount of time, the dispensing process 3200 restarts at block 3208.
Once a consumer record such as the picture or the biometrics information has been captured at block 3262, the unit 100 will pick up the selected prescription mechanically at block 3266, detailed hereinafter. The touch screen 104 will also instruct the consumer to remove the prescription(s) from the unit 100 at block 3270. The dispensing process 3200 will then verify the removal of the prescription at block 3274, detailed hereinafter. When there is more prescriptions to be dispensed at block 3252, the dispensing process 3200 repeats at block 2848; otherwise, the dispensing process 3200 terminates at block 3278. In some other embodiments, the block 3252 can be eliminated.
If it is determined that the barcode is a good barcode read at block 3312, the mechanical dispensing process 3300 continues to check if the corresponding bag or package is found at block 3340. If no corresponding bag is found, block 3324 is repeated. Otherwise, if a corresponding bag or package is found, the picker assembly grabs the found package and moves the package to a dispensing slot at block 3344. The barcode of the found package is scanned to verify against a prescription record at block 3348. If it is determined that there is a bad barcode read at block 3352, the mechanical dispensing process 3300 allows a number of repeated barcode reads starting at block 3348. In the embodiment shown, the barcode can be read a total of three times. If after three attempts (determined at block 3356), the prescription is assumed not to have been dispensed. If no barcode can be read, block 3324 is repeated. Otherwise, if it is determined that the barcode is a good barcode read at block 3352, the mechanical dispensing process 3300 terminates.
In some cases, a consumer may have prescriptions in both the unit 100 and behind the counter. The consumer can receive all the prescriptions without having to access the unit 100. Particularly, the consumer can go directly to the counter and requests that all the prescriptions are picked up at the counter. The pharmacy staff can then select a particular prescription electronically via the interface engine 2918, and open the unit 100 to remove the prescriptions. The pharmacy staff can also select the particular prescription electronically, and remove the prescription at a special dispensing slot, such as a back of the unit 100. In this way, the consumer can receive the prescriptions from the pharmacy staff directly. The unit 100 can also include a locker system such that large items or refrigerated items can also be dispensed through the unit 100, or by the pharmacy staff.
In some embodiments, the customer can be prompted to register in a registration process in order to use the services provided by the unit 100. During the registration process, customer can select to use the unit 100, or select not to use the unit 100. A flag that identifies a customer desiring to use the unit 100 is set or reset during the registration process. Particularly, each customer has an identity, and a flag is generally associated with the identity. When the customer desires not to use the services provided by the unit 100, the flag is either manually or electronically set such that the customer can be identified, for example, during a workflow process of filling a prescription. In such cases, the set flag will prompt some associated pharmacy staff that the prescription is destined for the unit 100. The registration process can either be a manual process where a consumer fills out a paper form and returns the filled paper form to the pharmacy to manually entered, or an electronic process where the consumer uses the touch screen 104 on the unit 100 to complete the form. In a case where the consumer uses the touch screen 104 on the unit 100 to complete the form, the unit 100 can set the flag. The registration process can also be a web-based process. The consumer can fill out the registration form on-line in a manner known in the art. Information that the registration process can require includes, but not limited to, date of birth, last name, street address, zip code, phone number, an answer to a selected question allowing the unit 100 to provide the consumer a hint question to remind the consumer of the password, and the like.
In some embodiments, the unit 100 also allows the consumer to assign a person other than the consumer to pick up, for example, the prescription. The consumer can be prompted to restrict access to a certain selected prescription for the person. For example, the consumer can restrict the person to pick up only a selected one of all the prescriptions that the consumer has ordered. Particularly, the consumer can destine a specific prescription by supplying a combination of a specific pharmacy number and some specific identifying information, or a specific password to the selected prescription, or to the rest of the prescription. In this way, when the person picks up the prescription for the consumer, the person can only have access to the one prescription assigned by the consumer, and the person will be unable to access or see the rest of the prescription. In some embodiments, the consumer can also assign the selected prescription to a particular consumer. In this way, the consumer grants access the selected prescription to the particular consumer, while the consumer can deny access to the rest of the prescription. Furthermore, granting access by assigning a selected prescription can also allow, for example, a parent to pick the selected prescription for his child as well as for himself.
In some embodiments, each of the pharmacy staff is authenticated before opening the unit 100. Generally, an audit trail of the pharmacy staff working with the unit 100 is logged. For example, each of the prescriptions that the pharmacy staff fills can be logged. For another example, each of the prescriptions to which the pharmacy staff has access can also be logged.
In some embodiments, when a prescription is a special item such as a new order, a refrigerated item, a large item, a bulky item, and the like, the prescription can be stored behind the counter. In such cases, even if a consumer has registered to use the unit 100, the consumer will be presented with a list of all the prescriptions available including the special item to the consumer on the touch screen 104. Particularly, the touch screen 104 can display the list of all the prescriptions available to the consumer, and can identify an item on the list that requires special attention with a note. For example, the note can direct the consumer where the consumer can pick up the item on the list. For example, the note can also direct the consumer to the pharmacy counter for any prescription not found in the unit 100.
In embodiments where pharmacist consultation is required, the unit 100 can be configured to only allow loading of refill prescriptions. In such cases, if a new prescription order is queued for filling and depositing into the unit 100, the new prescription order can be quarantined such that the consumer cannot access the new prescription order until after a consultation. In some other cases, if a new prescription order is queued for filling and depositing into the unit 100, a quarantine flag is set such that the new prescription order can be accessed after the pharmacy staff has reset the quarantine flag.
In some embodiments, the unit 100 can provide a phone number that the consumer can call to interact with the pharmacy staff on duty. The phone number can be provided in a combination of the touch screen 104, a receipt, and a prescription description included. The unit 100 can also be configured to include communication devices such as an intercom, a receiver therein such that the consumer can communicate with the pharmacy staff that can be located remotely from the unit 100.
Some states have limitations on the types of prescription that can be accessed through the unit 100. For example, some states have limitations on narcotics being accessible through the unit 100. In such cases, the unit 100 can be configured to have a prescription flag that can be set for some selected prescriptions. The unit 100 can be configured to reject any prescription whose associated prescription flag has been set, even if the flagged prescription is inadvertently loaded. In some cases, the unit 100 can be configured to set the prescription flag at manufacturing according to a destination state of the unit 100.
Furthermore, a prescription that continues beyond a year has to be rewritten by a physician in many states. After the prescription has been rewritten, the newly filled prescription is typically assigned a different prescription identification number. Because the rewritten prescription has a different prescription identification number, the rewritten prescription can sometimes be inadvertently considered as a new prescription that requires consultation. In such cases, the unit 100 can be configured to identify such a rewritten prescription, and to allow the rewritten prescription having a new prescription identification number to be dispensed to a consumer as if it were a refill without consultation. In some cases, after the prescription identification number has been assigned, the consumer may only have access to the original prescription number. However, the consumer typically will have to enter the new prescription identification number once the new prescription identification number has been assigned. In such cases, the unit 100 can be configured to allow the consumer to use either the original prescription number or the newly assigned prescription identification number such that the prescription can be dispensed. In some embodiments, the unit 100 can be configured to display both the original prescription number and the newly assigned prescription identification number along with the prescription name in the touch screen 104.
In many pharmacies, some over-the-counter (“OTC”) items are kept behind the counter for security purposes. These OTC items are generally non-prescription items such as, without limitation, expensive merchandise, and “easily stolen” or “walk away” items. In such cases, the unit 100 can also be configured to store these items such that these items are available to consumers with or without a registered account. Furthermore, the unit 100 can provide an ability to pay for and then receive these non-prescription items.
In some embodiments, purchases done on the unit 100 can be recorded in a point-of-sale (“POS”) system or financial accounting system associated with a store or a pharmacy. To record the purchases, an interface of the unit 100 is coupled to the POS of the store.
In some embodiments, consumers need to know when their prescriptions are ready through the Internet. The information system 2910 can also provide secure web-based access to a consumer's information, including a status of any refills and whether those refills are available for pick up. Using the web-based access, the consumer can also pre-pay for their prescriptions. In this way, the consumers can simply pick up the prescription at the unit 100 without having to go through the payment process. In some embodiments, the pre-payment process can also be set up during the registration process that an associated credit card or bank account will be charged after the prescription is deemed ready to be picked up. Furthermore, a consumer can also designate another person to pick up the prescription via the web-based access.
In addition to the Ethernet 2926, other types of networking techniques such controller area network (“CAN”) bus internal to the system 2910 and the unit 100 can also be used. The unit 100 can also include other networked devices such as distributed, and networked micro-controllers to control the robotics and the picker assembly, for example. Other electronics of the unit 100 include, without limitation, a pulse-width modulated motor drive, motors with encoders, a feedback control of internal mechanisms such as speed and acceleration, a unique homing scheme in the unit 100 to minimize the use sensor bars or other elaborate position sensing, an intelligent distributed control with built in error recovery, a plurality of indicator lights and numeric readouts to notify pharmacy staff of machine status, on-board self diagnostics and error code readout, self diagnostics with intelligence to correct errors, efficient cabling, modular electronic design for rapid field service, magnetic door sensors, eStop and fail safe design, ability to email from internal electronics to internet email address, ability to reprogram firmware remotely, use of velocity, acceleration, and position sensing for intelligent feedback control, indicator lights on front of machine to improve communications to an end user, motor load sense and protection intelligence, and bag/product sensor and barcode scanner.
In some embodiments, the system 2910 and the unit 100 can also include a plurality of front-end capabilities. For example, if consumers need a secure place to submit paper prescriptions when the pharmacy is closed, a secure paper prescription drop off is built into the unit 100 allowing consumers to drop off the paper prescriptions and pharmacy staff to access them. For another example, if consumers need a means to get a prescription processed by an alternate fill location when the pharmacy is closed, the unit 100 contains a built-in scanner such that a consumer can feed in a paper prescription. The scanner can scan and securely capture the prescription. The unit 100 then answers specific information necessary to fill the prescription. The information is then sent electronically to a designated remote fill location for processing and then delivery back to the pharmacy for the consumers to pick up.
After a prescription has been written, the prescription is then filled, labeled, and verified before being loaded in the unit 100 for dispensing. FIG; 30 shows a prescription preparation data flow 3010 that illustrates an exemplary prescription 3012 being filled, labeled, and verified by pharmacy staff in a plurality of locations within the pharmacy. After the pharmacy staff has received a prescription, the prescription can be entered into the pharmacy information system 2914. Associated records are subsequently sent to the interface engine 2918 for consumers who have registered with the information system 2910 to use self serve capability of the unit 100. In some embodiments, the records can also include, without limitation, patient name, patient address, patient phone, name of doctor and other third party information. In some other embodiments, the records can include a unique patient identification that can be shared between different units, patient fax numbers, patient email address, patient home phone, patient business phone, patient mobile phone, patient pager number, HIPPAA flag as described earlier, and patient birthday. In some embodiments, the records can also include prescription data elements such as, without limitation, prescription number, refill number, fill date, maximum refills, quantity ordered, store number, insurance information, Medicaid information, co-pay information, co-pay amount, non-child resistant packaging information, and last prescription information if any. Like any prescriptions, the records can also include medication elements such as, without limitation, drug name, drug code, tax information, brand name, generic name, retail price, fill cost, drug cost, physician information, and physician contact information. The pharmacy staff also uses the pharmacy information system 2914 and a scanner 3014 to manually verify the filled prescription 3012 against the prescription record by scanning a barcode 3018 on a dispenser bag 3024. If an error or an exception occurs during transmission, a message is displayed on the pharmacy information system 2914.
In some embodiments, the unit 100 through the touch screen 104 displays to the consumer all prescriptions that are processed in the pharmacy including items that are purchased outside of the unit 100. The interface engine 2918 can be configured to provide feedback information when the prescription has been purchased outside of the unit 100. In this way, the unit 100 can remove the prescription from the list displayed to the consumer thereby avoiding confusion. Similarly, prescriptions that are voided or otherwise deleted are also communicated via the interface engine 2918 such that the unit 100 can also remove those items from the list displayed to the consumer. Furthermore, if a consumer has not picked up his or her prescription in a predetermined amount of time, the prescription will be returned to the return tray 552, detailed hereinafter. In such cases, the interface engine 2918 can also provide a notification that the prescription has been returned, for example.
In some embodiments, the pharmacy information system 2910 can update prescription information without requiring the prescription be voided and refilled or rewritten. As a result, third party information such as insurer, the retail price, or the co-pay can also change. In such cases, the unit 100 generally queries the pharmacy information system 2914 via the interface engine 2918 for the most recent information regarding the prescription just prior to displaying the information to the consumer. In this way, the most current information is available to the consumer. Still furthermore, when a client uses a pharmacy information system 2914 from a vendor, it is often difficult and timely to get an interface written. In such cases, the existing interface engine 2918 can be adapted to interface with other systems such as bulk pill counters/dispensers, voice automated refill (“IVR”), instead of developing a new interface. In some cases, an IVR interface does not always provide sufficient data because the IVR interface is generally reactive. As a result, only information on a prescription is available when requested and some important fields like non-child resistant cap, and the co-pay or the retail price are unavailable. The interface engine 2918 can be augmented with another interface of the vendor. In such cases, information going to the label printer can be captured and thus can be used to augment data missing from the IVR interface.
In some embodiments, the pharmacy staff needs to identify between prescriptions that go into the unit 100 and those that should be kept somewhere else. In such cases, during the process of filling a prescription or a loading process 3140, a notice can be displayed in the form of a dialogue box, a color coded screen form, and the like to inform the pharmacy staff that if the prescription is to be placed in the unit 100. Particularly, a set registration flag is used to trigger such a notice to be displayed.
In some embodiments, the pharmacy staff needs to marry or to match a prescription to a dispenser bag. In such cases, after a prescription has been filled and before it can go into the unit 100, the prescription is matched with the dispenser bag. The process of matching starts with scanning a barcode of the prescription and a barcode on the dispenser bag, as discussed. In this way, the barcode of the description bag is matched with the barcode of the prescription, which links to a database record with the details of the prescription.
Referring back to
During the transaction, if the consumer selects to pay for the prescription with a credit card, the consumer can be prompted on the touch screen 104 to slide a credit card through the credit card reader 106. The transactions will then be reported from the unit 100 to the POS system 2922 and other financial institutions through the interface engine 2918. In some embodiments, the unit 100 can be configured to accept debit cards whose pin numbers can be entered on the keypad, and gift cards which can be read by the magnetic stripe reader 105. In embodiments where the consumer wishes to pay for the prescription with a radio-frequency (“RF”) based credit or debit token such a speed pass, the unit 100 can be configured to include an RF speed pass reader can be interfaced to the POS system 2922. If the consumer logins to the unit 100 with a credit card, the unit 100 can automatically use the credit card information as default payment information, or displays some options to the consumer with the touch screen 104, without requiring the consumer to stripe the credit card again. However, if the consumer selects to pay for the prescription with cash, the POS system 2922 accepts the cash with a cash acceptor, and prints a receipt for the transaction for the cash.
There are times when some prescriptions need to be loaded quickly, the unit 100 also includes a quick load process. In the quick load process provides the pharmacy staff with an access to a single quick fill tray within the unit 100 without having to open a back door of the unit 100. Periodically during the day, inventory can also be added to the unit 100 by simply swapping trays. For example, an old quick fill tray can be swapped with a new quick fill tray filled with items. Once loaded in the unit 100, the unit 100 can automatically move the newly deposited items in the quick fill tray to empty slots.
If the expected package is found, the picker assembly then grabs and removes the package from the coordinates at block 3448. The picker assembly is then moved back to home coordinates of the designated return tray at block 3452, and subsequently moved to the empty slot coordinates at block 3456, respectively. The package location table of the unit 100 is updated at block 3460.
In some embodiments, part of the unit 100 requires that items or packages therein to be able to move around with the picker assembly. However, items or packages can become jammed or other issues can arise. The unit 100 can be configured to detect such problems. Particularly, the unit 100 checks the barcode on a package at its location before and after moving it. The unit 100 also has a robotic assembly that sweeps the top of the trays where packages have been moved in order to seat or reseat anything that is slightly askew. The sweep can also forcibly cause some jamming in the trays. After trying to correct or force an error, the unit 100 then re-scans all barcodes of the moved items to verify that items are accurately slotted. In this way, the unit 100 will not be back in service for consumer use before the jammed items are removed thereby preventing consumer use and alerting pharmacy and support personnel of the problem.
During the transfer process, an empty slot is to be located and verified to be empty.
As part of a loading process and the transfer process 3400, each of the trays that were accessed can be re-inventoried.
If there are any bad read, the automated inventory flow process 3600 moves the picker assembly to the slot that has a bad barcode read at block 3630, and the barcode is read at block 3634. Again, if it is determined that the barcode is a bad barcode read at block 3638, the automated inventory flow process 3600 allows a number of repeated barcode reads starting at block 3634. In the embodiment shown, the barcode can be read a total of three times. If after three attempts (determined at block 3642), the automated inventory flow process 3600 returns an error to the transfer process 3400 at block 3646. If there is no barcode read from the slot determined at block 3650, the automated inventory flow process 3600 allows a number of repeated barcode reads starting at block 3634. If it is determined that the barcode is a good barcode read at block 3512, the package location table of the unit 100 is updated at block 3654. If there are more bad barcode reads determined at block 3658, the automated inventory flow process 3600 repeats at block 3630.
The re-inventoried unit 100 can also generate a report that can be accessed by other systems in the network. For example, an inventory report that, for example, automatically collates all the items in the unit 100 can be provided to users by the unit 100, or systems such as the pharmacy information system 2914. In some embodiments, the pharmacy information system 2914 can also generate a third party log that reproduces a report that can include sorted and filtered data for specific dates and insurers, for example.
Furthermore, the unit 100 can also notify a consumer when a prescription is ready to be dispensed. For example, the unit 100 can generate automated phone call to numbers provided by the consumer during registration, text messages to cell phone, email messages to email addresses, and the like. Based on the information available via the interface engine 2918, the unit 100 can also notify a consumer when prescription stored in a will-call section has been filled, and is available to be picked up using means described earlier.
Consolidation of the trays allows the unit 100 to move around the bags to create contiguous empty slots with a primary intent of creating entirely empty trays.
If there are empty slots in the trays or platforms determined at block 3712, the consolidation process 3700 determines a consolidation pattern at block 3724. For example, the consolidation pattern can consider which tray to empty first in some embodiments. Thereafter, the consolidation process 3700 checks for empty slots at block 3728, and starts to move the picker assembly to slots that are occupied at block 3732. Once the picker assembly is moved into position, the barcodes of the occupied slots are read at block 3736. If it is determined that the barcode is a bad barcode read at block 3740, the consolidation process 3700 allows a number of repeated barcode reads starting at block 3740. In the embodiment shown, the barcode is read a total of three times. If after three attempts (determined at block 3744), the consolidation process 3700 records the error condition at block 3748, and transfers the bags to the return tray at block 3752, as described earlier. If it is determined that the barcode is a good barcode read at block 3740, the consolidation process 3700 checks to determine if the bag in the occupied slot matches the expected item listed in the package location table at block 3756. If there is no match between the expected item and the barcode scanned, or if there is no barcode at all, the package location table is updated at block 3760. However, if the expected item matches the bag in the occupied slot, the consolidation process 3700 removes the bag from the occupied slot at block 3764, moves the bag in the empty slot at block 3768, and deposits the bag into the empty slot at block 3772, respectively. Thereafter, the package location table is updated at block 3776, and the consolidation process 3700 checks to determine if there are more items to move at block 3780. If there are more items to more, block 3728 is repeated; otherwise, block 3716 is repeated if there are more platforms to check.
The unit 100 can also unload expired packages. In some embodiments, the unit 100 provides an option to record and determine how long a package is allowed to remain in the unit 100 if the consumer has yet to pick up the package. During housekeeping, packages that have exceeded a predetermined amount of time are removed in the return bin 552.
If the unloading process 2500 determines that there is expired item, the unloading process 2500 sends the picker assembly to the home position at block 2516. Thereafter, the picker assembly locates the coordinates of the expired item from the database, approaches the expired item, and read the barcode of the expired item at block 2520. If it is determined that the barcode read is bad at block 2524, the unloading process 2500 allows a number of repeated barcode reads starting at block 2520. In the embodiment shown, the barcode is read a total of three times. If after three attempts (determined at block 2528), the unloading process 2500 records the error condition at block 2532, and transfers the bags to the return tray at block 2536, as described earlier. If it is determined that the barcode is a good barcode read at block 2524, the unloading process 2500 checks to determine if the bag in the occupied slot matches the expected item listed in the package location table at block 2540. If there is no barcode at all, the package location table is updated at block 2544, and the error condition is recorded at block 2548, respectively. Thereafter, an automated inventory is initiated at block 2552, and the unloading process 2500 repeats at block 2508. When the found package matches the expected package at block 2540, the unloading process 2500 transfers the package to the return tray 552 at block 2536. The package location table is updated at block 2556, and the unloading process 2500 returns to block 2504.
In some embodiments, the unit 100 can be configured to allow depositing prescription.
If the unit 100 identifies the consumer 3804, the prescription deposit process 3800 goes into a login mode at discussed before at block 3828 to prompt for a password or other information. If the password is valid (as determined at block 3832), the prescription deposit process 3800 continues at block 3836. However, if the password is considered invalid (determined at block 3832), the unit 100 will repeat block 3828 to prompt for another password for a number of times. In the embodiment shown, the unit 100 will continuously prompt for a valid password for three times, determined at block 3836. If after the third attempt, and if the password is still invalid, an invalid password message is displayed at block 3840, a message directing the consumer 3804 to see the pharmacy staff is also display at block 3840, and the prescription deposit process 3800 restarts at block 3812.
At block 3836, the consumer 3804 is prompted to enter a specific function desired. After the consumer 3804 has selected to deposit a prescription, the touch screen 104 then prompts for details of the prescription at block 3844. The consumer 3804 is then directed to put the prescription in a bag and deposit the bag in a deposit slot at block 3848. The deposited bag is moved into the return tray 552 at block 3852.
Although the invention has been described in detail with reference to certain preferred embodiments, variations and modifications exist within the scope and spirit of the invention as described and defined in the following claims.
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|Classification aux États-Unis||700/241, 700/217|
|Classification internationale||G07F11/00, B65H3/44, B65G59/00, B65D, G07F11/62, B65H1/00, G06F17/00, G06F7/00|
|Classification coopérative||G06Q50/24, G07F11/165, G07F11/002, G07F17/0092, G07F9/02, G07F11/62, G07F11/60, G06Q50/22, G07F9/026, G06F19/3462|
|Classification européenne||G07F11/60, G07F11/00B, G07F17/00P, G06F19/34L1, G07F11/16B, G07F9/02D, G07F9/02, G06Q50/22, G06Q50/24, G07F11/62|
|14 mars 2005||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: ASTERES, INC., CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:PINNEY, LINDA J.;BEANE, JOHN A.;COLSON, ANGUS R.;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:016760/0112;SIGNING DATES FROM 20050225 TO 20050228
|3 mars 2011||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: ASTERES, INC., CALIFORNIA
Free format text: CHANGE OF ADDRESS;ASSIGNOR:ASTERES, INC.;REEL/FRAME:025897/0433
Effective date: 20110303