Patent number 8564809 is assigned to Brother Kogyo Kabushiki (
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "An aspect of the present invention relates to a printing apparatus, a computer usable medium therefor, and a display device.
"In a printing system having a printer and a plurality of terminal computers which share the printer, for example, a printed material made by one user can be easily viewed by another. Thus, maintaining confidentiality of contents of the printed material can be difficult.
"In order to maintain the confidentiality, a printing apparatus capable of being operated in a secure printing mode, in which a print job requested by a user is paused temporarily and resumed when the user enters security information such as a password to the printing apparatus through an operation panel, has been used. When the print job is paused, data concerning the print job can be stored in a storage unit such as an HDD (hard disk drive).
"In this configuration, however, data concerning a plurality of print jobs other than the print job requested by the current user can be stored as well. Therefore, it is necessary for the user to search for the requested print job among the plurality of print jobs to designate. Thus, when the plurality of print jobs stored in the HDD are many, finding the correct print job may be troublesome.
"In order to solve the trouble, thumbnail images representing the print jobs can be presented on a display device such as an LCD (liquid crystal display) panel provided to the printing apparatus, and the user can view the thumbnail images to rather easily determine the current print job.
"It is to be noted, however, that the thumbnail images represent the images to be printed in the print jobs, and the contents of the print job can be exposed to the other users who views the thumbnail images searching for their requested print jobs. Thus, confidentiality of the print jobs can be again risked.
"In consideration of such drawbacks, an image forming apparatus, which is capable of displaying a solid black image to represent a confidential print job and a normal thumbnail image to represent a non-confidential print job so that the thumbnail image of the confidential print job can be prevented from being exposed, is disclosed in Japanese Patent Provisional Publication 2007-81717, for example."
In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "In the above-referenced image forming apparatus, the print jobs to be printed in the secure printing mode are represented by the solid black images; therefore, the contents of the print job is unrecognizable, and the user is again urged to have trouble finding the requested print job when a plurality of confidential print jobs are stored in the HDD.
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