News Column

Patent Issued for Image Processing Apparatus and Image Processing Method

February 13, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- According to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews journalists, a patent by the inventor Hayashi, Tomonori (Kawasaki, JP), filed on April 18, 2007, was published online on January 28, 2014.

The assignee for this patent, patent number 8638456, is Canon Kabushiki Kaisha (Tokyo, JP).

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to an image processing apparatus and an image processing method. More particularly, the present invention relates to an image processing apparatus provided with a storage unit that associates application data dependent on application software.

"Conventional digital copying machines are equipped with a function of storing image data read with a scanner or generated by rasterizing page description language (PDL) data transmitted from a host computer on a hard disk, and reading out the data at any timing to print the data. A finisher can be connected to such a digital copier. The finisher is equipped with finishing functions such as a stapling function, a punching function, a folding function, or a bookbinding function. Some copying machines have a box function. The box function, for example, sets a finishing condition in printing or layout of images in two-sided printing, which is stored on a memory (box) as a document attribute together with image data. The stored data is read at any timing, and printed out based on the document attribute.

"Further, for example, as discussed in Japanese Patent Laid-Open No. 11-15610, data created with application software installed by a client for creating a document or a table can be output in the original format (application data of a format dependent on the application software) without converting the data into image data of a print format. The output data is converted into data of the print format in a print server and printed out. Therefore, at the client side, it is not necessary to convert the application data into data of the print format to output the data. This method contributes to reduce the load of the client.

"In the above-described digital copying machines, it is desirable that among a plurality of digital copying machines, image data or application data stored in each box can be referred to each other in order to print or copy the data. However, in the above digital copying machines which stores the application data, when the application data is printed, image data corresponding to the print format should be created. Therefore, each time the printing is instructed, the application data has to be interpreted and converted into the image data of the print format. Accordingly, the print performance can be significantly decreased.

"Digital copying machines of the type described above are expected to perform many jobs other than printing, and therefore, the above-described load due to the conversion is problematic."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "The present invention is directed to increase efficiency in printing an image corresponding to application data stored in another image processing apparatus.

"According to an aspect of the present invention, an image processing apparatus communicatable with at least one other image processing apparatus including a storage unit capable of associating and storing application data dependent on application software, and independent data created by converting the application data into data of a format independent from the application software. The image processing apparatus includes a determination unit configured to determine whether the data format of the independent data is processible, an acquisition unit configured to acquire the independent data from the at least other image processing apparatus if the determination unit determines that the data format of the independent data is processible, and if the determination unit determines that the data format of the independent data is not processible, a conversion unit configured to convert the application data acquired by the acquisition unit into image data of a printable data format, and a printing unit configured to print an image according to the image data converted by the conversion unit or an image according to the independent data acquired by the acquisition unit.

"Another aspect of the present invention, relates to a method for an image processing system that has at least a first image processing apparatus including a storage unit capable of storing application data dependent on application software and independent data created by converting the application data into data of a format independent from the application software, and at least a second image processing apparatus that can communicate with the first image processing apparatus and includes a printing unit configured to print an image data. The method includes determining whether the data format of the independent data is processible in the at least second image processing apparatus when an image according to the independent data stored in the storage unit is printed on the at least second image processing apparatus, acquiring the independent data from the at least first image processing apparatus by the at least second image processing apparatus if the data format of the independent data is determined to be processible, acquiring the application data from the first image processing apparatus by the at least second image processing apparatus if the data format of the independent data is determined to be unprocessible, converting, in the at least second image processing apparatus, the application data to be acquired into image data of a processible data format, and printing an image according to the converted image data or an image according to the acquired independent data in the at least second image processing apparatus.

"Further features and aspects of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of exemplary embodiments with reference to the attached drawings."

For more information, see this patent: Hayashi, Tomonori. Image Processing Apparatus and Image Processing Method. U.S. Patent Number 8638456, filed April 18, 2007, and published online on January 28, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=45&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=2220&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=20140128.PD.&OS=ISD/20140128&RS=ISD/20140128

Keywords for this news article include: Software, Canon Kabushiki Kaisha.

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Source: Computer Weekly News


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