News Column

Patent Issued for Information Processing for Controlling a Printer

June 26, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- From Alexandria, Virginia, VerticalNews journalists report that a patent by the inventor Honda, Hideki (Kawasaki, JP), filed on February 9, 2010, was published online on June 10, 2014.

The patent's assignee for patent number 8749819 is Canon Kabushiki Kaisha (Tokyo, JP).

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to an information processing apparatus, which is connected to a printer via a network, for controlling the printer.

"Conventionally, a printing system comprises a color printer capable of a color output, a host computer for controlling the printer and generating print data, and a communication interface connecting the printer and the host computer. An operating system runs on the host computer and a variety of software runs on the operating system. When various documents that have been created using application software are printed, the application software, a printer driver and the operating system execute function call, etc., through a stipulated procedure. Data is exchanged and a printer command (inclusive of print data) is generated through this procedure. The printer driver transfers the generated printer command to the printer, whereby printing is carried out. The printer driver is equipped with a function for performing bidirectional communication with the printer using a communication function provided by the operating system, and for displaying printer status information on a display screen. This enhances user convenience.

"In general, the printing system of an operating system has a print queue, spools print jobs from the application software temporarily and then processes the print jobs successively. Owing to the action of the print queue, the application software can be freed from the print processing without waiting for the completion of printing by the printer. The printing system quits printing when all of the spooled print jobs have been sent to the printer.

"There are cases where a print job that has been spooled in a print queue is desired to be printed again after the printing of the job has ended. In such case, with an operating system such as Microsoft's Windows Vista (registered trademark), the print job can be left in the print queue by turning on a 'Keep printed documents' setting.

"Further, there are also printers in which, when printing is to be cancelled, this can be achieved by pressing a cancel key on the printer in addition to canceling the printing from the print queue. This also enhances user convenience (see the specification of Japanese Patent Laid-Open No. 2002-200825).

"As for communication interfaces, the USB (Universal Serial Bus) is available and so is WSD (Web Services on Devices), which has come to be employed in Windows Vista (registered trademark) in recent years. Printing by WSD is event-based. For example, if a paper-jam error occurs in the printer, the host computer is notified of this fact by the event. When printing ends, a JobEndStateEvent is sent from the printer to the host computer so that the host computer is capable of ascertaining when printing ended. [See Implementing Web Services on Devices for printing and scanning (the website at microsoft.com in the subdirectory japan in the subdirectory whdc in the subdirectory connect in the subdirectory rally in the subdirectory wsdspecs.mpsx)].

"In the case of event-based printing such as that using WSD, a port monitor, which is one type of device driver of the operating system, executes print-end processing in response to the JobEndStateEvent sent from the printer to the host computer.

"However, there are instances where print-end processing by the port monitor and termination of printing by the printing system of the operating system are not executed in the correct order.

"By way of example, in a case where the 'Keep printed documents' setting printing is turned on using the user interface (UI) of the print queue and printing is cancelled by pressing the cancel button on the printer during WSD-based printing, a problem which arises is that the print job which is supposed to be left in the queue is deleted from the queue.

"Because a print job end processing by the port monitor is occurred due to transmission of JobEndState Event from the printer to the host computer after the printing system of the operating system completes end processing of the print job. Therefore, by the print job end processing, the print job, which is left in the queue, is deleted by the port monitor."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "In order to solve the above-mentioned problem, the present invention provides an information processing technique whereby print-end processing can be executed in the correct processing sequence in event-based printing.

"According to the first aspect of the present invention, there is an information processing apparatus, which is connected to a printer via a network, for controlling the printer, comprising: a communication control unit adapted to control communication with the printer; a data transfer unit adapted to transmit a print job to the printer in accordance with control by the communication control unit; and a job management unit adapted to manage the print job; wherein the data transfer unit has a job-end processing unit adapted to execute job-end processing, which is for completing processing relating to the print job, upon receiving a job-end event from the printer; and the communication control unit has: a monitor unit adapted to monitor processing status of the data transfer unit; and a notification unit adapted to notify the job management unit of end of the print job after it has been determined, as a result of monitoring by the monitor unit, that the job-end processing has been completed.

"According to the second aspect of the present invention, there is an information processing apparatus, which is connected to a printer via a network, for controlling the printer, comprising: a data transfer unit adapted to transmit a print job to the printer; and a job management unit adapted to manage the print job; wherein the data transfer unit has: a job-end processing unit adapted to execute job-end processing, which is for completing processing relating to the print job, upon receiving a job-end event from the printer; and a communication unit adapted to notify the job management unit of end of the print job after the job-end processing has been completed.

"According to the third aspect of the present invention, there is a method of controlling an information processing apparatus, which is connected to a printer via a network, for controlling the printer, comprising: a communication control step of controlling communication with the printer; a data transfer unit step of transmitting a print job to the printer in accordance with control by the communication control step; and a job management step of managing the print job on a storage medium; wherein the data transfer step has a job-end processing step of executing job-end processing, which is for completing processing relating to the print job, upon receiving a job-end event from the printer; and the communication control step has: a monitor step of monitoring processing status of the data transfer step; and a notification step of notifying the job management step of end of the print job after it has been determined, as a result of monitoring by the monitor step, that the job-end processing has been completed.

"According to the fourth aspect of the present invention, there is a method of controlling an information processing apparatus, which is connected to a printer via a network, for controlling the printer, comprising: a data transfer step of transmitting a print job to the printer; and a job management step of managing the print job on a storage medium; wherein the data transfer step has: a job-end processing step of executing job-end processing, which is for completing processing relating to the print job, upon receiving a job-end event from the printer; and a communication step of notifying the job management step of end of the print job after the job-end processing has been completed.

"According to the fifth aspect of the present invention, there is a program, which has been stored on a storage medium, for causing a computer to execute control of an information processing apparatus, which is connected to a printer via a network, for controlling the printer, the computer causing the computer to function as: a communication control unit adapted to control communication with the printer; a data transfer unit adapted to transmit a print job to the printer in accordance with control by the communication control unit; and a job management unit adapted to manage the print job; wherein the data transfer unit has a job-end processing unit adapted to execute job-end processing, which is for completing processing relating to the print job, upon receiving a job-end event from the printer; and the communication control unit has: a monitor unit adapted to monitor processing status of the data transfer unit; and a notification unit adapted to notify the job management unit of end of the print job after it has been determined, as a result of monitoring by the monitor unit, that the job-end processing has been completed.

"According to the sixth aspect of the present invention, there is a program, which has been stored on a storage medium, for causing a computer to execute control of an information processing apparatus, which is connected to a printer via a network, for controlling the printer, the computer causing the computer to function as: a data transfer unit adapted to transmit a print job to the printer; and a job management unit adapted to manage the print job; wherein the data transfer unit has: a job-end processing unit adapted to execute job-end processing, which is for completing processing relating to the print job, upon receiving a job-end event from the printer; and a communication unit adapted to notify the job management unit of end of the print job after the job-end processing has been completed.

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

For additional information on this patent, see: Honda, Hideki. Information Processing for Controlling a Printer. U.S. Patent Number 8749819, filed February 9, 2010, and published online on June 10, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8749819.PN.&OS=PN/8749819RS=PN/8749819

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

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Source: Computer Weekly News


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