News Column

Patent Issued for Image Forming Apparatus and Scanned Data Process Method

August 21, 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 inventors Ohishi, Tsutomu (Fukuoka, JP); Nakagawa, Katsuhiko (Fukuoka, JP); Sugiura, Yuuko (Tokyo, JP), filed on April 19, 2013, was published online on August 5, 2014.

The assignee for this patent, patent number 8797586, is Ricoh Company, Ltd. (Tokyo, JP).

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to an image forming apparatus that provides user services relating to image forming processes such as copying, printing, scanning, facsimile and the like. More particularly, the present invention relates to an image forming apparatus and a scanned data process method for transferring scanned data to a Web server and the like on the Internet.

"Recently, an image forming apparatus (to be referred to as a compound machine hereinafter) that includes functions of a printer, a copier, a facsimile, a scanner and the like in a cabinet is generally known. The compound machine includes a display part, a printing part and an image pickup part and the like in a cabinet. In the compound machine, three pieces of software corresponding to the printer, copier and facsimile respectively are provided, so that the compound machine functions as the printer, the copier, the scanner and the facsimile respectively by switching the software.

"Since the conventional compound machine is provided with each software for the printer, the copier, the scanner and the facsimile individually, much time is required for developing the software. Therefore, the applicant has developed an image forming apparatus (compound machine) including hardware resources, a plurality of applications, and a platform including various control services provided between the applications and the hardware resources. The hardware resources include a display part, a printing part and an image pickup part, and are used for image forming processes. The applications perform processes intrinsic for user services of printer, copier and facsimile and the like. The platform includes various control services performing management of hardware resources necessary for at least two applications commonly, performing execution control of the applications, and image forming processes, when a user service is executed.

"According to such a compound machine, the scanned data produced by scanning a document by the scanner is immediately printed or stored in a storage such as a hard disk.

"However, there is a case in which it is necessary to store scanned data in a computer on a network rather than in the compound machine. That is, since the compound machine is frequently used by many users, failure of the compound machine or failure of a storage in the compound machine may arise. In such a case, the scanned data in the compound machine can not be read out.

"In addition, in a case in which many compound machines are connected on the network, if the number of pieces of scanned data managed in each compound machine increases, it is necessary to determine which compound machine stores scanned data to be used. Thus, efficiency for using scanned data is not good."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "An object of the present invention is to provide an image forming apparatus and a scanned data process method for using scanned data efficiently and for improving security of scanned data.

"The above object is achieved by an image forming apparatus including a scanner engine and an operation panel, the image forming apparatus including:

"a display part for displaying a selection screen for selecting a transfer destination of scanned data from among a plurality of transfer destinations on the operation panel;

"a scanning process part for casing the scanner engine to scan a document to produce scanned data;

"a transfer part for transferring the scanned data to one or more selected transfer destinations.

"According to the present invention, since the scanned data can be transferred to a transfer destination, scanned data can be protected against failure of the image forming apparatus, so that the scanned data can be used efficiently. In addition, storage capacity of the image forming apparatus for the scanned data can be saved.

"In image forming apparatus, the one or more selected transfer destinations may include one or more of a storing area on a WEB server on a network, a mail destination, and a shared storing area on a network. According to the present invention, the convenience of the users can be improved.

"If authentication information is required for accessing the storing area or the shared storing area, the display part may display a screen for inputting the authentication information when the storing area or the shared storing area is selected.

"In the image forming apparatus, the display part may display a screen for selecting a data type of scanned data to be transferred among from a plurality of data types, and the transfer part converts the scanned data into data of the data type, and transfers the data of the data type. Accordingly, the scanned data can be converted into various types of data and can be transferred.

"The plurality of data types may include a type of recognized data that is obtained by performing character recognition process on the scanned data. When the recognized data is selected as a data type, the transfer part can send the recognized data and the scanned data to a transfer destination. According to the present invention, characters and an image can be stored in a transfer destination.

"The compound machine may include a print process part for receiving the scanned data from a storing area of the transfer destination and print the scanned data. According to this configuration, the scanned data can be printed by the image forming apparatus without using the client terminal, so that efficiency for using the scanned data can be improved.

"In the image forming apparatus, the print process part may display, on the operation panel, a data selection screen for displaying a list of scanned data stored in the storing area, and print scanned data selected from the list. The user can select desired scanned data according to this configuration."

For more information, see this patent: Ohishi, Tsutomu; Nakagawa, Katsuhiko; Sugiura, Yuuko. Image Forming Apparatus and Scanned Data Process Method. U.S. Patent Number 8797586, filed April 19, 2013, and published online on August 5, 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=8797586.PN.&OS=PN/8797586RS=PN/8797586

Keywords for this news article include: Software, Web Server, Ricoh Company Ltd..

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Source: Computer Weekly News


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