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EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS ,By:
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT I(
PINE BLUFF DIVISION
1
Jt
RICH-N-TONE CALLS, INC.
PLAINTIFF
An Arkansas Corporation
vs. CASE NO.
ETAGZ, INC. This ,,
A Utah Corporation . . > ,

COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY JUDGMENT
Comes now the Plaintiff, Rich-N-Tone Calls, Inc. ("RNT"), by and through its attorneys,
Deacon Law Finn, P.A. and Schrantz Law Finn, PLLC, for its Complaint for Declaratory Judgment
against eTAGZ, Inc. ("eTAGZ") states as follows:
I. THE PARTIES
1. The Plaintiff, RNT, is an Arkansas corporation with its principal place of business
located in Stuttgart, Arkansas County, Arkansas.
2. The Defendant, eTAGZ, is a Utah corporation with its principal place ofbusiness
located in Springville, Utah.
3. eTAGZ alleges to own U.S. Patent Nos. 6,298,332 ("the '332 patent") 7,503,502
("the '502 patent"), and 7,703,686 ("the '686 patent") (collectively referred to as eTAGZ's
alleged patents), attached hereto as Exhibits A, B, and C, respectively.
4. In a letter dated August 10, 2012, attached as Exhibit D, eTAGZ alleges that RNT
infringes the '332 patent, the '502 patent, and the '686 patent.
5. This complaint seeks a declaratory judgment to settle an actual controversy
between RNT and eTAGZ through eTAGZ's assertion of rights under eTAGZ's alleged patents.
6. RNT contends that it has the right to engage in making, using, offering to sell,
selling its products, and importing its products, including its combo packs that include an RNT
call and instructional DVD without license. RNT also seeks a declaration that RNT's combo
packs described above do not infringe eTAGZ's alleged patents and/or that eTAGZ's alleged
patents are invalid.
II. JURISDICTION AND VENUE
7. This case arises under the patent statutes of the United States Title 35 of the
United States Code. This Court has original subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1338.
This Court also has jurisdiction of this proceeding under the Declaratory Judgment Act, 28
U.S.C. §§ 2201 and 2202.
8. Jurisdiction and venue are proper under 28 U.S.C. § 1391 as RNT resides in this
district and, upon information and belief, eTAGZ conducts business in this district by selling
licenses and earning royalties from Arkansas businesses and Arkansas residents.
9. Additionally, jurisdiction and venue are proper in this district because a
substantial part of the property, evidence, and witnesses relating to the case may be found in this
district. RNT' s principal place of business and headquarters are located in Stuttgart, Arkansas
County, Arkansas. RNT's management and employees, some of whom may be witnesses in the
case, reside in and around Stuttgart. Finally, some of the physical evidence relating to the case is
located in Stuttgart.
10. Additionally, this Court has personal jurisdiction over eTAGZ because it
purposely directed activities at Arkansas and purposely availed itself of the benefits and
protection of the State of Arkansas by offering to sell licenses to RNT, and threatening litigation
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against RNT via letters, emails, and telephone calls, all directed to RNT in this judicial district.
These communications by eT AGZ to RNT are more fully set forth below.
III. FACTUAL BACKGROUND
11. RNT is in the business of manufacturing and selling waterfowl calls that are
designed for users ranging from beginners to experts. RNT' s customers have won national duck
calling championships while using RNT' s calls.
12. For novice waterfowl hunters and callers, RNT provides a single product combo
package that includes both an RNT call and an instructional DVD that provides instructions on
using the RNT call.
13. eTAGZ alleges that these combo packages that include a DVD product infringe
eTAGZ's alleged patents.
14. On or around August 10, 2012, eTAGZ sent a letter to RNT accusing RNT of
infringing eTAGZ's alleged patents (the August 10, 2012 letter is attached as Exhibit D). With
the letter, eTAGZ also provided a claim chart, attached as Exhibit E, that specifically details
eTAGZ's infringement allegations against RNT of claims 1 and 47 of the '332 patent.
15. eTAGZ also directed numerous phone calls and emails to John Stephens,
President of RNT, and to other representatives of RNT in furtherance of its claims of
infringement.
Count I Declaration of Non-Infringement of the '010 Patent
16. RNT incorporates the preceding paragraphs of its Complaint as if fully rewritten
herein.
17. eTAGZ has sent multiple communications alleging that RNT infringes eTAGZ's
alleged patents. See Exhibits D and E. eTAGZ has also demanded payments for alleged past
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damages and future licenses. See email from eTAGZ dated February 4, 2013, attached as
Exhibit F.
18. eTAGZ's alleged patents have not been and are not being infringed upon by RNT
as RNT has not sold any products or committed any act that infringes any of the claims of
eTAGZ's alleged patents.
19. Accordingly, RNT seeks and is entitled to a judgment against eTAGZ that RNT
does not infringe and has not infringed, directly or indirectly, eTAGZ's alleged patents.
Count II Declaratory Judgment of Invalidity of the '010 Patent
20. RNT hereby incorporates the preceding Paragraphs of its Complaint as if fully
rewritten herein.
21. RNT alleges that eTAGZ's alleged patents are invalid. eTAGZ's alleged patents
are invalid for failure to meet at least one of the conditions of patentability specified in Title 35
of the United States Code. No claim of eTAGZ's alleged patents can be validly construed to
cover any products imported, made, used, sold or offered for sale by RNT and the alleged
invention of eTAGZ's alleged patents are taught by, suggested by, and/or obvious in view of, the
prior art.
22. An actual controversy thus exists between RNT and eT AGZ as to whether
eTAGZ's alleged patents are valid.
23. Accordingly, RNT seeks and 1s entitled to a judgment against eTAGZ that
eTAGZ's alleged patents are invalid.
24. RNT requests a trial by jury.
Prayer for Relief
Wherefore, RNT prays for a declaratory judgment against eTAGZ as follows:
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A. Judgment against eTAGZ declaring that eTAGZ's alleged patents are not
infringed by RNT;
B. Judgment that RNT does not infringe eTAGZ's alleged patents and that RNT's
combo packs may be made, used, offered for sale, sold, and imported within the United States;
C. Judgment against eTAGZ declaring that eTAGZ's alleged patents are invalid;
D. An award of costs and attorneys' fees to RNT, as provided by 35 U.S.C. § 285;
E. An award of out of pocket expenses in an amount necessary to compensate RNT
for all damages caused by the eTAGZ's conduct; for all compensatory, consequential and
punitive damages authorized by Arkansas and Federal law; pre- and post-judgment interest, court
costs, and attorney's fees as authorized by Arkansas statute and Federal law;
F. All other relief to which RNT is entitled
Respectfully submitted,
RlCH-N-TONE CALLS, INC., Plaintiff
B y : ~ ~ ~ a ~
J. Ba ett Deacon (2001201)
DEACON LAW FIRM, P .A.
P.O. Box 1506
Fayetteville, AR 72702
(479) 582-5353- phone
(479) 582-5454- fax
jbdeacon@deaconlawfirm.com
and
Stephen D. Schrantz (2006215)
Schrantz Law Firm, PLLC
1000 East Matthews, Suite C
Jonesboro, AR 72401
(870) 275-7838- phone
schrantzlaw@grnail.com
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c12) United States Patent
Montague
(54) CD-ROM PRODUCT IABELAPPARATUS
AND METHOD
(76) Inventor: David R. Montague, 1577 N. 440
West, Mapleton, UT (US) 84664
( *) Notice: Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this
patent is extended or adjusted under 35
U.S.C. 154(b) by 0 days.
(21) Appl. No.: 09/306,077
(22) Filed: May 6, 1999
(51) Int. Cl? ...................................................... G06F 17/60
(52) U.S. Cl .................................... 705/27; 705/1; 705!10;
705/6; 705!14
(58) Field of Search ................................. 340/572.6, 551,
(56)
340/572, 572.1; 235/381, 462.41, 462.25,
375, 462; 369/273; 705/1, 10, 14, 6, 27
References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
5,619,416 * 4/1997 Kosarew ................................ 705/27
5,899,980 • 5/1999 Wilf et al. .............................. 705/26
6,049, 797 * 4/2000 Guha et al. .......... .......... .......... 707/6
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
91103705 • 1/1992 (EP) .
OTHER PUBLICATIONS
Danny Rogers, Asda nears 50% own-label sales, Marketing
PP 1, Dec. 7, 1998, PP 1.*
Kim Thuy Balin, Hang tag bang-overs, PP 1-2, Aug. 24,
1998, pp 1.*
t
41
36
36
NET
CARD
111111 1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
US006298332Bl
(10) Patent No.: US 6,298,332 Bl
Oct. 2, 2001 (45) Date of Patent:
Ericsson: Ericsson, Efficient Networks sign agreement, M2
Presswire. Jun. 11, 1998, PP 1-2. *
John M Covaleski, Consultants, vendors eye business
growth in nonprofits, Oct. 1998, PP 1-3.*
Hal Glatzer, DVD beads the surge in optical, 1998, PP 1-3.*
* cited by examiner
Primary Examiner-Eric W. Stamber
Assistant Examiner-Mussie Tesfamariam
(57) ABSTRACT
A CD-ROM provides all or part of a product labeling system
for engaging purchasers. Executables, data, or both are
recorded on a CD-ROM hang-tag or other product labeling
structure in order to deliver to a consumer or purchaser
engaging presentations of product information or registra-
tion templates. As a result, purchasers may receive
launchers, browsers, viewers, e-mail systems, facsimile
centers, players, or interface brokers for the foregoing, if
they are organically installed already on a workstation of a
purchaser. Software may provide catalog presentations, user
registration templates, communications, linkers, or engines,
and the like. Operation modules and profile builders may
provide information over ready links implemented by soft-
ware on the CD-ROM. In certain embodiments,
entertainment, games, skill tests, and the like, recorded on a
CD-ROM hang-tag may engage a purchaser and provide
purchaser profiling information, product purchasing
information, and the like to a vendor, while providjng
additional product information, warranty registrations, and
the like, to a purchaser.
28 Claims, 9 Drawing Sheets
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174 ...... Executables
Presentations
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176-" '"" Output Data
. Tools • • •·
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US 6,298,332 Bl
Organic
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VIEWER
EMAIL
INDEX
PL.AYER
Fig. 8
Sheet 8 of 9
260
US 6,298,332 Bl
CENTRAL
INTERFACE
BROKER
. 288
PRIVATE
INTERFACE
BROKER
290
289
U.S. Patent Oct. 2, 2001 Sheet 9 of 9 US 6,298,332 Bl
293
\
DESIGN
OF2sa
co-
ROM
HANG
TAG : - 1 . , ~
~
60
USER
64
I
CD-ROM
.gm: PROVIDER
300
PRODUCT
CD-ROM
HANG
TAG
Fig, 9
296
ENGINES
SERVERS
66
·DATABASES
US 6,298,332 Bl
1
CD-ROM PRODUCT lABEL APPARATUS
AND METHOD
BACKGROUND
1. The Field of the Invention
This invention relates to product labeling and, more
particularly, to novel systems and methods for providing
electronic feedback and user information by registration
with venders of products.
2. The Background Art
Product registration is always a concern of manufacturers
and vendors of products. Information concerning user
purchases, attitudes, circumstances, and the like are matters
of great interest. However, user registration through war-
ranty cards and the like meet with only limited success.
Moreover, limited information is provided.
Likewise, brand loyalty is not necessarily detectible nor
useful to such vendors and manufacturers. An ability to
obtain user registration information for warranty and follow-
up sales activity often lacks any great consumer or user
motivation. Thus, not only information is lacking by
motivation, and any continuing link with a consumer or user
may be absent.
What is needed is a system and method for enabling a
comparatively long term relationship to exist between a
supplier, manufacturer, vendor of goods or services, and the
consumer, purchaser, or user of same.
2
on a CD-ROM that alone, or in combination with other
packaging materials present a panoply of multimedia pre-
sentations and information collection applications.
For example, a product may be labeled with a "hang tag"
that includes a CD-ROM of novel shape. The novel shape
may also be labeled with various slogans, messages, trade-
marks, images, logos, or the like, provided by the vendor.
Meanwhile, the CD-ROM "hang-tag" may contain multi-
media catalog presentations; products information regarding
10 the exact product on which the "hang tag" was shipped from
a manufacturer; a registration engine for registering user
information and product information simultaneously, a pro-
file builder for identifying additional user information that a
purchaser is willing and interested in providing, such as
15 preferences in entertainment, software, music, video,
gaming, or the like; and other useful software.
Software available on a CD-ROM "hang-tag" may
include a launcher, browser, viewer, e-mail, facsimile
sender, player, or other executables as well as vendor data.
20
Moreover, such software may be programmed to invite,
entice, motivate, and facilitate providing information by a
user to be reported back to a vendor. Much as a concierge or
valet provides ready access to important information
required by a purchaser at the time or point of purchase.
25
Software may collect and provide to a user or a vendor, or
both, upon request and authorization, any amount of vendor
or purchaser information deemed useful.
An advance in the art might provide additional services to
30
a consumer or user as well. For example, personal informa-
tion such as shoe sizes, clothing sizes, recreational goods,
preferences in recreational or business activities, and the like
might be extremely valuable information for a user to
maintain and catalog for future use. Also, such personal
35
purchasing information might be invaluable to suppliers of
goods and services. Moreover, it would be an advance in the
Consistent with the foregoing objects, and in accordance
with the invention as embodied and broadly described
herein, a method and apparatus are disclosed in one embodi-
ment of the present invention as including a compact disc
read-only memory apparatus and method for delivering
vendor-supplied information to a purchaser, while providing
reporting facilitation software and purchaser-provided data
as well as internet linking from a purchaser back to a vendor
an apparatus made in accordance with one embodiment of
the invention may include a CD-ROM, user interface data or
a user interface executable, vendor catalog information,
various input templates, multimedia presentations, applica-
tions such as tools, utilities, games, desk accessories, or the
art to provide a system and method for purchasers to
maintain key information regarding their own preferences
and purchases as well as providing to users historical
40
information that they may reference in the future. To the
extent that a consumer or purchaser desires to provide such
information to a vendor during a search for new or replace-
ment goods or services, having ready access to such infor-
mation could be invaluable to both a purchaser and a vendor.
45
Thus, it would be an advance in the art to provide an easy
interaction apparatus and method for identifying and record-
ing product or purchasing information, personal preference
information, and the like, for ready provision of same to a
purchaser and to a vendor upon request and authorization. 50
BRIEF SUMMARY AND OBJECTS OF THE
INVENTION
like. Various data structures or databases for collecting or
maintaining output data or input data serviced by input
executables or output executables may stand alone or may
integrate with browsers, launchers, viewers, or other appli-
cations. Such applications may be provided as executables
on a CD-ROM "hang-tag", or may merely integrate or
engage browsers, launchers, viewers, and applications
"organic" to a user's computer. That is, executables may be
provided on a CD-ROM "hang-tag" or may merely be
accessed by data on a CD-ROM "hang-tag".
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The foregoing and other objects and features of the
In view of the foregoing, it is a primary object of the
present invention to provide a compact disc product label
providing a link back from a purchaser to a vendor. In certain
embodiments, an apparatus and method in accordance with
the invention may provide operational data, cxecutables,
linking information, suitable software, templates, and the
like for facilitating an exchange of information between
vendors and purchasers. For example, templates for collect-
ing and delivering user information including warranty data,
user preferences and motivations, and the like may be
integrated with warranty reporting information, and other
useful data in a delivery system built upon a CD-ROM
product label, such as a hang tag. In certain embodiments,
executables and operational data may be delivered to a user
55
present invention will become more fully apparent from the
following description and appended claims, taken in con-
junction with the accompanying drawings. Understanding
that these drawings depict only typical embodiments of the
invention and are, therefore, not to be considered limiting of
60
its scope, the invention will be described with additional
specificity and detail through use of the accompanying
drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a schematic block diagram of computers in a
network and internetwork that may implement the apparatus
65 and method in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 2 is one embodiment of a user computer, a server,
and a base computer, typically owned, controlled, or
US 6,298,332 Bl
3
accessed by a vendor, for communicating information in
response to user or vendor requests;
FIG. 3 is schematic diagram of various alternative con-
figurations of CD-ROM hang-tags or product labels in
accordance with the invention;
FIG. 4 is schematic diagram of the information sides of
the CD-ROM hang-tags;
FIG. 5 is a schematic ilJustration of various embodiments
4
(interface card) or port 28 may be provided for connecting
to outside devices, such as the network 30.
Internally, a bus 32 may operably interconnect the pro-
cessor 12, memory devices 14, input devices 22, output
devices 24, network card 26 and port 28. The bus 32 may be
thought of as a data carrier. As such, the bus 32 may be
embodied in numerous configurations. Wire, fiber optic line,
wireless electromagnetic communications by visible light,
infrared, and radio frequencies may likewise be imple-
of product labeling for presenting CD-ROMs of FIGS. 3-4
including sleeves, substrates, holders, keepers, labels,
tethers, and the like, for delivery of CD-ROMs to purchasers
10 mented as appropriate for the bus 32 and the network 30.
as part of product labeling;
Input devices 22 may include one or more physical
embodiments. For example, a keyboard 34 may be used for
interaction with the user, as may a mouse 36. A touch screen
38, a telephone 39, or simply a telephone line 39, may be
FIG. 6 is a schematic block diagram of data structures for
selected embodiments of a method and apparatus in accor-
dance with the invention, hosted on a computer of FIGS.
1-2;
FIG. 7 is a schematic block diagram of additional details
that may be incorporated in the memory of FIG. 6, or in
addition thereto;
15
used for communication with other devices, with a user, or
the like. Similarly, a scanner 40 may be used to receive
graphical inputs which may or may not be translated to other
character formats. The hard drive 41 or other memory device
41 may be used as an input device whether resident within
FIG. 8 is a schematic block diagram of an interaction
scheme including software engines and data repositories for
implementing an apparatus and method in accordance with
certain embodiments of the invention; and
2
0 the node 11 or some other node 52 (e.g., 52a, 52b, etc.) on
the network 30, or from another network 50.
FIG. 9 is a schematic block diagram illustrating the data
25
flows in an apparatus and method in accordance with the
invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF TilE
PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
It will be readily understood that the components of the
present invention, as generally described and illustrated in
30
Output devices 24 may likewise include one or more
physical hardware units. For example, in general, the port 28
may be used to accept inputs and send outputs from the node
11. Nevertheless, a monitor 42 may provide outputs to a user
for feedback during a process, or for assisting two-way
communication between the processor 12 and a user. A
printer 44 or a hard drive 46 may be used for outputting
information as output devices 24.
In general, a network 30 to which a node 11 connects may,
in tum, be connected through a router 48 to another network
50. In general, two nodes 11, 52 may be on a network 30,
adjoining networks 30, 50, or may be separated by multiple the Figures herein, could be arranged and designed in a wide
variety of different configurations. Thus, the following more
detailed description of the embodiments of the system and
method of the present invention, as represented in FIGS. 1
through 9, is not intended to limit the scope of the invention,
35
routers 48 and multiple networks 50 as individual nodes 11,
52 on an internetwork. The individual nodes 52 (e.g. 11, 52,
54) may have various communication capabilities.
In certain embodiments, a minimum of logical capability
may be available in any node 52. Note that any of the as claimed, but is merely representative of the presently
preferred embodiments of the invention.
40
individual nodes 11, 52, 54 may be referred to, as may all
together, as a node 11 or a node 52. Each may contain a
processor 12 with more or less of the other components
14-44.
The presently preferred embodiments of the invention
will be best understood by reference to the drawings,
wherein like parts are designated by like numerals through-
out. FIGS. 1-9 illustrate schematic diagrams showing, in
considerable detail, certain presently preferred embodiments
45
of apparatus and methods in accordance with the invention.
Those of ordinary skill in the art will, of course, appreciate
that various modifications to the detailed schematic dia-
grams may easily be made without departing from the
essential characteristics of the invention, as described. Thus,
50
the following description of the FIGS. is intended only by
way of example, and simply illustrates certain presently
preferred embodiments of the invention as claimed herein.
Referring now to FIG. 1, an apparatus 10 may implement
the invention on one or more nodes 11, (client 11, computer 55
11) containing a processor 12 or CPU ll. All components
may exist in a single node 11 or may exist in multiple nodes
11, 52 remote from one another. The CPU 12 may be
operably connected to a memory device 14. A memory
device 14 may include one or more devices such as a hard 60
drive or non-volatile storage device 16, a read-only memory
18 (ROM) and a random access (and usually volatile)
memory 20 (RAM).
The apparatus 10 may include an input device 22 for
receiving inputs from a user or another device. Similarly, an 65
output device 24 may be provided within the node 11, or
accessible within the apparatus lit A network card 26
A network 30 may include one or more servers 54.
Servers may be used to manage, store, communicate,
transfer, access, update, and the like, any practical number of
files, databases, or the like for other nodes 52 on a network
30. Typically, a server 54 may be accessed by all nodes 11,
52 on a network 30. Nevertheless, other special functions,
including communications, applications, directory services,
and the like, may be implemented by an individual server 54
or multiple servers 54.
In general, a node 11 may need to communicate over a
network 30 with a server 54, a router 48, or nodes 52.
Similarly, a node 11 may need to communicate over another
network (50) in an internetwork connection with some
remote node 52. Likewise, individual components 12-46
may need to communicate data with one another. A conm-
nunication link may exist, in general, between any pair of
devices.
Referring now to FIG. 2, a CD-ROM tag 16 may include
an aperture 61 for aligning or engaging with a drive 62 for
playing the CD-ROM 60. A Drive 62 in a user workstation
64 may provide linking information or executables facili-
tating interaction between the user workstation 64 and a
server 66, such as a third party or vendor server, typically
maintained by a service provided. For example, the server
US 6,298,332 Bl
5
66 may be an e-mail server a data service server, a web site
server, or other accessible servers.
6
Meanwhile, a base computer 68 or simply base 68 is
typically maintained by a vendor and may be a server, a web
site server, a communication server, or may simply be the 5
computer system of a vendor interested in interacting with
either a third party server 66 a user workstation 64, or both.
CD-ROM 60 may include system tracks 104 containing
information peculiar to the operation of the workstation 64
or the drive 62. However, the data face 105 may contain
content tracks 106 in addition to the system tracks 104. The
content tracks contain substantive data provided by a vendor
and targeted to a user. The content tracks 106 need only fit
within the particular shape 92 of a CD-ROM tag 60 and are
thus typically placed well away from any corners 94 in favor
of a continuous central portion of the CD-ROM 60.
As a practical matter, the penetrations 76 may be provided
with tethers 75 for connecting a CD-ROM 60 to various
products. For example, in the clothing industry, various
types of tethering mechanisms have been developed to
facilitate automatic insertion of securement mechanisms
In general, the workstation 64, the server 66, and the base 68
may be remote from one another geographically and con-
nected over some type of network 50. Thus, the input 10
devices 22 and output devices 24 provide interaction by a
user at a workstation 64 in order to provide inputs and
extract information in response to prompts from software
hosted on the CD-ROM 60. Note that the CD-ROM 60 is not
necessarily circular in shape. The CD-ROM 60 need only be
properly balanced for spinning and having sufficient space
circumscribed by a circle thereon to store the data tracks
required for the amount of information provided on the
CD-ROM 60.
15 with minimum labor and minimum cost. Nevertheless, alter-
native embodiments may operate independent of the tethers
75.
Referring to FIG. 5, a sleeve 110 or substrate 112 may
mount or otherwise secure a CD-ROM tag 60 to a product.
Referring now to FIGS. 3-5, a tray 70 may be provided
as part of a drive 62 or CD-ROM drive 62. In general, the
tray 70, as illustrated in FIG. 3 reflects an upper portion 70
of a drive 62. Thus, the tray 70 may have an alignment rim
71 for orienting the CD-ROM 60. An alignment of a
CD-ROM 60 facilitates proper engagement of the CD-ROM
60. Accordingly clearance cavity 72 may be provided to
receive a spin or head of a driver 62 for spinning the
CD-ROM 60. Thus, the tray 70 may be regarded as part of
a transport 74 or frame 74 for moving a CD-ROM 60 into
and out of the drive 62.
In general, a CD-ROM 60 may be of any suitable
arbitrary, but symmetrical shape. A tether 75 secured
through a penetration 76 may secure the CD-ROM tag 60 to
a product. As a practical matter, the penetration 76 may be
distributed in a balanced fashion to prevent even small
variation in the balance on a CD-ROM tag 60.
A vendor may choose to provide a product, brand, vendor,
or other name 78 on a visible face 79 of a CD-ROM tag 60.
In general, the name 78 and other information provided on
the visible face 79 of the CD-ROM tag 60 represent vendor
identification 80, in general. Other vendor identification 80
may include slogans 82, which may themselves be trade-
marked or registered as trademarks. Messages 84 and other
marks 86 or trademarks 86 proprietary to a vendor for ready
identification to users (purchasers, consumers) while pro-
viding additional impressions on behalf of a vendor.
Typically, logos 88 may be prominent on the visible face
79 of a CD-ROM tag 60. Likewise, various images 90 or
symbols 90 related to either the content of the CD-ROM tag
60, the product on which the CD-ROM tag 60 is affixed, or
related to other aspects of the vendor providing the
CD-ROM tag 60 may be provided in any number of colors
with suitable graphic appeal.
In general, a shape 92 or an edge 92 may also provide an
overall impression of a CD-ROM tag 60. Any suitable shape
that will still work with a drive 62 may be suitable. In certain
embodiments, a CD-ROM tag 60 may have vertices 94 or
corners 94. As a practical matter, a CD-ROM tag 60 may be
strictly circular or formed in a variety of shapes as illustrated
in FIGS. 3--4.
Referring to FIG. 4, a chassis 96 of the drive 62 may
mount an arbor 98 adapted to fit the aperture 61 in a
CD-ROM tag 60. A drive 100 may engage a CD-ROM tag
60 for rotation. A cavity 102 or clearance 102 in the chassis
96 provides suitable clearance for rotation of the CD-ROM
tag 60 about the arbor 98 through the aperture 61. The
20
The sleeve 110 or substrate 112 may be secured directly to
a package, or tethered thereto by a tether 75 as illustrated in
FIGS. 3-5. In one embodiment, a backing 114 may connect
to a cover 116 having a seam 117 for securing or bonding
117 the cover 116 to the backing 114. Thus, a CD-ROM 60
25
may be inserted between the cover 116 and backing 114
forming a sleeve 110 or envelope 110. In other
embodiments, a pedestal 120 or stub 120 may penetrate the
aperture 61 to retain a CD-ROM tag. In certain
embodiments, a foot 121 of a pedestal UO may secure the
30
pedestal 120 to a substrate 112 or backing 114. Similarly,
some type of keeper 122 may serve to retain the CD-ROM
tag 60 on the pedestal120. In selected embodiments, fingers
123 may provide both the pedestal and retention function. In
other embodiments, a detent 124 may provide securement or
35
engagement of a CD-ROM tag 60 with a pedestal 120.
Securing the CD-ROM 60 thereto.
In certain embodiments, a Jock 126 may engage a catch
128 for securing a keeper 122 into or onto a pedestal120.
40
The orientation of the lock 126 and catch 128 as well as the
peculiar mechanism for latching them together may be a
matter of virtually infinite mechanical engagement tech-
niques.
Referring to FIG. 6, various data structures may be hosted
45
by a workstation 64 before and after loading the CD-ROM
tag 60. In certain select embodiments of an apparatus and
method in accordance with the invention, the CD-ROM tag
60 may contain only files 130. The files 130 may require
applications 132 existing completely independently from the
50
CD-ROM tag 60. As a practical matter, various browsers
146, launchers 148, viewers 147, and the like exist in various
distribution channels. Thus, the CD-ROM tag 60 may actu-
ally contain only non-executable data requiring other
executables (such as applications 132, browsers 146, view-
55 ers 147, and watchers 148, and utilities 138. etc.).
Referring to FIG. 6, files 130 may be installed in a
memory device 14 of the apparatus 10 in accordance with
the invention. Typically, the memory device 14 of FIG. 6
may be embodied as the RAM 20 of the workstation 64 of
60 a user. In general, the memory 14 may be loaded with
applications 132 of a user, independent of the CD-ROM tag
60. Likewise, an operating system 134 and files 136 asso-
ciated with the operating system 134 and application 132
reside in the memory 14.
65 Software 140 provided on the CD-ROM tag 60 may
include specific executables that are simply run from the
CD-ROM tag 60. Alternatively, software 144 may actually
US 6,298,332 Bl
7
be installed from a CD-ROM tag 60 into a memory device
14 that has non-volatile storage capability, such as a hard
drive 16. Thus, during execution, the memory device 14 is
typically the RAM 20 of the workstation 64, whereas
installation and storage typically involves a hard drive 16 at
a workstation 64.
In certain selected embodiments, software 144 may rely
on a browser 146 already installed previously and otherwise
usable by a user of the workstation 64. Thus, the browser
146 may be thought of as "organic" to the workstation 64.
That is, the browser 146 is previously installed for other
functionality desired by a user. Similarly, a viewer 147 may
be an organic application 132 previously installed, but relied
upon by the software 140, 142, 144. Similarly, a launcher
148 or loader 148 may operate in a workstation 64.
Similarly, various utilities 138 are typically installed on a
workstation 64. Likewise, various files 136 associated with
the applications 132 are hosted thereon. During operation of
any particular application 132 the application 132 is loaded
into RAM 20. Similarly, portions or complete files 136 may
be loaded into RAM 20. Otherwise, applications 132 and
corresponding files 136 may be stored on a storage device 16
such as a hard drive.
In another embodiment, or additional improvement to
previous embodiments, a user interface 150 may be an
executable provided by the CD-ROM tag 60. The user
interface may supplant, cooperate with, or substitute for the
lack of, a browser 146 or other application 132, such as a
viewer 147.
A launcher 152 may provide an independent launching
mechanism adapted to software 140 provided by the
CD-ROM tag 60. Nevertheless, a launcher 152 may simply
exist for the user or purchaser who does not have a launcher
148 organic to their workstation 64.
8
input templates 156, or as a result of direct inputs provided
by a CD-ROM tag associated with a particular product
purchased by a user.
In certain embodiments, included with any catalog 154, or
independent therefrom, a multimedia presentation 158 may
present information to a user. The multimedia presentation
158 may be configured as entertainment to engage a user.
Alternatively, the presentation 158 may be a portion of a
catalog 154. In certain embodiments, the multimedia pre-
10 sentation 158 may take the form of qualification testing, or
the like. Any presentation 158 that may engage a user, may
also collect information, if desired. Thus, sophisticated
profiling may result from responses of a user to a multimedia
presentation 158.
15
In general, applications for any particular function desired
by a vendor may be provided as part of the software 140 of
the CD-ROM tag 60.
Advertising specialties are typically engaging or useful
products that bear the name, identifying information,
20
location, and so forth of a vendor. Thus, various utilities and
tools that may have particular application to a user for
managing computer systems, managing information, and the
like may be provided as tools 162 or utilities 162 in a
software package 140. As a practical matter, the advertising
25
industry is much larger than the software industry.
Accordingly, a vendor may well decide to provide various
software tools 162 or utilities 162 at no charge, in order to
provide more access of impressions from the vendor to a
user on the user's workstation 11, 64.
30
Another feature that is often regarded as highly desirable
by a user is games 164. Games 164 that use national
trademarks, well-recognized characters, or game schemes,
or the like may be provided in the game 164. Again, the
games 164 may themselves include multimedia presenta-
35 tions 158 and may provide direct or indirect input templates
156.
One particularly valuable product provided by the
CD-ROM tag may be a catalog 154. As a practical matter,
the catalog 154 may actually be a multimedia presentation of
product information. The catalog 154 may include data,
search engines, records, pricing information, visual 4D
presentations, audio presentations, user information for siz-
ing or selecting products and the like.
Other software 156 may be provided for any of a host of
purposes that may be desirable by a vendor or a user. Other
software 166 may include, for example, tests, skill
evaluations, any interactive exchange of information, or the
like that may be useful to the user or the vendor. The results
of such other software 166 may be stored for only a session
or may be stored for some period of time for use at a later
time by either a vendor or a user, in accordance with
Another important feature that may be provided to a user
is input templates 156 for providing information to appli-
cations 160 provided. For example, a user may determine to
select a rack for holding sporting goods on top of an
automobile. Alternatively, a user may select clothing such as
hats, shoes etc. Accordingly, input templates 156 may pro-
vide user information or request user information inputs
which may be used to direct a user's search in a catalog 154
to those particular products that would be suitable for the
user in view of the information provided by input templates
156. Currently, a user must navigate information provided
by vendors and suppliers of products and services. By
providing certain input templates 156 the quantity of infor-
mation could be automatically filtered in order to provide to
a user only those selections of information that need to be
considered. The input templates 156 may provide for storage
and maintenance of user inputs over the mere section in
which an application 160 or catalog 154 is executing, or may
store the information for longer term usage. In certain
selected embodiments, the software 140 may actually pro-
vide a "concierge" or valet function by maintaining over a
long period of time a collection of useful information. Thus,
a user need not document catalog purchases, styles, sizes, or
the like, but may instead have such information maintained
automatically as input by the user directly in response to
45
authorizations by each or either one.
Output data 168 and input data 169 may be viewed from
the point of view of the CD-ROM tag 60, a user, or a vendor.
Regardless, various inputs or various applications 160, pre-
sentations 158, including the catalog 154, and so forth, may
50 be independent of the application 160 or executables. Thus,
the outputs 168 and inputs 169 may be perceived to contain
data used by the executables of the software package 140, as
well as information that may be provided to a user. Also, the
output data 168 and input data 169 may include data in
5
5
addition to the data provided by the CD-ROM tag 60. For
example, certain of the data 168, 169 may be those items of
information provided in response to the input templates 156,
which information may be provided, at the user's discretion
back to vendors for the purpose of purchasing, selecting,
60
reporting, registering, or the like, products or purchases.
In certain embodiments, software 142 may actually be
installable on a non-volatile storage device 16 of a work-
St!ltion 11, 64 of a user. Thus, an installer 170 may actually
be provided on the CD-ROM 60 or independently there-
65 from.
Output executables 172 may provide data from a user
back to a vendor. Meanwhile, input executables 174 may
US 6,298,332 Bl
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provide for collection of information from a user. Part of the
user input executables 174 may actually be pre-programmed
data provided by a vendor in association with a CD-ROM
tag 60. Accordingly, the input executable 174 may actually
report input data 178 already on a CD-ROM tag, identifying
product purchases. However, the most useful input data 178
to a vendor may be the product information available on a
CD-ROM 60 in association with inputs from a user regard-
ing personal preferences and purchasing patterns. Again, the
relationship between input data 178 and output data 176 may
10
be considered with respect to a user, or with respect to the
executables 172, 174 or may be considered with respect to
a vendor or with respect to a user workstation 11, 64. Thus,
one need not be locked into any one frame of reference.
Nevertheless, the inputs 178, and outputs 176, in general
will provide information for transfer to and from executables
1
5
172, 174 hosted on a user workstation 11, 64, and may
provide information back to a vendor base computer 68. A
significant benefit of a CD-ROM tag 60 is to provide for the
needs of a user and the needs of a vendor in exchanging
information. Accordingly, a vendor more easily satisfies the 20
needs of a user or a purchaser by virtue of the available data
176,178, while a user can selectively authorize transmission
10
applications 188. Browsers 194 are ubiquitous. A selected
few browsers are nearly universally installed. Thus, a
browser 194 organic to a workstation 11, 64 may actually be
presumed to be one of a very few types. Thus, the CD-ROM
tag 60 need not include a browser 194, since a browser 194
may be presumed to be installed, so long as the selected few
browsers are supported.
Database managers 196 likewise are of several types. To
the extent that a database manager 196 already exists, a user
may elect not to use or may not need any type of a storage
and retrieval engine other than a database manager 196
organic to the workstation 10, 16. Search engines 198 may
be embodied in database managers 196 or browsers 194.
Alternatively, other search engines may also exist as a result
of various needs or applications available to a user.
Likewise, certain search engines 198 are available over the
Internet and need only be accessed by internet client soft-
ware.
Viewers 200 or players 200 are again ubiquitous. The
of various data 174, 176 to and from a vendor base 68 or
even an independent third party server 66 according to only
those authorizations selected by a user.
Thus, in one embodiment, the software 140,142,144 may
represent alternative mechanisms for collecting information
and storing the same for the user. Similarly, the 20 infor-
mation may selectively, at a user's discretion, be transmitted
from the user workstation 11, 64 to a vendor base 68 at a
30
point of purchase or a time of purchase. Most users are
happy to provide necessary information to size or otherwise
select purchases. Information provided to a vendor may then
names are well known and the multimedia presentations
players 200 are well documented. Any one of such viewers
200 or players 200 may exist as an organic software article
on a workstation 11, 64. Editors 202 or at the higher end,
word processors 202 are likewise ubiquitous and well
25
documented, while being limited to only a few major
players. E-mail engines 204 exist as does other software
206. Accordingly, a user may document, or the operating
system 190 may provide, an identification of the typical
organic software suite 192, 206. To the extent that a user
wants to be spared the tedium, the executables 180 may
be discreetly used by the vendor in order to better capture
demographic information correlating products, advertising
35
campaigns, sales, and the like, together.
Referring now to FIG. 7, additional and alternative details
of embodiments in accordance with an apparatus and
method of the invention may include executablcs 180,
operational data 182 (non-executables) and organic data
40
184. The term "organic" as used herein reflects the military
concept of installed systems that are part and parcel of a
particular organization or operation. In this instance, the
organic data structure 184 reflect those software and file
structures that are installed or inherent on a user workstation
45
11, 64 independent of the CD-ROM tag 60. Nevertheless,
the organic data structures 184 may be executable in order
to access or use operational data 182 provided by the
CD-ROM tag 60.
Typically, a memory device 14 of a user workstation so
includes various utilities 186 for performing the necessary
functions or desirable activities associated with the "care
and feeding" of the user workstation 11, 64. Typically
various applications 188 provide functional abilities for a
user. For example, Internet access, browsers, text editors, 5
5
painting and drawing programs, word processing, financial
programs, and the like are various applications 188 hosted
by a user workstation 11, 64. Likewise, games, e-mail, and
other applications 188 or programs 188 are becoming ubiq-
uitous by public domain software, shareware, commercial
60
software, and the like.
themselves determine the organic software suite 192-206,
thus obviating the need to install specialty executables
unique to the CD-ROM 60. Nevertheless, executables 180
may be provided in order to deliver to a user the full content
of a CD-ROM tag 60, without requiring any particular
software suite 184.
Associated with the software 192-206 may be various
data files 210 taking the form of documents 212 records 214
or other files 216. Again, the storage format of the data files
210 will depend upon the software creating them. The
executables 180 and operational data 182 may conform to
the data files 210.
In certain embodiments a CD-ROM tag 60 may include
only operational data 182 and no executables 180. Typically,
an operating system 190 with various utilities 186 can
protect against viruses. Nevertheless, some reluctance to
load executables 180 may be avoided by providing only
operational data 182 on a CD-ROM tag 60, to be executed
by the organic software 184 of a users individual worksta-
tion 11, 64. Nevertheless, since a CD-ROM tag 60 comes
from a responsible supplier, and is in a format not available
for tampering, the executables 180 may be loaded with
confidence.
Nevertheless, for saving space on a CD-ROM tag 60,
operational data 182 may consume considerably less space
than certain executables 180. Nevertheless, again, when
discussing audio data or visual data, particularly animated
data, the operational data 182 may grow to substantial size.
In certain embodiments, application data 218 may include
user preferences or user settings 220. Most applications
provide for such information tailored to a user's needs.
Again, the operational data 182 may correspond to the
organic software 184, or the new executables 180 installed
The applications 188 operate "on top of' an operating
system 190. Of course, the utilities 186 may operate with
applications 188, or may operate as applications themselves
on the operating system 190.
Many workstations 11, 64, and sometimes operating sys-
tems 190 themselves, include launchers 192 for launching
65 as a result of the CD-ROM tag 60. Applications 188 may
have their own individualized data peculiar, not to a user, but
to the application 188. Accordingly, application set up data
US 6,298,332 Bl
11
222 or setups 222 may be provided as temporary or perma-
nent configuration data controlling the use and access to
applications 188. Of course, the operational data 182 may all
be applicable to the executables 180, as well. Application
files 224 may be required data, or it may be the stored files
224 resulting from execution of an application 188, 180.
Certain graphical user interface data 226 or icon data 226
supports ready access by a user to applications 188, 180.
Entertainment files providing images, operational data,
scenarios, conditions, and the like for various gaming appli-
cations or other entertainment executables 265, 188 may be
12
246 may have the effect of filtering the availability of the
template content 248 to a vendor or various vendors. Thus,
the authorizations 246 may provide to a user great comfort
and great control over the distribution of targeting informa-
tion.
User profile response data 250 may be provided directly
or indirectly from a user workstation 11, 64. In general, the
user response data or the profile data 250 represents infor-
mation of value to the vendor, and only available from a
10 user.
a major portion of the operational data 182 provided in a
CD-ROM tag 60. For example, new game scenarios, music,
sound bites, presentations, video animations, and the like
may form a substantial entertainment file 228 of interest to 15
a user, and useful by an executable 180, 188 of a user
workstation 11, 64.
Product response data 252 or purchase response data 252
may be provided by a user, by the CD-ROM tag 60 itself, or
both. Depending on a user's willingness to respond to
questions, certain product data 252 may be provided.
However, since a vendor controls the manufacture of the
CD-ROM, a vendor can place information in as much detail
as desired on a CD-ROM tag 60. Thus, a CD-ROM may
simply be a generalized CD-ROM tag 60 associated with a
vendor. Alternatively, a CD-ROM may be produced in
In certain embodiments, operational data 182 may be
embodied in an object 230 or various objects 230. Objects
230 may include strictly attributes 232 or may include
sufficient executables 234 embedded in the object 230 in
order to provide access by a user to the attributes 232.
An audiovisual or multimedia catalog content 236 may
execute with an application 184 or an executable 180 such
as a catalog presentation 270. Again, catalog content 236
may be a major benefit to a vendor as well as a desirable
benefit to a user. Moreover, if the catalog content 236 may
be filtered according to user preferences, and presented in a
dynamic and engaging format, the catalog content236 may
have great commercial value to a vendor and to a user in
providing targeted messages to a desiring audience.
One major benefit to CD-ROM tag 60 may be the facili-
tation of registration data 240 or response data 240 from a
user back to a vendor. The data 240 may be provided from
a user workstation 11, 64 to a base computer 68 of a vendor,
or to a centralized server 66. In certain embodiments, a user
may have few qualms about providing information from a
workstation 11, 64 to a base 68 over an internetwork 50,
knowing that the base 68 is controlled and owned by a
specific vendor under an agreement with the user not to
provide user data elsewhere. Alternatively, in certain
embodiments, a base 68 or a user 64 may provide to a third
party server 66 certain information. However, user response
data 240 may be protected to any extent desired by a user
and a vendor. Accordingly, a vendor may obtain valuable
and specific targeting data so long as the vendor agrees to
maintain such data in confidence. For example, a user may
desire repeatedly to purchase certain selected brands of
clothing. The user may likewise have no qualms about
providing sizing data, purchases, style information, and the
like to a vendor. However, many users might have a great
objection to having such information generally available to
random purchasers of targeting information. Accordingly,
20
versions which are specific to a style, color, stock number,
sales distribution outlet identification, or the like. Just as
labeling on products may be specific to a style, color, and the
like, a CD-ROM tag 60 may be so specific. Alternatively, a
vendor may produce CD-ROM tags 60 having certain prod-
25 uct data 252, and providing rapid template inputs or selec-
tions of other details. For example, a style may be indicated
by the data 252 provided directly to the CD-ROM. Other
response data 252 may involve user selection of color, size,
or the like. Thus, the CD-ROM tag 60 contains the style
30
information and vendor information and perhaps certain
distribution information, whereas the response data 252
provided by a user directly may include color, size, and
additional purchase point information.
35
Linking data 254 may be inside linking data 255 or
outside linking data 256. Inside linking data 255 may be
thought of as binding information linking, for example,
products and purchase response data 252 with user profile
and user response data 250. Inside linking data 255 may
40
include authorizations 246 linking to selected content 248
obtained from templates. Thus, the inside linking data 255
may be quite specific, and quite controlled. By contrast, the
outside linking data 256 may provide information necessary
to link as seamlessly as possible the user workstation 11, 64
45
to a vendor base 68 or third party server 66. Thus, for
example, the outside linking data 256 may provide addresses
and sets of information for ready engagement of a browser
194 or viewer 200, or even e-mai1204. The CD-ROM tag 60
may facilitate a very rapid, user-friendly, and transparent
50
link back to a vendor.
the registration data 240 or response date 240 may provide
55
user options for the generalized availability of personal data.
To the extent that a user station 11, 64 does not contain a
specific, required article of organic software 184, an execut-
able 180 may be provided for the function. As a practical
matter, a launcher 258 may not be necessary iflaunchers 192
are organic. Launchers 192 are often embedded in operating
systems 190.
The data 240 may include vendor data 242 taken directly
from the CD-ROM tag 60 or provided by a user. Vendor data
242 may be selected by a vendor and embedded on the
CD-ROM tag 60.
A data packaging module 244 may contain information
such as authorizations 246 permitted by a user. Likewise,
any questions or templates that fill out database records for
a vendor may be contained in the template content 248. The
data packaging module 244 may thus provide personal
information in the template content 248, bound to certain
selected and limited authorizations 246. The authorizations
Nevertheless, to the extent that they are not available as
organic software 184, a browser 259, a viewer 260, and
e-mail program 261, a fax sending or receiving program
60 262, a player 263 for audio, video, or other data, or a broker
264 for accessing any of the applications 258-263 or any of
the applications 192-206 may be provided on the CD-ROM
tag 60. The functionality of each of these applications
192-206 and applications 258-263 are clear from their
65 names or titles.
A broker 264 may be thought of as a user interface for
selecting and engaging a particular executable 258-263 or
US 6,298,332 Bl
13
application 192--206 on behalf of a user. Thus, a broker 264
may effectively navigate betweerr various applications or
executables seamlessly, with a minimum of interruption and
input by a user.
Entertainment 265 may be a major draw for certain
classes of users. Accordingly, proprietary, novel, or licenced
entertainment 265 may take the form of music, videos,
demonstrations, education, games, skill tests, and the like.
Entertainment 265 may be interactive to provide user infor-
mation.
14
on the base CPU 12, or may be hosted in the CPU 12 of a
server 66. In general, the inference engine 277 may actually
be a rather sophisticated and complex software module 277.
Accordingly, the inference engine 277 is typically a portion
5
of a vendor's analysis tools. Linkers 280 may be incorpo-
rated within the profile builder or registration engine, but
may also be outside. As a practical matter, linkers 280 may
be associated with a broker 264. That is, in general, the
linking data 254 is created to be used. Some engine must use
10
the linking data in order to make the links between opera-
tional data 182, or between a user workstation 11, 64 and a
vendor base 68 or server 66. Thus, the linkers 280 may be
embodied within the broker 264, or may be accessed by the
broker 264. In certain embodiments a browser 259 may
15
obviate the need for a broker 264 or linkers 280. On the other
hand, the engines that form and manage the links back to a
vendor, may be provided by the linkers 280. Other
executables 278 may serve additional functions requested by
a user or a vendor.
An installer 266 may or may not be required depending on
the particular nature of executables 258-265. Again, an
installer 266 may be obviated by the presence of an installer
266 in association with the organic software 184 when
purchased. Alternatively, to the extent that an installer 266 is
necessary to install or uninstall executables 180, the installer
266 may be provided on the CD-ROM tag 60. Since so many
applications share libraries, the installer 266 may be neces-
sary in order to obtain the security and the access needed for
proper set up of a user workstation 11, 64.
Referring to FIG. 8, a collection 282 of CO-ROMs 60
may actually involve the electronic series 283 or indices 284
of the content of multiple CD-ROM tags 60. For example,
CO-ROMs 60 may contain substantial amounts of informa-
tion that a user does not desire, in general, to store on a
As discussed above, executables 180 may take the form of
20
objects 267, wherein sufficient attributes 268 to operate
certain executables 269 are provided within the object 267.
Alternatively, the attributes 268 may be significant and a
result of user inputs to access the executables 269. Thus, the
comparative size and significance of the attributes 268 and
executables 269 need not be prejudiced in favor of either
one.
25
storage device 16 in a user station 11, 64. Accordingly, the
collection 283 or the index 284 may simply be responsible
to provide sufficient linking information to readily access
information on CO-ROMs 60. Alternatively, certain specific
information may be stored in the collection 282, with the A catalog presentation 270 is an executable 180 for
presenting a catalog. The catalog presentation 270 may have
data contained therein, but may preferably be only the
executable 180 with the content 236 exchangeable. Thus, a
single catalog presentation executable 270 may be provided
on a single CD-ROM tag 60. Later on, additional CO-ROMs
may change content 236 or add content 236 that may still be
accessed by the single original catalog presentation execut-
able 270.
Similarly, templates 271 may provide input formats,
questionnaires, record styles, and the like. Templates 271
may be animated to be more engaging. The templates 271
may be nested series of numerous question fields that are
automatically filtered according to previous answers.
Accordingly, the templates 271 may be quite sophisticated.
However, as with the catalog presentation 270, the templates
271 may benefit from having the executables 271 separate
from the vendor date 242, data packaging information 244,
user profile date 250, or product data 252 separately stored.
The registration engine 272 may represent the executable
portion 272 designed to provide the registration response
date 240. For example, the authorization module 273 may
provide the questions, explanations, and controls, or may
use the information provided for, the authorization 246.
Thus, the authorization module 273 rna y be thought of as the
executable 273 responsible for generating, using, or both,
the authorization data 246. Similarly, an 1-0 module 274
may provide the connection mechanism for using the linking
data 254 in order to input or output data generated by the
registration engine 272.
A profile builder 276 may be simple or sophisticated. The
profile builder 276 may be thought of as executable 180
responsible for providing user profile data 250. Profile
builder 276 may also provide linking between user profile
and response data 250 and the product of purchase response
data 252. Thus, the profile builder 276 may provide data 250,
252 as well as linking data 254.
An inference engine 277 may be hosted in a user work-
station 11, 64 or may be hosted in the base 68 to be operated
30
more massive information CO-ROMs 60. In certain
embodiments, the CO-ROMs 60 may be dispensed with and
the indices 284 may provide links back to a web site 68 or
base 68 from which updated information from executables
180 or operational data 182 may be downloaded to a user on
35
demand. Thus, the CD-ROM may contain the initial infor-
mation and setup involved, while the actual content (e.g.
operational data 182) may be updated and downloaded
automatically or in response to user requests.
Interactions illustrated in FIG. 8 between the user work-
40 station 64 and the base 68 or other server 66 need not go
outside the browser 259, viewer 260, player 263, or search
engine 285. That is, the collection 282 may be accessed from
within the single computer 64, without access to an inter-
network 50 to contact the base 68 or server 66. An actual
45 index 284 of the content of the collection 282 may be
provided and searched by the indexing and search engine
285. The indexing and searching engine 285 may be thought
of as the database engine maintaining a database 284 of
index information related to the content of the collection
50 282. Access to the collection 282 may be obtained by one or
more of the browser 259, 260 engine 285, and player 263,
or other access software 292. In certain embodiments, e-mail
261 may be used to access the information 282 and forward
it to another location. Typically, a browser 259 or e-mail261
55 may have immediate access over an internetwork 50 to other
servers 66, 68.
An optional local broker 286 may navigate between the
available applications 180 or executables 180 including the
browser 259 e-mail 261, and the like. However, the local
60 broker 286 is strictly optional. For example, a browser 259
or Internet browser 259 may access the collection 282 and
provide date back to the server 66 or the base 68 and
vice-versa. Nevertheless, a broker 286 may be configured as
described above in the broker 264 of FIG. 7. The broker 286
65 has a function of integrating, if desired, and providing a user
interface that does not demand of a user continual switching
between, or worse, launching and exiting, various applica-
US 6,298,332 Bl
15
tion software. As illustrated in FIG. 8, the user workstation
16
may include engines, servers, databases, and the like as
described above. Similarly, the workstation 64 may establish
links 310 with the base 68 or base server 68 associated with
the vendor 294. Accordingly, the workstation 64 may obtain
64 may provide or acquire information from the central
database server 289 by means of a central interface broker
288. That is, the central interface broker 288 may cooperate
with the local broker 286, or in the absence of a local broker
286 may cooperate directly with a viewer 260 or browser
259. Alternatively, a user may access directly a private
database server 291 in the base 68, with or without a private
interface broker 290. The purpose of the brokers 288, 290
may be designed by a vendor or a third party. However, in
order to facilitate ease of access to servers 66, or the actual
data stores 289 and server 68, including the actual data
stored 291, information must be transported in a format
recognizable and useful by a controlling executable. Since
5
data from the servers 66, 68, and deliver data to the
databases of the servers 66, 68.
From the above discussion, it will be appreciated that the
present invention provides a product labeling apparatus and
method that provides entertainment or other useful products
an individual user may have a workstation 64 having a
viewer 260, a viewer may be the only mechanism available
to access the collection 282 of CD-ROM tag information,
and update it. Alternatively, some internet browsers 259 may
10
to a user, while providing links and implementation thereof
back to a vendor of services or products. Accordingly, user
information may be provided to a user and to a vendor.
Meanwhile, product information may be provided from a
vendor to a user. The data and software provided on a
CD-ROM hang-tag may thus facilitate the data needs of a
15
vendor while providing a repository for ready access to data
by a user. Meanwhile, focused links may provide ready
communication between a vendor and a purchaser for the
benefit of each.
be available. In some instances, only e-mail261 is available.
Likewise, only some database management engine 285 or
some particular player 263, such as a multimedia player, or 20
the like, may be available. Accordingly, the availability of
brokers 286, 288, 290 may be optional. However, the
brokers basically can facilitate interaction by repackaging
information according to different protocols in certain
instances. Thus, the brokers 286, 288, 290 may all be
25
optional. However, a third party controlling the server 66
may desire to have a central interface broker 288 in order to
accommodate more information in more formats for more
sources. Likewise, a vendor of products, by controlling the
base 68 or base server 68 may desire to have a private
30
interface broker 290 in order to facilitate access to informa-
tion and receipt of information in a variety of formats.
Effectively, in the system of FIG. 8, operating with the
hardware and software configurations of FIGS. 1-7, may
exchange information between a central third party control-
35
ling a server 66, a vendor controlling a server 68, and a user
controlling a workstation 64.
The database stores 289, 291 may contain information
obtained from user workstations 64 with user authorizations.
Accordingly, the users may request by pulling information
40
and vendors may push by providing, according to user
authorization, data from the data stores 289, 291. Thus, a
free flow of targeted product information to user worksta-
tions 64 filtered according to user desires and profiles is
facilitated.
45
Referring to FIG. 9, an apparatus and method in accor-
dance with the invention may be implemented by a system
293 or method 293. In one embodiment, a vendor 294
controlling a base 68 or base server 68 may provide 295 the
information required by a CD-ROM provider 296 in order so
for the CD-ROM provider 296 to construct the operational
data 182 and executables 180 of FIG. 7. As a result, the
CD-ROM provider 296 delivers 297 or provides 297 a
design 298 for the CD-ROM hang-tag 60. The design 298
may include both graphic design and software architecture ss
as well as data structure architecture for the operational data.
The CD-ROMs 60 are then provided 299.
Meanwhile, a vendor 294 provides 302 product 300 to be
associated with the CD-ROM tags 60. The CD-ROM tags 60
may be attached to the product 300 by any suitable means, 60
including tethering, adhesives, packaging, and the like.
Thus, the CD-ROM tag 60 is associated with the product
300 for delivery 304 to a user 306. The user 306 separates
the CD-ROM tag 60 from the product 300 and installs 308
the CD-ROM tag 60 on the workstation 64.
As described with respect to FIGS. 1-8, the workstation
64 may then establish links 310 with the server 66 which
65
The present invention may be embodied in other specific
forms without departing from its essential characteristics.
The described embodiments are to be considered in all
respects only as illustrative, and not restrictive. The scope of
the invention is, therefore, indicated by the appended claims,
rather than by the foregoing description. All changes which
come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the
claims are to be embraced within their scope.
What is claimed and desired to be secured by United
States Letters Patent is:
1. An apparatus comprising:
a first computer associated with a user and containing a
first processor;
a second computer associated with a vendor and contain-
ing a second processor;
a label comprising a computer readable medium and
adapted to be selectively secured to and removed from
a product corresponding to the vendor and purchased
by the user; and
the label, further provided with vendor data provided by
the vendor and computer readable instructions execut-
able on the first computer for presenting vendor infor-
mation to the user.
2. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising:
the label, wherein the computer readable instructions on
the computer readable medium contain control data
effective to control execution of the first processor.
3. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the control data is
effective to establish communication between the first com-
puter and the second computer.
4. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein the control data is
effective to program the first computer to communicate
interactively with the second computer.
5. The apparatus of claim 4, wherein the control data is
effective to provide user authorization for collection of user
information by the first computer.
6. The apparatus of claim 4, wherein the control data is
programmed to provide user authorization for transmission
of user information from the first computer to the second
computer.
7. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein the control data is
programmed to authorize the transmission of user informa-
tion at a time corresponding to a second purchase, different
from a first purchase associated with distribution of the
label.
8. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein the control data
further comprises executables for execution by the first
computer.
US 6,298,332 Bl
17
9. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a server
operably connected between the first computer and the
second computer.
10. The apparatus of claim 9, wherein the server is
programmed to serve updated vendor data to the first com-
puter.
11. An article comprising:
a label for labeling a product offered for sale;
a computer readable medium integrated with the label for
storing operational and executable data structures, the
10
data structures being configured to be readable by a first
computer, associated with a purchaser of the product,
and comprising:
vendor data associated with a source of a product
comprising instructions executable by the first com-
15
puter to present to the purchaser a presentation
provided from the vendor;
profiling data comprising instructions executable by the
first computer to obtain information corresponding
to the purchaser and relating to the vendor; and
20
linking data comprising instructions executable to con-
trol communication of the first computer with a
second computer associated with the vendor.
12. The article of claim 11, wherein the data structures
further comprise:
25
entertainment data for engaging interest of a purchaser.
13. The article of claim 11, wherein the data structures
further comprise:
product purchase data for generating purchasing data; and
binding data for binding the product purchase data to the
30
profile data generated with the profiling data.
14. The article of claim 13, wherein the data structures
further comprise:
authorizing data effective to control the first computer to
determine authorization of a purchaser for returning the 35
binding data to the second computer.
15. The article of claim 14, wherein the data structures
further comprise:
controlling data for controlling the first computer to
determine authorization of a purchaser for communi- 40
cation to the second computer of user profile data
generated by the first computer, at a second purchase
time corresponding to a second purchase and different
from a first purchase time associated with receipt of the
label by the purchaser. 45
16. A method comprising:
providing vendor data corresponding to a source of prod-
ucts and directed to purchasers of the products;
recording the vendor data on a computer readable
medium;
providing a label for securing to products to designate a
source of products;
securing the label to a product; and
distributing the label and product to a purchaser.
17. The method of claim 16, further comprising:
installing the label in a drive associated with a user
computer associated with the purchaser, the user com-
puter comprising a processor effective to execute
executables.
50
55
18
18. The method of claim 17, further comprising:
controlling execution of an executable in the processor by
the vendor data.
19. The method of claim 18, further comprising:
providing the executable as at least a portion of the vendor
data.
20. The method of claim 19, further comprising:
linking the user computer to a vendor computer associated
with the source of products.
21. The method of claim 20, further comprising:
establishing interactive communication between the user
computer and the vendor computer, in accordance with
communication data within the vendor data.
22. The method of claim 21, further comprising:
providing user authorization data from the purchaser for
controlling the interactive communication.
23. The method of claim 22, further comprising:
brokering the linking between the user computer and the
vendor computer by executables adapted to provide an
interface between user applications running in the user
computer and vendor applications running on the ven-
dor computer.
24. The method of claim 22, further comprising:
updating the vendor data in the user computer from the
vendor computer.
25. The method of claim 24, further comprising:
selecting the user application from the group consisting of
an email application, viewer application, browser,
player, facsimile application, a game, a utility, and an
index.
26. A method for interactive communication between a
vendor and a purchaser, the method comprising:
providing vendor data associated with a vendor and
comprising executable instructions executable on a
computer associated with a purchaser;
recording the vendor data on a label comprising a
computer-readable medium;
securing the label to a product;
distributing the product and label to a purchaser;
reading the computer readable medium into the user
computer associated with the purchaser;
establishing communication between the user computer
and the vendor computer; and
interactively updating user data on the vendor computer
and vendor data on the user computer.
27. The method of claim 26, further comprising:
controlling by the purchaser the selection and communi-
cation of the user data to the vendor computer.
28. The method of claim 27, further comprising:
controlling the communication of the user data proximate
a time corresponding to a second purchase different
from a first purchase corresponding to distributing the
label.
* * * * *
(12) United States Patent
Montague
(54) COMPUTER READABLE HANG TAG AND
PRODUCT
(75) Inventor: David Montague, Mapleton, UT (US)
(73) Assignee: Accelerate Ventures, L.L.C.,
Indianapolis, IN (US)
( *) Notice: Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this
patent is extended or adjusted under 35
U.S.C. 154(b) by 0 days.
(21) Appl. No.: 11/622,350
Jan.11,2007 (22) Filed:
(65) Prior Publication Data
US 2007/0108292 Al May 17,2007
Related U.S. Application Data
(63) Continuation of application No. 09/488,079, filed on
Jan. 20, 2000, which is a continuation-in-part of appli-
cation No. 09/306,077, filed on May 6, 1999, now Pat.
No. 6,298,332.
(51) Int. Cl.
G06K 19100 (2006.01)
G06Q 30100 (2006.01)
(52) U.S. Cl . ......................................... 235/487; 705/14
(58) Field of Classification Search ................. 235/487,
235/383; 40/299.01; 705114; 428/40.1
See application file for complete search history.
(56) References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
2,020,381 A ll/1935 Labowitz et al.
2,714,448 A 8/1955 Brown
2,973,410 A 2/1961 Hoshino et al.
3,000,640 A 9/1961 Strauss
3,340,999 A 9/1967 Froeh1ig
3,562,727 A 2/1971 Abbott et al.
4,260,881 A 4/1981 Peterson
4,261,121 A * 4/1981 Coon .......................... 40/332
I IIIII
CA
1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
US007503502B2
(10) Patent No.: US 7,503,502 B2
(45) Date of Patent: Mar.17,2009
4,511,033 A 4/1985 May
4,812,633 A 3/1989 Vogelgesang et al.
(Continued)
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
2176321 5/1996
(Continued)
OTHER PUBLICATIONS
Examiner's Answer mailed Mar. 10, 2006 from the U.S. Patent and
Trademark Office in connection with U.S. Appl. No. 09/488,079.
Primary Examiner-Daniel A Hess
(74) Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Pate Pierce & Baird
(57) ABSTRACT
A user-computer-readable medium provides all or part of a
product labeling system for engaging purchasers.
Executables, data, or both are recorded in the medium embod-
ied in a tag or other product labeling structure, in order to
deliver to a consumer or purchaser engaging presentations of
products, information, or registration templates. As a result,
purchasers may receive launchers, browsers, viewers, e-mail
systems, facsimile centers, players, or interface brokers for
the foregoing, if organically installed already on a worksta-
tion of a purchaser. Software may provide catalog presenta-
tions, user registration templates, communications, linkers,
or engines, and the like. Operation modules and profile build-
ers may provide information over ready links implemented by
software on the medium. In certain embodiments, entertain-
ment, games, skill tests, and the like, recorded in the medium
as a tag or label may execute to engage a purchaser and
provide purchaser profiling information, product purchasing
information, and the like to a vendor, while providing addi-
tional product information, warranty registrations, applica-
tions, entertainment, or the like, to a purchaser.
24 Claims, 20 Drawing Sheets
EXHIBIT
B
US 7,503,502 B2
Page2
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
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5,898,777 A
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4,868,373 A 9/1989 Opheij etal.
6.134,593 A
5,153,842 A 10/1992 Dlugos, Sr. et al.
6,195,006 B1
5,217,056 A * 6/1993 Ritter ......................... 150/147
6,195,432 B1
5,284,689 A 2/1994 Laurash et al.
6,216,112 B1
5,309,355 A 5/1994 Lockwood
6.405,203 B1
5,333,106 A 7/1994 Lanpher et al.
7,010,875 B1 *
5,375,240 A 12/1994 Grundy
200110003041 A1 *
5,576,951 A 11/1996 Lockwood
200110042009 A1
5,611,051 A 3/1997 Pirelli
2001/0054014 A1
5,710,886 A 111998 Christensen et al.
10/1998 Tsai et al.
4/1999 Tycksen, Jr. et al.
5/1999 Ronning
10/2000 Alexander et al.
2/2001 Bowers et al.
2/2001 Takahashi et al.
4/2001 Fuller eta!.
6/2002 Collart
3/2006 Siegel et al .............. 40/299.01
6/2001 Redford et al. .. ....... 434/307 R
1112001 Montague
12/2001 Noda et al.
5,711,672 A 1/1998 Redford et a!.
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
5,776,586 A 7/1998 Lipper
5,794,213 A 8/1998 Markman
wo wo 0111530 2/2001
5,805,164 A 9/1998 B1umetal.
5,809,481 A * 9/1998 Baronet a!. .................. 705/14 * cited by examiner
30
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US 7,503,502 B2
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293
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US 7,503,502 B2
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U.S. Patent Mar. 17,2009 Sheet 11 of 20 US 7,503,502 B2
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US 7,503,502 B2
1
COMPUTER READABLE HANG TAG AND
PRODUCT
RELATED INVENTIONS
This application is a continuation of U.S. application Ser.
No. 09/488,079 filed Jan. 20, 2000 which is a continuation-
in-part of U.S. Pat. No. 6,298,332 issued Oct. 2, 2001.
2
preferences and motivations, and the like may be integrated
with warranty reporting information, and other useful data in
a delivery system built upon a computer-readable medium
product label, such as a hang tag or any tag attached to a
product. In certain embodiments, executables and operational
data may be delivered to a user on a computer-readable
mediun1 that alone, or in combination with other packaging
materials, presents a panoply of multimedia presentations,
games, entertainment, and information-collection applica-
BACKGROUND 10 tions.
I. The Field of the Invention
For example, a product may be labeled with a tag that
includes a computer-readable medium of an ordinary or novel
shape. The novel shape may also be labeled with various
slogans, messages, trade-marks, images, logos, or the like,
This invention relates to product labeling and, more par-
ticularly, to novel systems and methods for providing elec-
tronic feedback and user information by registration with
vendors of products.
2. The Background Art
Product registration is always a concern of manufacturers
and vendors of products. Information concerning user pur-
chases, attitudes, circumstances, and the like are matters of
great interest. However, user registration through warranty
cards and the like meet with only limited success. Moreover,
limited information is provided.
15 provided by the vendor. Meanwhile, the computer-readable
medium product label may contain multimedia catalog pre-
sentations; products information regarding the exact product
on which the tag was shipped from a manufacturer; a regis-
tration engine for registering user information and product
20 information simultaneously, a profile builder for identifying
additional user information that a purchaser is willing and
interested in providing, such as preferences in entertainment,
software, music, video, gaming, or the like; and other useful
Likewise, brand loyalty is not necessarily detectible nor
useful to such vendors andmanufacturers.An ability to obtain 25
user registration information for warranty and follow-up sales
activity often lacks any great consumer or user motivation.
Thus, not only information is lacking by motivation, and any
continuing link with a consumer or user may be absent.
What is needed is a system and method for enabling a 30
comparatively long term relationship to exist between a sup-
plier, manufacturer, vendor of goods or services, and the
consumer, purchaser, or user of same.
An advance in the art might provide additional services to
a consumer or user as well. For example, personal informa- 35
tion such as shoe sizes, clothing sizes, recreational goods,
preferences in recreational or business activities, and the like
might be extremely valuable information for a user to main-
tain and catalog for future use. Also, such personal purchas-
ing information might be invaluable to suppliers of goods and 40
services. Moreover, it would be an advancement in the art to
provide a system and method for purchasers to maintain key
information regarding their own preferences and purchases as
well as providing to users historical information that they may
reference in the future. To the extent that a consumer or 45
purchaser desires to provide such information to a vendor
during a search for new or replacement goods or services,
having ready access to such information could be invaluable
to both a purchaser and a vendor.
software.
Software available on a computer-readable medium prod-
uct label may include a launcher, browser, viewer, e-mail,
facsimile sender, player, or other executables as well as ven-
dor data. Moreover, such software may be programmed to
invite, entice, motivate, and facilitate providing information
by a user to be reported back to a vendor. A concierge or valet
provides ready access to important information required by a
purchaser at the time or point of purchase. Software may also
collect and provide to a user or a vendor, or both, upon request
and authorization, any amount of vendor or purchaser infor-
mation deemed useful.
The computer-readable medium product label, may be
configured to be attached to a variety of products including
clothing, toys, footgear, machinery, headgear, foodstuffs fur-
niture, appliances, sporting goods, dry goods, tools, and
plants. The label may be configured to be attached to the
product or the product packaging. The label may be attached
to the product in a manner to protect the label fi:om damage
during shipping. The product packaging may also serve to
protect the label. The label may be shipped separately from
the product with its own packing and padding.
Consistent with the foregoing objects, and in accordance
with the invention as embodied and broadly described herein,
a method and apparatus are disclosed in one embodiment of
the present invention as including a computer-readable
Thus, it would be an advance in the art to provide an easy
interaction apparatus and method for identifying and record-
ing product or purchasing information, personal preference
information, and the like, for ready provision of same to a
purchaser and to a vendor upon request and authorization.
so medium, apparatus, and a method for delivering vendor-sup-
plied information to a purchaser, while providing reporting
facilitation software and purchaser-provided data as well as
internet linking from a purchaser back to a vendor an appa-
ratus made in accordance with one embodiment of the inven-
BRIEF SUMMARY AND OBJECTS OF THE
INVENTION
55 tion may include a computer-readable medium, user interface
data or a user interface executable, vendor catalog informa-
tion, various input templates, multimedia presentations,
applications such as tools, utilities, games, desk accessories,
or the like. In view of the foregoing, it is a primary object of the present
invention to provide a computer-readable medium product 60
label providing a link back from a purchaser to a vendor. In
certain embodiments, an apparatus and method in accordance
with the invention may provide operational data, executables,
linking information, suitable software, templates, and the like
for facilitating an exchange of information between vendors 65
and purchasers. For example, templates for collecting and
delivering user information including warranty data, user
Various data structures or databases for collecting or main-
taining output data or input data serviced by input executables
or output executables may stand alone or may integrate with
browsers, launchers, viewers, or other applications.
Such applications may be provided as executables on a
computer-readable medium product label, or may merely
integrate or engage browsers, launchers, viewers, and appli-
cations "organic" to a user's computer. That is, executables
us 7,503,502 82
3
may be provided on a computer-readable medium product
label or may merely be accessed by data on a computer-
readable medium product label.
4
FIG. 19 is a schematic block diagram illustrating a manu-
facturing process tor blank labels in accordance with the
invention; and
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 20 is a schematic block diagram illustrating a process
5 for selecting content for a computer-readable label.
The foregoing and other objects and features ofthe present
invention will become more fully apparent from the following
description and appended claims, taken in conjunction with
the accompanying drawings. Understanding that these draw- 10
ings depict only typical embodiments of the invention and
are, therefore, not to be considered limiting of its scope, the
invention will be described with additional specificity and
detail through use of the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a schematic block diagram of computers in a 15
network and internetwork that may implement the apparatus
and method in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 2 is one embodiment of a user computer, a server, and
a base computer, typically owned, controlled, or accessed by
a vendor, for communicating information in response to user 20
or vendor requests;
FIG. 3 is schematic diagram of various alternative configu-
rations of CD-ROM hang-tags or product labels in accor-
dance with the invention;
FIG. 4 is schematic diagram of the information sides of the 25
CD-ROM hang-tags;
FIG. 5 is a schematic illustration of various embodiments
of product labeling for presenting CD-ROMs of FIGS. 3-4
including sleeves, substrates, holders, keepers, labels, tethers,
and the like, for delivery of CD-ROMs to purchasers as part of 30
product labeling;
FIG. 6 is a schematic block diagram of data structures for
selected embodiments of a method and apparatus in accor-
dance with the invention, hosted on a computer of FIGS. 1-2;
FIG. 7 is a schematic block diagram of additional details 35
that may be incorporated in the memory of FIG. 6, or in
addition thereto;
FIG. 8 is a schematic block diagram of an interaction
scheme including software engines and data repositories for
implementing an apparatus and method in accordance with 40
certain embodiments of the invention;
FIG. 9 is a schematic block diagram illustrating the data
flows in an apparatus and method in accordance with the
invention;
FIG. 10 is a schematic illustration of various embodiments 45
of computer-readable media in product labels in accordance
with the invention;
FIG. 11 is a perspective view of an example of a product
with attached labels in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 12 is a perspective view of another example of a 50
product with attached labels in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 13 is a perspective view of another example of a
product with attached labels in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 14 is a schematic illustration of various types of
tethers and locations of attachment suitable for implementing 55
the invention;
FIG. 15 is a perspective view of an example of a product
having soft packaging having labels attached in accordance
with the invention;
FIG. 16 is a perspective view of and example of a product 60
having hard packaging having labels attached in accordance
with the invention;
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED
EMBODIMENTS
It will be readily understood that the components of the
present invention, as generally described and illustrated in the
Figures herein, could be arranged and designed in a wide
variety of different configurations. Thus, the following more
detailed description of the embodiments of the system and
method of the present invention, as represented in FIGS. 1
through 9, is not intended to limit the scope of the invention,
as claimed, but is merely representative of the presently pre-
ferred embodiments of the invention.
The presently preferred embodiments of the invention will
be best understood by reference to the drawings, wherein like
parts are designated by like numerals throughout. FIGS. 1-20
illustrate schematic diagrams showing, in considerable detail,
certain presently preferred embodiments of apparatus and
methods in accordance with the invention. Those of ordinary
skill in the art will, of course, appreciate that various modifi-
cations to the detailed schematic diagrams may easily be
made without departing from the essential characteristics of
the invention, as described. Thus, the following description of
the Figures is intended only by way of example, and simply
illustrates certain presently preferred embodiments of the
invention as claimed herein.
Referring now to FIG. 1, an apparatus 10 may implement
the invention on one or more nodes 11, (client 11, computer
11) containing a processor 12 or CPU 12. All components
may exist in a single node 11 or may exist in multiple nodes
11, 52 remote from one another. The CPU 12 may be operably
connected to a memory device 14. A memory device 14 may
include one or more devices such as a hard drive or non-
volatile storage device 16, a read-only memory 18 (ROM)
and a random access (and usually volatile) memory 20
(RAM).
The apparatus 10 may include an input device 22 for
receiving inputs from a user or another device. Similarly, an
output device 24 may be provided within the node 11, or
accessible within the apparatus 10. A network card 26 (inter-
face card) or port 28 may be provided for connecting to
outside devices, such as the network 30.
Internally, a bus 32 may operably interconnect the proces-
sor 12, memory devices 14, input devices 22, output devices
24, network card 26 and port 28. The bus 32 may be thought
of as a data carrier. As such, the bus 32 may be embodied in
numerous configurations. Wire, fiber optic line, wireless elec-
tromagnetic communications by visible light, infrared, and
radio frequencies may likewise be implemented as appropri-
ate for the bus 32 and the network 30.
Input devices 22 may include one or more physical
embodiments. For example, a keyboard 34 may be used for
interaction with the user, as may a mouse 36. A touch screen
38, a telephone 39, or simply a telephone line 39, may be used
tor communication with other devices, with a user, or the like.
Similarly, a scanner 40 may be used to receive graphical
inputs which may or may not be translated to other character
formats. The hard drive 41 or other memory device 41 may be
FIG. 17 is a perspective view and other example of a
product having labels positioned partially inside the interior
of a product;
FIG. 18 is a schematic block diagram illustrating a manu-
facturing process for labels in accordance with the invention;
65 used as an input device whether resident within the node 11 or
some other node 52 (e.g., 52 a, 52b, etc.) on the network 30, or
from another network 50.
US 7,503,502 B2
5
Output devices 24 may likewise include one or more physi-
cal hardware units. For example, in general, the port 28 may
be used to accept inputs and send outputs from the node 11.
Nevertheless, a monitor 42 may provide outputs to a user for
feedback during a process, or for assisting two-way commu-
nication between the processor 12 and a user. A printer 44 or
a hard drive 46 may be used for outputting information as
output devices 24.
In general, a network 30 to which a node 11 connects may,
in turn, be connected through a router 48 to another network
50. In general, two nodes 11, 52 may be on a network 30,
adjoining networks 30, 50, or may be separated by multiple
routers 48 and multiple networks 50 as individual nodes 11,
52 on an internetwork. The individual nodes 52 (e.g. 11, 52,
54) may have various communication capabilities.
In certain embodiments, a minimum of logical capability
may be available in any node 52. Note that any of the indi-
vidual nodes 11, 52, 54 may be referred to, as may all
together, as a node 11 or a node 52. Each may contain a
processor 12 with more or less of the other components
14-44.
Anetwork30 may include one or more servers 54. Servers
may be used to manage, store, communicate, transfer, access,
update, and the like, any practical number of files, databases,
or the like for other nodes 52 on a network 30. Typically, a
server 54 may be accessed by all nodes 11, 52 on a network
30. Nevertheless, other special functions, including commu-
nications, applications, directory services, and the like, may
be implemented by an individual server 54 or multiple servers
54.
In general, a node 11 may need to communicate over a
network 30 with a server 54, a router 48, or nodes 52. Simi-
larly, a node 11 may need to communicate over another net-
work (50) in an internetwork connection with some remote
node 52. Likewise, individual components 12-46 may need to
communicate data with one another. A communication link
may exist, in general, between any pair of devices.
Referring now to FIG. 2, a CD-ROM tag 16 may include an
aperture 61 for aligning or engaging with a drive 62 for
playing the CD-ROM 60. A Drive 62 in a user workstation 64
may provide linking information or executables facilitating
interaction between the user workstation 64 and a server 66,
such as a third party or vendor server, typically maintained by
a service provided. For example, the server 66 may be an
e-mail server a data service server, a web site server, or other
accessible servers.
Meanwhile, a base computer 68 or simply base 68 is typi-
cally maintained by a vendor and may be a server, a web site
server, a communication server, or may simply be the com-
puter system of a vendor interested in interacting with either
a third party server 66 a user workstation 64, or both. In
general, the workstation 64, the server 66, and the base 68
may be remote from one another geographically and con-
nected over some type of network 50. Thus, the input devices
6
facilitates proper engagement of the CD-ROM 60. Accord-
ingly clearance cavity 72 may be provided to receive a spin or
head of a driver 62 for spinning the CD-ROM 60. Thus, the
tray 70 may be regarded as part of a transport 74 or frame 74
for moving a CD-ROM 60 into and out of the drive 62.
In general, a CD-ROM 60 may be of any suitable arbitrary,
but symmetrical shape. A tether 75 secured through a pen-
etration 76 may secure the CD-ROM tag 60 to a product. As
a practical matter, the penetration 76 may be distributed in a
10 balanced fashion to prevent even small variation in the bal-
ance on a CD-ROM tag 60.
A vendor may choose to provide a product, brand, vendor,
orothername 78 on a visible face 79 of a CD-ROM tag 60. In
general, the name 78 and other information provided on the
15 visible face 79 of the CD-ROM tag 60 represent vendor
identification 80, in general. Other vendor identification 80
may include slogans 82, which may themselves be trade-
marked or registered as trademarks. Messages 84 and other
marks 86 or trademarks 86 proprietary to a vendor for ready
20 identification to users (purchasers, consumers) while provid-
ing additional impressions on behalf of a vendor.
Typically, logos 88 may be prominent on the visible face 79
of a CD-ROM tag 60. Likewise, various images 90 or sym-
bols 90 related to either the content of the CD-ROM tag 60,
25 the product on which the CD-ROM tag 60 is affixed, or related
to other aspects of the vendor providing the CD-ROM tag 60
may be provided in any number of colors with suitable
graphic appeal.
In general, a shape 92 or an edge 92 may also provide an
30 overall impression of a CD-ROM tag 60. Any suitable shape
that will still work with a drive 62 may be suitable. In certain
embodiments, a CD-ROM tag 60 may have vertices 94 or
corners 94. As a practical matter, a CD-ROM tag 60 may be
strictly circular or formed in a variety of shapes as illustrated
35 in FIGS. 3-4.
Referring to FIG. 4, a chassis 96 of the drive 62 may mount
anarbor98 adapted to fitthe aperture 61 in a CD-ROM tag 60.
A drive 100 may engage a CD-ROM tag 60 for rotation. A
cavity 102 or clearance 102 in the chassis 96 provides suitable
40 clearance for rotation of the CD-ROM tag 60 about the arbor
98 through the aperture 61. The CD-ROM 60 may include
system tracks 104 containing information peculiar to the
operation of the workstation 64 or the drive 62. However, the
data face 105 may contain content tracks 106 in addition to
45 the system tracks 104. The content tracks contain substantive
data provided by a vendor and targeted to a user. The content
tracks 106 need only fit within the particular shape 92 of a
CD-ROM tag 60 and are thus typically placed well away from
any corners 94 in favor of a continuous central portion of the
so CD-ROM 60.
22 and output devices 24 provide interaction by a user at a 55
workstation 64 in order to provide inputs and extract infor-
mation in response to prompts from software hosted on the
CD-ROM 60. Note that the CD-ROM 60 is not necessarily
circular in shape. The CD-ROM 60 need only be properly
balanced for spinning and having sufficient space circum- 60
scribed by a circle thereon to store the data tracks required for
the amount of information provided on the CD-ROM 60.
As a practical matter, the penetrations 76 may be provided
with tethers 75 for connecting a CD-ROM 60 to various
products. For example, in the clothing industry, various types
of tethering mechanisms have been developed to facilitate
automatic insertion of securement mechanisms with mini-
mum labor and minimum cost. Nevertheless, alternative
embodiments may operate independent of the tethers 75.
Referring to FIG. 5, a sleeve 110 or substrate 112 may
mount or otherwise secure a CD-ROM tag 60 to a product.
The sleeve 110 or substrate 112 may be secured directly to a
package, or tethered thereto by a tether 75 as illustrated in
FIGS. 3-5. In one embodiment, a backing 114 may connectto
a cover 116 having a seam 117 for securing or bonding 117
thecover116tothe backing114. Thus, aCD-ROM60maybe
inserted between the cover 116 and backing 114 forming a
sleeve 110 or envelope 110. In other embodiments, a pedestal
120 or stub 120 may penetrate the aperture 61 to retain a
Referring now to FIGS. 3-5, a tray 70 may be provided as
partofadrive 62orCD-ROMdrive 62. In general, thetray70,
as illustrated in FIG. 3 reflects an upper portion 70 of a drive 65
62. Thus, the tray 70 may have an alignment rim 71 for
orienting the CD-ROM 60. An alignment of a CD-ROM 60
US 7,503,502 B2
7
CD-ROM tag. In certain embodiments, a foot 121 of aped-
estal 120 may secure the pedestal 120 to a substrate 112 or
backing 114. Similarly, some type of keeper 122 may serve to
retain the CD-ROM tag 60 on the pedestal 120. In selected
embodiments, fingers 123 may provide both the pedestal and
retention function. In other embodiments, a detent 124 may
provide securement or engagement of a CD-ROM tag 60 with
a pedestall20. Securing the CD-ROM 60 thereto.
In certain embodiments, a lock 126 may engage a catch 128
for securing a keeper 122 into or onto a pedestal 120. The 10
orientation of the lock 126 and catch 128 as well as the
peculiar mechanism for latching them together may be a
matter of virtually infinite mechanical engagement tech-
niques.
8
for the user or purchaser who does not have a launcher 148
organic to their workstation 64.
One particularly valuable product provided by the CD-
ROM tag may be a catalog 154. As a practical matter, the
catalog 154 may actually be a multimedia presentation of
product information. The catalog 154 may include data,
search engines, records, pricing information, visual presen-
tations, audio presentations, user information for sizing or
selecting products and the like.
Another important feature that may be provided to a user is
input templates 156 for providing information to applications
160 provided. For example, a user may determine to select a
rack for holding sporting goods on top of an automobile.
Alternatively, a user may select clothing such as hats, shoes
Referring to FIG. 6, various data structures may be hosted
by a workstation 64 before and after loading the CD-ROM tag
60. In certain select embodiments of an apparatus and method
in accordance with the invention, the CD-ROM tag 60 may
contain only files 130. The files 130 may require applications
132 existing completely independently from the CD-ROM
tag 60. As a practical matter, various browsers 146, launchers
148, viewers 147, and the like exist in various distribution
channels. Thus, the CD-ROM tag 60 may actually contain
only non-executable data requiring other executables (such as
applications 132, browsers 146, viewers 147, and watchers
148, and utilities 138. etc.).
15 etc. Accordingly, input templates 156 may provide user infor-
mation or request user information inputs which may be used
to direct a user's search in a catalog 154 to those particular
products that would be suitable for the user in view of the
information provided by input templates 156. Currently, a
20 user must navigate information provided by vendors and sup-
pliers of products and services. By providing certain input
templates 156 the quantity of information could be automati-
cally filtered in order to provide to a user only those selections
of information that need to be considered. The input tem-
Referring to FIG. 6, files 130 may be installed in a memory
device 14 ofthe apparatus 10 in accordance with the inven-
tion. Typically, the memory device 14 of FIG. 6 may be
embodied as the RAM 20 of the workstation 64 of a user. In
general, the memory 14 may be loaded with applications 132
of a user, independent of the CD-ROM tag 60. Likewise, an
operating system 134 and files 136 associated with the oper-
ating system 134 and application 132 reside in the memory
14.
25 plates 156 may provide for storage and maintenance of user
inputs over the mere section in which an application 160 or
catalog 154 is executing, or may store the information for
longer term usage. In certain selected embodiments, the soft-
ware 140 may actually provide a "concierge" or valet function
30 by maintaining over a long period of time a collection of
useful information. Thus, a user need not document catalog
purchases, styles, sizes, or the like, but may instead have such
information maintained automatically as input by the user
directly in response to input templates 156, or as a result of
Software 140 provided on the CD-ROM tag 60 may
include specific executables that are simply run from the
CD-ROM tag 60. Alternatively, software 144 may actually be
installed from a CD-ROM tag 60 into a memory device 14
that has non-volatile storage capability, such as a hard drive
16. Thus, during execution, the memory device 14 is typically
the RAM 20 of the workstation 64, whereas installation and
storage typically involves a hard drive 16 at a workstation 64.
35 direct inputs provided by a CD-ROM tag associated with a
particular product purchased by a user.
In certain embodiments, included with any catalog 154, or
independent therefrom, a multimedia presentation 158 may
present information to a user. The multimedia presentation
40
158 may be configured as entertainment to engage a user.
In certain selected embodiments, software 144 may rely on
a browser 146 already installed previously and otherwise
usable by a user of the workstation 64. Thus, the browser 146
may be thought of as "organic" to the workstation 64. That is,
the browser 146 is previously installed for other functionality
desired by a user. Similarly, a viewer 147 may be an organic
application 132 previously installed, but relied upon by the 50
software 140, 142, 144. Similarly, a launcher 148 or loader
148 may operate in a workstation 64. Similarly, various utili-
ties 138 are typically installed on a workstation 64. Likewise,
various files 136 associated with the applications 132 are
hosted thereon. During operation of any particular applica- 55
tion 132 the application 132 is loaded into RAM 20. Simi-
larly, portions or complete files 136 may be loaded into RAM
20. Otherwise, applications 132 and corresponding files 136
may be stored on a storage device 16 such as a hard drive.
Alternatively, the presentation 158 may be a portion of a
catalog 154. In certain embodiments, the multimedia presen-
tation 158 may take the form of qualification testing, or the
like. Any presentation 158 that may engage a user, may also
45
collect information, if desired. Thus, sophisticated profiling
may result from responses of a user to a multimedia presen-
tation 158.
In another embodiment, or additional improvement to pre- 60
vious embodiments, a user interface 150 may be an execut-
able provided by the CD-ROM tag 60. The user interface may
supplant, cooperate with, or substitute for the lack of, a
browser 146 or other application 132, such as a viewer 147.
A launcher 152 may provide an independent launching 65
mechanism adapted to software 140 provided by the CD-
ROM tag 60. Nevertheless, a launcher 152 may simply exist
In general, applications for any particular function desired
by a vendor may be provided as part of the software 140 ofthe
CD-ROM tag 60.
Advertising specialties are typically engaging or useful
products that bear the name, identifying information, loca-
tion, and so forth of a vendor. Thus, various utilities and tools
that may have particular application to a user for managing
computer systems, managing information, and the like may
be provided as tools 162 or utilities 162 in a software package
140. As a practical matter, the advertising industry is much
larger than the software industry. Accordingly, a vendor may
well decide to provide various software tools 162 or utilities
162 at no charge, in order to provide more access of impres-
sions from the vendor to a user on the user's workstation 11,
64.
Another feature that is often regarded as highly desirable
by a user is games 164. Games 164 that use national trade-
marks, well-recognized characters, or game schemes, or the
like may be provided in the game 164. Again, the games 164
US 7,503,502 B2
9
may themselves include multimedia presentations 158 and
may provide direct or indirect input templates 156.
Other software 156 may be provided for any of a host of
purposes that may be desirable by a vendor or a user. Other
software 166 may include, for example, tests, skill evalua- 5
tions, any interactive exchange of information, or the like that
may be usefi.!l to the user or the vendor. The results of such
other software 166 may be stored for only a session or may be
stored for some period of time tor use at a later time by either
a vendor or a user, in accordance with authorizations by each 10
or either one.
Output data 168 and input data 169 may be viewed from the
point of view of the CD-ROM tag 60, a user, or a vendor.
Regardless, various inputs or various applications 160, pre-
sentations 158, inclu<ling the catalog 154, and so forth, may 15
be independent of the application 160 or executables. Thus,
the outputs 168 and inputs 169 may be perceived to contain
data used by the executables of the software package 140, as
well as information that may be provided to a user. Also, the
output data 168 and input data 169 may include data in addi- 20
tion to the data provided by the CD-ROM tag 60. For
example, certain of the data 168, 169 may be those items of
information provided in response to the input templates 156,
which information may be provided, at the user's <liscretion
back to vendors for the purpose of purchasing, selecting, 25
reporting, registering, or the like, products or purchases.
In certain embodiments, software 142 may actually be
installable on a non-volatile storage device 16 of a worksta-
tion 11, 64 of a user. Thus, an installer 170 may actually be
provided on the CD-ROM 60 or independently therefrom. 30
Output executables 172 may provide data from a user back
to a vendor. Meanwhile, input executables 174 may provide
for collection of information from a user. Part of the user input
executables 174 may actually be pre-programmed data pro-
vided by a vendor in association with a CD-ROM tag 60. 35
Accordingly, the input executable 174 may actually report
input data 178 already on a CD-ROM tag, identifYing product
purchases. However, the most useful input data 178 to a
vendor may be the product information available on a CD-
ROM 60 in association with inputs from a user regar<ling 40
personal preferences and purchasing patterns. Again, the rela-
tionship between input data 178 and output data 176 may be
considered with respect to a user, or with respect to the
executables 172, 174 or may be considered with respect to a
vendor or with respect to a user workstation 11, 64. Thus, one 45
need not be locked into any one frame of reference. Never-
theless, the inputs 178, and outputs 176, in general will pro-
vide information for transfer to and from executables 172,
174 hosted on a user workstation 11, 64, and may provide
information back to a vendor base computer 68. A significant 50
benefit of a CD-ROM tag 60 is to provide for the needs of a
user and the needs of a vendor in exchanging information.
Accordingly, a vendor more easily satisfies the needs of a user
or a purchaser by virtue of the available data 176, 178, while
a user can selectively authorize transmission of various data 55
17 4, 17 6 to and from a vendor base 68 or even an independent
third party server 66 according to only those authorizations
selected by a user.
Thus, in one embo<liment, the software 140, 142, 144 may
represent alternative mechanisms for collecting information 60
and storing the same for the user. Similarly, the information
may selectively, at a user's discretion, be transmitted from the
user workstation 11, 64 to a vendor base 68 at a point of
purchase or a time of purchase. Most users are happy to
provide necessary information to size or otherwise select 65
purchases. Information provided to a vendor may then be
discreetly used by the vendorin order to better capture demo-
10
graphic information correlating products, advertising cam-
paigns, sales, and the like, together.
Referring now to FIG. 7, additional and alternative details
of embodiments in accordance with an apparatus and method
of the invention may include executables 180, operational
data 182 (non-executables) and organic data 184. The term
"organic" as used herein reflects the military concept of
installed systems that are part and parcel of a particular orga-
nization or operation. In this instance, the organic data struc-
ture 184 reflect those software and file structures that are
installed or inherent on a user workstation 11, 64 independent
of the CD-ROM tag 60. Nevertheless, the organic data struc-
tures 184 may be executable in order to access or use opera-
tional data 182 provided by the CD-ROM tag 60.
Typically, a memory device 14 of a user workstation
includes various utilities 186 for performing the necessary
functions or desirable activities associated with the "care and
fee<ling" of the user workstation 11, 64. Typically various
applications 188 provide functional abilities for a user. For
example, Internet access, browsers, text editors, painting and
drawing programs, word processing, financial programs, and
the like are various applications 188 hosted by a user work-
station 11, 64. Likewise, games, e-mail, and other applica-
tions 188 or programs 188 are becoming ubiquitous by public
domain software, shareware, commercial software, and the
like.
The applications 188 operate "on top of' an operating
system 190. Of course, the utilities 186 may operate with
applications 188, or may operate as applications themselves
on the operating system 190.
Many workstations 11, 64, and sometimes operating sys-
tems 190 themselves, include launchers 192 for launching
applications 188. Browsers 194 are ubiquitous. A selected
few browsers are nearly universally installed. Thus, a browser
194 organic to a workstation 11, 64 may actually be presumed
to be one of a very few types. Thus, the CD-ROM tag 60 need
not include a browser 194, since a browser 194 may be pre-
sumed to be installed, so long as the selected few browsers are
supported.
Database managers 196 likewise are of several types. To
the extent that a database manager 196 already exists, a user
may elect not to use or may not need any type of a storage and
retrieval engine other than a database manager 196 organic to
the workstation 10, 16. Search engines 198 may be embodied
in database managers 196 or browsers 194. Alternatively,
other search engines may also exist as a result of various
needs or applications available to a user. Likewise, certain
search engines 198 are available over the Internet and need
only be accessed by internet client software.
Viewers 200 or players 200 are again ubiquitous. The
names are well known and the multimedia presentations play-
ers 200 are well documented. Any one of such viewers 200 or
players 200 may exist as an organic software article on a
workstation 11, 64. Editors 202 or at the higher end, word
processors 202 are likewise ubiquitous and well documented,
while being limited to only a few major players. E-mail
engines 204 exist as does other software 206. Accordingly, a
user may document, or the operating system 190 may pro-
vide, an identification of the typical organic software suite
192, 206. To the extent that a user wants to be spared the
tedium, the executables 180 may themselves determine the
organic software suite 192-206, thus obviating the need to
install specialty executables unique to the CD-ROM 60. Nev-
ertheless, executables 180 may be provided in order to deliver
to a user the full content of a CD-ROM tag 60, without
requiring any particular software suite 184.
US 7,503,502 B2
11
Associated with the software 192-206 may be various data
files 210 taking the form of documents 212 records 214 or
other files 216. Again, the storage format of the data files 210
will depend upon the software creating them. The executables
180 and operational data 182 may conform to the data files
210.
In certain embodiments a CD-ROM tag 60 may include
only operational data 182 and no executables 180. Typically,
an operating system 190 with various utilities 186 can protect
against viruses. Nevertheless, some reluctance to load
executables 180 may be avoided by providing only opera-
tional data 182 on a CD-ROM tag 60, to be executed by the
organic software 184 of a users individual workstation 11, 64.
Nevertheless, since a CD-ROM tag 60 comes from a respon-
sible supplier, and is in a format not available for tampering,
the executables 180 may be loaded with confidence.
Nevertheless, for saving space on a CD-ROM tag 60,
operational data 182 may consume considerably less space
than certain executables 180. Nevertheless, again, when dis-
cussing audio data or visual data, particularly animated data,
the operational data 182 may grow to substantial size.
In certain embodiments, application data 218 may include
user preferences or user settings 220. Most applications pro-
vide for such information tailored to a user's needs.
Again, the operational data 182 may correspond to the
organic software 184, or the new executables 180 installed as
a result of the CD-ROM tag 60. Applications 188 may have
their own individualized data peculiar, not to a user, but to the
application 188. Accordingly, application set up data 222 or
setups 222 may be provided as temporary or permanent con-
figuration data controlling the use and access to applications
188. Of course, the operational data 182 may all be applicable
to the executables 180, as well. Application files 224 may be
required data, or it may be the stored files 224 resulting from
execution of an application 188, 180.
Certain graphical user interface data 226 or icon data 226
supports ready access by a user to applications 188, 180.
Entertainment files providing images, operational data, sce-
narios, conditions, and the like for various gaming applica-
tions or other entertainment executables 265, 188 may be a
major portion of the operational data 182 provided in a CD-
ROM tag 60. For example, new game scenarios, music, sound
bites, presentations, video animations, and the like may form
12
under an agreement with the user not to provide user data
elsewhere. Alternatively, in certain embodiments, a base 68 or
a user 64 may provide to a third party server 66 certain
information. However, user response data 240 may be pro-
tected to any extent desired by a user and a vendor. Accord-
ingly, a vendor may obtain valuable and specific targeting
data so long as the vendor agrees to maintain such data in
confidence. For example, a user may desire repeatedly to
purchase certain selected brands of clothing. The user may
10 likewise have no qualms about providing sizing data, pur-
chases, style information, and the like to a vendor. However,
many users might have a great objection to having such infor-
mation generally available to random purchasers of targeting
information. Accordingly, the registration data 240 or
15 response date 240 may provide user options for the general-
ized availability of personal data.
The data 240 may include vendor data 242 taken directly
from the CD-ROM tag 60 or provided by a user. Vendor data
242 may be selected by a vendor and embedded on the CD-
20 ROM tag 60.
A data packaging module 244 may contain infornmtion
such as authorizations 246 permitted by a user. Likewise, any
questions or templates that fill out database records for a
vendor may be contained in the template content 248. The
25 data packaging module 244 may thus provide personal infor-
mation in the template content 248, bound to certain selected
and limited authorizations 246. The authorizations 246 may
have the effect of filtering the availability of the template
content 248 to a vendor or various vendors. Thus, the autho-
30 rizations 246 may provide to a user great comfort and great
control over the distribution of targeting information.
U scr profile response data 250 may be provided directly or
indirectly from a user workstation 11, 64. In general, the user
response data or the profile data 250 represents information of
35 value to the vendor, and only available from a user.
Product response data 252 or purchase response data 252
may be provided by a user, by the CD-ROM tag 60 itself, or
both. Depending on a user's willingness to respond toques-
tions, certain product data 252 may be provided. However,
40 since a vendor controls the manufacture of the CD-ROM a
vendor can place information in as much detail as desired on
a CD-ROM tag 60. Thus, a CD-ROM may simply be a gen-
eralized CD-ROM tag 60 associated with a vendor. Alterna-
a substantial entertainment file 228 of interest to a user, and
useful by an executable 180, 188 of a user workstation 11, 64. 45
tively, a CD-ROM may be produced in versions which are
specific to a style, color, stock number, sales distribution
outlet identification, or the like. Just as labeling on products
may be specific to a style, color, and the like, a CD-ROM tag
60 may be so specific. Alternatively, a vendor may produce
CD-ROM tags 60 having certain product data 252, and pro-
In certain embodiments, operational data 182 may be
embodied in an object 230 or various objects 230. Objects 230
may include strictly attributes 232 or may include sufficient
executables 234 embedded in the object 230 in order to pro-
vide access by a user to the attributes 232.
An audiovisual or multimedia catalog content 236 may
execute with an application 184 or an executable 180 such as
a catalog presentation 270. Again, catalog content 236 may be
50 viding rapid template inputs or selections of other details. For
example, a style may be indicated by the data 252 provided
directly to the CD-ROM. Other response data 252 may
involve user selection of color, size, or the like. Thus, the
a major benefit to a vendor as well as a desirable benefit to a
user. Moreover, if the catalog content 236 may be filtered 55
according to user preferences, and presented in a dynamic and
engaging format, the catalog content 236 may have great
commercial value to a vendor and to a user in providing
targeted messages to a desiring audience.
One major benefit to CD-ROM tag 60 may be the facilita- 60
tion of registration data 240 or response data 240 from a user
back to a vendor. The data 240 may be provided from a user
workstation 11, 64 to a base computer 68 of a vendor, or to a
centralized server 66. In certain embodiments, a user may
have few qualms about providing information from a work- 65
station 11, 64 to a base 68 over an internetwork 50, knowing
that the base 68 is controlled and owned by a specific vendor
CD-ROM tag 60 contains the style information and vendor
information and perhaps certain distribution information,
whereas the response data 252 provided by a user directly
may include color, size, and additional purchase point infor-
mation.
Linking data 254 may be inside linking data 255 or outside
linking data 256. Inside linking data 255 may be thought of as
binding information linking, for example, products and pur-
chase response data 252 with user profile and user response
data 250. Inside linking data 255 may include authorizations
246 linking to selected content 248 obtained from templates.
Thus, the inside linking data 255 may be quite specific, and
quite controlled. By contrast, the outside linking data 256
may provide information necessary to link as seamlessly as
US 7,503,502 B2
13 14
The registration engine 272 may represent the executable
portion 272 designed to provide the registration response date
240. For example, the authorization module 273 may provide
the questions, explanations, and controls, or may use the
possible the user workstation 11, 64 to a vendor base 68 or
third party server 66. Thus, for example, the outside linking
data 256 may provide addresses and sets of information for
ready engagement of a browser 194 or viewer 200, or even
e-mail 204. The CD-ROM tag 60 may facilitate a very rapid,
user-friendly, and transparent link back to a vendor.
To the extent that a user station 11, 64 does not contain a
specific, required article of organic software 184, an execut-
able 180 may be provided for the function. As a practical
matter, a launcher 258 may not be necessary if launchers 192
are organic. Launchers 192 are often embedded in operating
systems 190.
5 information provided for, the authorization 246. Thus, the
authorization module 273 may be thought of as the executable
273 responsible for generating, using, or both, the authoriza-
tion data 246. Similarly, an I-0 module 274 may provide the
connection mechanism for using the linking data 254 in order
10 to input or output data generated by the registration engine
272.
A profile builder 276 may be simple or sophisticated. The
profile builder 276 may be thought of as executable 180
responsible for providing user profile data 250. Profile builder
276 may also provide linking between user profile and
response data 250 and the product of purchase response data
252. Thus, the profile builder 276 may provide data 250, 252
as well as linking data 254.
An inference engine 277 may be hosted in a user worksta-
Nevertheless, to the extent that they are not available as
organic software 184, a browser259, a viewer260, and e-mail
program 261, a fax sending or receiving program 262, a 15
player 263 for audio, video, or other data, or a broker 264 for
accessing any of the applications 258-263 or any of the appli-
cations 192-206 may be provided on the CD-ROM tag 60.
The functionality of each of these applications 192-206 and
applications 258-263 are clear from their names or titles.
A broker 264 may be thought of as a user interface for
selecting and engaging a particular executable 258-263 or
application 192-206 on behalf of a user. Thus, a broker 264
may effectively navigate between various applications or
executables seamlessly, with a minimum of interruption and
25
input by a user.
20 tion 11, 64 or may be hosted in the base 68 to be operated on
the base CPU 12, or may be hosted in the CPU 12 of a server
66. In general, the inference engine 277 may actually be a
rather sophisticated and complex software module 277.
Entertainment 265 may be a major draw for certain classes
of users. Accordingly, proprietary, novel, or licensed enter-
tainment 265 may take the form of music, videos, demonstra-
tions, education, games, skill tests, and the like. Entertain-
30
ment 265 may be interactive to provide user information.
An installer 266 may or may not be required depending on
the particular nature of executables 258-265. Again, an
installer 266 may be obviated by the presence of an installer
35
266 in association with the organic software 184 when pur-
chased. Alternatively, to the extent that an installer 266 is
necessary to install or uninstall executables 180, the installer
266 may be provided on the CD-ROM tag 60. Since so many
applications share libraries, the installer 266 may be neces-
40
sary in order to obtain the security and the access needed for
proper set up of a user workstation 11, 64.
As discussed above, executables 180 may take the form of
objects 267, wherein sufficient attributes 268 to operate cer-
tain executables 269 are provided within the object 267.
45
Alternatively, the attributes 268 may be significant and a
result of user inputs to access the executables 269. Thus, the
comparative size and significance of the attributes 268 and
executables 269 need not be prejudiced in favor of either one.
A catalog presentation 270 is an executable 180 for pre- so
senting a catalog. The catalog presentation 270 may have data
contained therein, but may preferably be only the executable
180with thecontent236exchangeable. Thus, a single catalog
presentation executable 270 may be provided on a single
CD-ROM tag 60. Later on, additional CO-ROMs may change 55
content 236 or add content 236 that may still be accessed by
the single original catalog presentation executable 270.
Similarly, templates 271 may provide input formats, ques-
tionnaires, record styles, and the like. Templates 271 may be
animated to be more engaging. The templates 271 may be 60
nested series of numerous question fields that are automati-
cally filtered according to previous answers. Accordingly, the
templates 271 may be quite sophisticated. However, as with
the catalog presentation 270, the templates 271 may benefit
from having the executables 271 separate from the vendor 65
date 242, data packaging information 244, user profile date
250, or product data 252 separately stored.
Accordingly, the inference engine 277 is typically a portion of
a vendor's analysis tools. Linkers 280 may be incorporated
within the profile builder or registration engine, but may also
be outside. As a practical matter, linkers 280 may be associ-
ated with a broker 264. That is, in general, the linking data 254
is created to be used. Some engine must use the linking data
in order to make the links between operational data 182, or
between a user workstation 11, 64 and a vendor base 68 or
server 66. Thus, the linkers 280 may be embodied within the
broker 264, or may be accessed by the broker 264. In certain
embodiments a browser 259 may obviate the need for a broker
264 or linkers 280. On the other hand, the engines that form
and manage the links back to a vendor, may be provided by
the linkers 280. Other executables 278 may serve additional
functions requested by a user or a vendor.
Referring to FIG. 8, a collection 282 of CO-ROMs 60 may
actually involve the electronic series 283 or indices 284 of the
content of multiple CD-ROM tags 60. For example, CO-
ROMs 60 may contain substantial amounts of information
that a user does not desire, in general, to store on a storage
device 16 in a user station 11, 64. Accordingly, the collection
283 or the index 284 may simply be responsible to provide
sufficient linking information to readily access information
on CO-ROMs 60. Alternatively, certain specific information
may be stored in the collection 282, with the more massive
information on CO-ROMs 60. In certain embodiments, the
CO-ROMs 60 may be dispensed with and the indices 284 may
provide links back to a web site 68 or base 68 from which
updated information from executables 180 or operational
data 182 may be downloaded to a user on demand. Thus, the
CD-ROM may contain the initial information and setup
involved, while the actual content (e.g. operational data 182)
may be updated and downloaded automatically or in response
to user requests.
Interactions illustrated in FIG. 8 between the user work-
station 64 and the base 68 or other server 66 need not go
outside the browser 259, viewer 260, player 263, or search
engine 285. That is, the collection 282 may be accessed from
within the single computer 64, without access to an internet-
work 50 to contact the base 68 or server 66. An actual index
284 of the content of the collection 282 may be provided and
searched by the indexing and search engine 285. The indexing
and searching engine 285 may be thought of as the database
engine maintaining a database 284 of index information
US 7,503,502 B2
15
related to the content of the collection 282. Access to the
collection 282 may be obtained by one or more of the browser
259, 260 engine 285, and player 263, or other access software
292. In certain embodiments, e-mail 261 may be used to
access the information 282 and forward it to another location. 5
Typically, a browser 259 or e-mail 261 may have immediate
access over an internetwork 50 to other servers 66, 68.
An optional local broker 286 may navigate between the
available applications 180 or executables 180 including the
browser 259 e-mail 261, and the like. However, the local 10
broker 286 is strictly optional. For example, a browser 259 or
Internet browser 259 may access the collection 282 and pro-
vide date back to the server 66 or the base 68 and vice-versa.
Nevertheless, a broker 286 may be configured as described
above in the broker 264 of FIG. 7. The broker 286 has a 15
16
the CD-ROM provider 296 to construct the operational data
182 and executables 180 of FIG. 7. As a result, the CD-ROM
provider296 delivers 297 or provides 297 a design298 for the
CD-ROM hang-tag 60. The design 298 may include both
graphic design and software architecture as well as data struc-
ture architecture for the operational data. The CD-ROMs 60
are then provided 299.
Meanwhile, a vendor 294 provides 302 product 300 to be
associated with the CD-ROM tags 60. The CD-ROM tags 60
may be attached to the product 300 by any suitable means,
including tethering, adhesives, packaging, and the like. Thus,
the CD-ROM tag 60 is associated with the product 300 for
delivery 304 to a user 306. The user 306 separates the CD-
ROM tag 60 from the product 300 and installs 308 the CD-
ROM tag 60 on the workstation 64.
As described with respect to FIGS. 1-8, the workstation 64
may then establish links 310 with the server 66 which may
include engines, servers, databases, and the like as described
above. Similarly, the workstation 64 may establish links 310
function of integrating, if desired, and providing a user inter-
face that does not demand of a user continual switching
between, or worse, launching and exiting, various application
software.As illustrated in FIG. 8, the user workstation 64 may
provide or acquire information from the central database
server 289 by means of a central interface broker 288. That is,
the central interface broker 288 may cooperate with the local
broker 286, or in the absence of a local broker 286 may
cooperate directly with a viewer 260 or browser 259. Alter-
natively, a user may access directly a private database server
291 in the base 68, with or without a private interface broker
290. The purpose of the brokers 288, 290 may be designed by
20 with the base 68 or base server 68 associated with the vendor
294. Accordingly, the workstation 64 may obtain data from
the servers 66, 68, and deliver data to the databases of the
servers 66, 68.
a vendor or a third party. However, in order to facilitate ease
of access to servers 66, or the actual data stores 289 and server
68, including the actual data stored 291, information must be
transported in a format recognizable and useful by a control-
ling executable. Since an individual user may have a work-
station 64 having a viewer 260, a viewer may be the only
mechanism available to access the collection 282 of CD-
ROM tag information, and update it. Alternatively, some
internet browsers 259 may be available. In some instances,
only e-mail 261 is available. Likewise, only some database
management engine 285 or some particular player 263, such
Referring now to FIG. 10 another embodiment of the
25
invention is presented as a user-computer-readable medium
imbedded in a product label410 (herein the label). The label
410 may be configured to be a hang tag as the term is used in
the clothing and retail industries, any hanging tag configured
to be attached to a product using a tether 75, or any tag
30
configured to be attached to a product in any other manner.
Penetrations 76 may be provided with tethers 75 for con-
necting a label 410 to various products. For example, in the
clothing industry, various types of tethering mechanisms have
35
been developed to facilitate automatic insertion of secure-
ment mechanisms with minimum labor and minimum cost.
Nevertheless, alternative embodiments may operate indepen-
dent of the tethers 75.
Referring to FIG. 10 while continuing to refer generally to
FIGS. 3-5, the label410 maybe substituted for CD-ROM tag
60. Accordingly the label60, 410 is formed to display on an
outer surlace 434 information 484. The inlormation 484 may
include facts about the product and facts about the source of
the product. Information 484 may be conveyed directly
through the use of printed words, symbols, trade marks, ser-
vice marks, pictures, and the like. The information 484 may
also be conveyed through the selection of the color or shape of
the label 410. The information 484 may include a product
name, brand name, vendor name, or other name 78, vendor
as a multimedia player, or the like, may be available. Accord-
ingly, the availability of brokers 286, 288, 290 may be 40
optional. However, the brokers basically can facilitate inter-
action by repackaging inlormation according to different pro-
tocols in certain instances. Thus, the brokers 286, 288, 290
may all be optional. However, a third party controlling the
server 66 may desire to have a central interface broker 288 in 45
order to accommodate more information in more formats for
more sources. Likewise, a vendor of products, by controlling
the base 68 or base server 68 may desire to have a private
interface broker 290 in order to facilitate access to informa-
tion and receipt of information in a variety of formats. 50
identification 80, slogans 82, messages 84, other marks 86 or
trademarks 86, logos 88, and images 90 or symbols 90.
Effectively, in the system of FIG. 8, operating with the
hardware and software configurations of FIGS. 1-7, may
exchange information between a central third party control-
ling a server 66, a vendor controlling a server 68, and a user
controlling a workstation 64.
In general, a shape 92 or an edge 92 may also provide the
information 484. Any shape that will still function with a
drive 62 may be suitable. In certain embodiments, a label60,
55 410 may have vertices 94 or corners 94. As a practical matter,
a label 60, 410 may be the standard shape for the particular
medium or formed in a variety of shapes as illustrated in
FIGS. 3-4 and 10.
The database stores 289, 291 may contain information
obtained from user workstations 64 with user authorizations.
Accordingly, the users may request by pulling information
and vendors may push by providing, according to user autho-
rization, data from the data stores 289, 291. Thus, a free flow 60
of targeted product information to user workstations 64 fil-
tered according to user desires and profiles is facilitated.
Referring to FIG. 9, an apparatus and method in accor-
dance with the invention may be implemented by a system
293 or method 293. In one embodiment, a vendor 294 con- 65
trolling a base 68 or base server 68 may provide 295 the
information required by a CD-ROM provider 296 in order for
A computer-readable medium product label 410 may be
substituted for the CD-ROM tag 60.Accordingly, if an optical
medium, such as CD-ROM 460, or DVD 468, is selected, the
label 60 may be of any suitable arbitrary weight-balanced
configuration. For other types of media such as a floppy disk
470, an industry-standard size, shape, or both may be dic-
tated. A tether 75, secured through a penetration 76, may
secure the label 60 to a product. As a practical matter, pen-
etrations 76 may be distributed in a balanced fashion to pre-
US 7,503,502 B2
17
vent even small variations in the balance on a label 60, 410,
particularly if the label410 is a CO-Rim 460 or a DVD 468.
In one embodiment, the choice of a computer-readable
medium may include an optical medium such as a DVD 468
or CD-ROM 460. In other embodiments, the computer-read- 5
able medium may include a magnetic medium such as mag-
netic strip 464 or floppy disk 470. In other embodiments, the
computer-readable medium may be a symbolic code such as
a bar code 462. In yet other embodiments, the choice of a
computer-readable medium may include firmware 366 such 10
as a card with an embedded chip.
The computer-readable medium couples to the tag 410
other information 486 in a computer-readable format. The
information 486 of the label410 may be configured, selected,
and operable the same as the various software 140, 142, and 15
144 corresponding to the CD-Rom hang tag 60 in FIG. 6. The
information 486 may also correspond to the executables and
operational data 182 of the CO-Rom hang tag 60. Accord-
ingly, the information 486 may include product facts, source
facts, new product facts, service facts, a game, a data gather- 20
ing interface, a test, a browser, a launcher, or the like and a
network identifier (e.g. address, URL) corresponding to a
location where additional information may be available.
Referring again to FIGS. 8-9, the collection 282 of media
tags 60 may also be a collection 282 of labels 410, each 25
capable of all the uses and functionality thereof. The process
system 293 or method 293 may apply to labels 410 as well as
18
ing, footgear 450 is another ideal product 412 for use with a
label 410. The packaging of the footgear 450 may tend to
prevent the label 410 from being damaged prior to purchase
of the product 412 by a consumer.
The label 410, usable as illustrated and described in con-
junction with a garment 414, a toy 440, and a footgear 450,
may rely on of the ability of these products to provide the
needed padding and protection of the label 410 prior to pur-
chase by a consumer. However, it will be appreciated by those
of skill in the art that the label 410 may be configured to
function in conjunction with other products 412 that may
require additional measures to insure that the label 410 is
delivered to a consumer without damage. These other prod-
ucts may include headgear, foodstuffs, furniture, materials,
equipment, appliances, sporting goods, dry goods, tools,
machinery, plants, and the like. With such products, labels
410 may be packaged, shipped, or both independently from
the product, and attached at the site of retail display. Labels
410 may be shipped with sufficient padding or other suitable
packaging structures to protect from heat, bending, breakage,
warping, weather, impact, magnetic fields, or the like.
Referring to FIG. 14, different types oftethers 75 may be
employed. In one illustrated embodiment, a string tether 472
may be matched with a product 412 having a button hole 472.
The label 410 may be attached to the string 472 through a
penetration 76. The string may be looped or tied to create a
double strand of string 472. The double stranded string 472
may passed through the button hole 472. The label 410 may
to media tags 60. A computer-readable medium embodied in
product a label410 may perform as a CO-Rom tag 60 or other
media tag 60. 30 pass back through the resulting loop forming a knot 474
securing the label 410 to the product 412. A knot 474 may
attach a string tether 472 to a button 422 by a wrapping of
double stranded string around the base of the button 422 and
Referring to FIG. 11, a product 412 is illustrated with labels
410 attached at various locations. In the illustrated embodi-
ment, the product 412 is a garment 414. Many currently
available computer-readable media are fragile and require
some degree of padding or other protection during shipping. 35
For this purpose, the garment 414 is a suitable product 412 to
passing the attached label through the resulting loop.
In alternative embodiments, a pin 478 may be used to
attach the string tether 472 to the product 412. The pin 478
may be attached to the product 412 by inserting the pin 478
through the outer surface 432 of the product 412. The string
472 may be tied to the pin using a square knot 482 or another
be packaged in conjunction with the label 410. The garment
414 may be made of soft, cushioning fabric that will protect
the label410 during packaging, handling, shipping, and dis-
play of the product 412 prior to purchase by a consumer.
40 knot 482.
The garment 414 has an associated exterior 418 and an
interior 420. Depending on the type of garment 414, other
features of the garment 414 may include an attached tag 416,
a button 422, a button hole 424, a pocket 426, a sleeve 428, a
cuff 430, and the like. A tether 75 may attach the label410 to 45
the garment 414 at any of the previously mentioned features
or at other locations where ever labels may be serviceably
attached by manufactures and retailers.
Referring now to FIG. 12, another embodiment of a prod-
uct 412, may be a toy 440. A toy 440 may be a stuffed animal 50
440 as shown or any other type oftoy 440. A stuffed toy 440
may provide the same beneficial padding and protection for
the label410 as the garment 414.
A toy 440 may have one or more features significant for
tagging, such as, for example, an appendage 442, an ear 444, 55
an exterior surface 418, an arm 446, an attached fabric tag
416, or the like for receiving the label410. The label410 may
be attached to the toy 440 by a tether 75 secured at any of these
or other accessible features.
Referring now to FIG. 13, a type offootgear 450 is illus- 60
trated as one embodiment of a product 412. An eyelet 452, a
lace 454, an exterior surface 418, an interior 420, and other
features of a footgear 450 may be accessible. A tether 75 may
attach the label 414 to the footgear 450 at these or other
features without damaging the footgear 450. Because foot- 65
gear 450 may be somewhat soft in some locations and is
frequently shipped and sold in boxes and other hard packag-
Additionally, a stop 480 may be attached to the string 472
and passed through a button hole 424. The stop 480 may be
made by attaching an end of a string to a crossbar, such as an
elongated, thin piece of plastic, metal, wood, or the like. The
length of the stop 480 tends to position itself across the button
hole 424. Thus, the stop 480 may easily enter the button hole
424 when inserted end-first but will only exit the button hole
424 when carefully oriented by a user in the same manner.
With most of the disclosed methods of attachment, the
string 472 may actually be made of any suitable, functional
material. For example suitable materials may include plastic,
cotton, paper, nylon, hemp, or other natural or manmade
stranded materials.
In another embodiment tether a 75 may be a T-tether 476
made of a thin, flexible piece of plastic with a rigid stop
(crossbar or"T) at each end. The T-tether476 may be attached
to product 412 through the conventional, attached product or
material label416 or through a surface 432 ofthe product 412.
Referring to FIG. 5, a user-computer-readable label 410
may be substituted for a CD-ROM tag 60. A sleeve 110 or
substrate 112 may mount or otherwise secure a label410/60
to a product 412. The sleeve 110 or substrate 112 may be
secured directly to a package, or tethered thereto by a tether
75 by any suitable method, such as those illustrated in FIGS.
3-5. In one embodiment, a backing 114 may connect to a
cover 116 having a seam 117 for securing or bonding 117 the
US 7,503,502 B2
19
cover 116 to the backing 114.Alabel410, 60maybe inserted
between the cover 116 and backing 114 forming a sleeve 110
or envelope 110.
In other embodiments, a pedestal 120 or stub 120 may
penetrate the aperture 61 to retain a label 410, 60. In certain 5
embodiments, a foot 121 of a pedestal 120 may secure the
pedestal120 to a substrate 112 or backing 114. A keeper 122
may serve to retain the label410, 60 on the pedestal120. In
selected embodiments, fingers 123 may provide both aped-
estal and retention function. In other embodiments, a detent 10
124may secure or engage a label410, 60 withapedestal120.
20
The selection 520 of the type of medium may depend on a
number of factors including for example medium availability,
storage capacity, storage density, durability, cost of produc-
tion, and availability of medium readers among target con-
sumers. In one embodiment, optical media such as a CD-
ROM 460 or DVD 468 maybe selected. The optical media are
readily available, have a large storage capacity, are durable,
are inexpensive, enjoy wide use among consumers. Other
types of media such as symbolic media and firmware media
do not enjoy wide distribution of readers among consumers
but may grow in popularity as the installed base of reading
devices grows.
If an optical medium is selected, manufacture 510 may
require the selection of a resin 530, selection of a shape 532,
In certain embodiments, a lock 126 may engage a catch 128
for securing a keeper 122 in or on a pedestal120. The mecha-
nism for latching the lock 126 catch 128 may be selected from
a virtually infinite number mechanical engagements. 15 formation 534 of substrates, information selection 536,
imprinting of the label 538, and quality control 540. Resin
selection 530 may be made from among the types of resin
known in the art. Shape selection 532 may accommodate
Referring now to FIGS.l5 and 16, a packaged product 490
may be a product 412 surrounded by packaging 492. In one
embodiment, the packaging 492 may be soft packaging 494.
Soft packaging 494 may comprise any suitable envelope, a
bag, or other covering made of plastic, paper, cloth, or other 20
flexible or flaccid material.
In another embodiment, the packaging 492 may be hard
packaging 496. Hard packaging 496 may be a box, case,
frame, or the like and may be made of paper, cardboard,
wood, metal, or other comparatively stiff and strong struc- 25
tural material.
A label410 may be attached to a packaged product 490 by
securement to an unpackaged product 412 later inserted into
the packaging 492. For example, in the embodiment illus-
trated in FIG. 15, the label 410 is attached by a string tether 30
472 to a button 422 and then inserted into a pocket 426.
The label410 may also be attached directly to the packag-
ing 492 by a tether 75 by any of the previously discussed
methods and structures or another more suitable. In the
embodiment of FIG. 15, the tether 75 is attached to the pack- 35
aging 492 by a fastener. The fastener 498 may be a staple, a
sticker, a pin, aT-tether, a rivet, glue, or the like. If the fastener
498 has a significant surface area, as, for example a sticker,
the fastener may have printed on a face or otherwise convey
fastener a message 500. The fastener message 500 may cor- 40
respond to information 484.
A label 410 may also be attached by an adhesive 502
directly to a surface 493 of the packaging 492 or the product
412. 1he adhesive 502 may securely hold the label410 to the
packaging 492, yet be readily removable from the label 410. 45
Referring now to FIG. 17, a product 412 may have an
exterior 418 and an interior 420. The label 410 may be
attached to the product 412 to be positioned at least partially
in the interior ofthe product. The label 410 may be secured by
a tether 75 and penetration 76 in the attached product or 50
materials label416to position the label410 in the interior420
of the garment 414. The label410 may also be secured to a
button 422 a tether 75. The label 410 may be placed in a
pocket 426, one interior region 420 of the product 412.
Referring to FIG. 18, one schematic block diagram illus- 55
trates a process of! abel manufacture 510. Initial manufacture
512 of blank computer-readable media may. precede the
selection 514 of the computer-readable content to be stored in
computer-readable medium. Writing 516 the content to the
computer-readable medium may be followed by quality con- 60
trol 518 process.
Referring now to FIG. 19, blank manufacture 512 may
begin with selection 520 of the type of computer-readable
medium to be relied upon. In the illustrated embodiment, a
user may, for example, select from an optical medium 522, 65
symbolic medium 524, magnetic medium 526, firmware
medium 528, or the like.
several variables. For example, for an optical medium, cur-
rent technology dictates a symmetrical balanced shape to spin
evenly. Addition of precisely placed ballast may be used in
certain embodiments. The shape may be selected to convey
the information 484. For example, if a manufacturer of a
product 412 has a readily recognizable shape in its trademark,
the shape may be selected as the shape of the optical medium.
Once a resin selection 530 and shape selection 532 is
complete, the formation of the substrate 534 may occur.
Selection 536 of the information 484 to be printed on the label
410 may involve consideration of the type of information to
be conveyed by the label41 0 and the manner in which it is to
be conveyed. Information 484 may be conveyed through the
shapcofthcmedium.Likewisecolorofamediumorthecolor
printed on the medium may convey information 484.
Pictures and graphics may be printed on or adhered to the
medium in a manner to convey information 484. Words may
be printed on or adhered to the label 410 in order to convey
information 484. Once the selection 536 of the information
484 is complete, the information 538 may be imprinted 484
onto the label 410. Thereafter it may be useful to have a
system available for sampling and verifYing the quality of the
produced blank labels 410.
If a type of medium other than an optical medium 522 is
selected, additional steps may be relied upon. For example, if
a symbolic code medium 524 is selected, the selection of the
material 542 on which the code is to be imprinted may be
necessary. Selected materials 542 may include paper, card-
board, fabric, plastic, and the like. The material selected 542
may depend on the type of reader available.
The symbolic code 543 itself may include dots, images, bar
codes, or the like. The process of manufacture may be the
analogous to those for the optical medium commencing with
selection of shape 532.
If a magnetic medium 526 is selected, an additional step of
type selection may be warranted. Currently, several configu-
rations of magnetic media are available, including floppy
disks, zip disks, magnetic strips, magnetic tape, and so forth.
Size and storage considerations may favor any one of these
types of magnetic media over another. in certain applications.
However, wherever technology provides a certain standard
configuration for each of these type of magnetic media, the
process may be analogous to that for the optical process 522
at the formation step 534.
Firmware 528 may also be selected as a computer-readable
medium. The firmware may be a chip 466 imbedded in a
substrate such as a plastic card. The chip may contain com-
puter-readable information that can be accessed when the
chip is positioned to be accessible by a computer. Technology
US 7,503,502 B2
21
may dictate many aspects of the chip including its shape. The
manufacturing process may then be analogous to the optical
medium process 522 at the formation step 534.
22
7. The article of manufacture of claim 1, wherein the com-
puter readable medium comprises a chip.
8. The article of manufacture of claim 1, wherein the prod-
uct comprises packaging and the tether suspends the com-
puter readable medium from the packaging.
9. The article of manufacture of claim 1, wherein the com-
puter readable medium stores computer readable data about
the product.
Referring to FIGS. 18 & 20, content selection 514 may
include the selection of the other information 486 corre- 5
sponding to data files and executable files. The data selection
550 may depend on the data the vendor wants to covey to and
collect from a user. Executables selection 552 may depend on
whether the executables are organic 534 to a user's system
installable files 556.
10. The article of manufacture of claim 1, wherein the
10 computer readable medium stores computer data about a
source of the product.
Referring to FIG.18, writing 516 may be directly related to
the type of medium selected. The labels may be examined 518
for quality control and then be available to be affixed to a
product by a suitable means.
From the above discussion, it will be appreciated that the 15
present invention provides a product labeling apparatus and
method that provides entertainment or other useful products
to a user, while providing links and implementation thereof
back to a vendor of services or products. Advertising impres-
sions and hot links may continue long after a product is used. 20
Accordingly, user information may be provided for use by
user, a vendor, or both. Meanwhile, product information may
be provided from a vendor to a user. The data and software
provided on a product label containing a computer-readable
medium may thus facilitate the data needs of a vendor while 25
providing a personal data repository for ready control and
access by a user. Meanwhile, focused links may provide ready
communication over the internet between a vendor and a
purchaser for the benefit of each.
The present invention may be embodied in other specific 30
forms without departing from its essential characteristics.
The described embodiments are to be considered in all
respects as illustrative only, and not restrictive. The scope of
the invention is, therefore, indicated by the appended claims,
rather than by the foregoing description. All changes within 35
the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are to be
embraced within their scope.
What is claimed and desired to be secured by United States
Letters Patent is:
1. An article of manufacture, comprising
a product displayed for sale to a retail purchaser at a retail
site, and
40
11. The article of manufacture of claim 1, wherein the
computer readable medium stores data that a playback device
presents to a the retail purchaser.
12. The article of manufacture of claim 1, wherein the
computer readable medium has an external shape that con-
veys information regarding a source of the product.
13. The article of manufacture of claim 1, wherein the
tether comprises string.
14. The article of manufacture of claim 1, wherein the
computer readable medium comprises a penetration, and
wherein the tether extends through the penetration to secure
the computer readable medium to the product.
15. The article of manufacture of claim 1, further compris-
ing a sleeve, wherein the sleeve holds the computer readable
medium, and the tether suspends the computer readable
medium ±rom the product by suspending the sleeve from the
product.
16. A system comprising;
a retail site corresponding to a vendor;
an embodiment of a consumer product corresponding to a
supplier, the embodiment displayed and offered for sale
at the retail site;
a tag displaying advertising to a shopper of the retail site,
the advertising corresponding to at least one of the ven-
dor, supplier, and consumer product, the tag comprising
a computer-readable medium distinct from the con-
sumer product and storing instructions executable by a
computing device of the shopper; and
a link comprising a mechanical fastener connecting the tag
to the embodiment, presenting the advertising visible to
the shopper.
17. The system of claim 16, wherein the computer-readable a hang tag advertising to the retail purchaser the product,
the hang tag comprising a computer readable medium
distinct from the product and storing instructions
executable by a computing device of the retail purchaser,
and
45
medium comprises a logo corresponding to at least one of the
vendor, supplier, and consumer product, the logo being
printed on at least one external surface of the computer-
readable medium.
18. The system of claim 16, wherein the computer-readable a tether suspending the computer readable medium from
the product.
2. The article of manufacture of claim 1, wherein the tether
secures the computer readable medium to the product such
that the computer readable medium comprises a physical
object providing thereon advertising information directly vis-
ible to the retail purchaser shopping the retail site.
50
medium comprises a trademark corresponding to at least one
of the vendor, supplier, and consumer product, the trademark
printed on at least one external surface of the computer-
readable medium.
19. The system of claim 16, wherein the computer-readable
55
medium is shaped to identify at least one of the vendor,
3. The article of manufacture of claim 1, wherein the com-
puter readable medium comprises an optical disc readable by
a compact disc drive.
4. The article of manufacture of claim 1, wherein the com-
puter readable medium comprises an optical disc readable by 60
a DVD disc drive.
5. The article of manufacture of claim 1, wherein the com-
puter readable medium comprises an optical computer read-
able medium.
6. The article of manufacture of claim 1, wherein the com- 65
puter readable medium comprises an electromagnetic com-
puter readable medium.
supplier, and consumer product.
20. A system comprising:
a retail site corresponding to a vendor;
an embodiment corresponding to a consumer product pro-
vided by a supplier, the embodiment comprising the
consumer product contained within packaging, the
embodiment displayed and offered for sale at the retail
site; and
a tag distinct from the consumer product and connected to
the packaging and displaying, to a shopper within the
retail site, advertising corresponding to at least one of
the vendor, supplier, and consumer product; and
US 7,503,502 B2
23
the tag comprising a computer-readable medium distinct
from the consumer product and storing instructions
executable by a computing device of the shopper.
21. The system of claim 20, wherein the computer readable
medium comprises a logo, corresponding tu at least one of the 5
vendor, supplier, and consumer product, printed upon at least
one external surface of the computer-readable medium.
22. The system of claim 20, wherein the computer readable
medium comprises a trademark corresponding to at least one
of the vendor, supplier, and consumer product printed upon at 1 o
least one external surface of the computer-readable medium.
24
23. The system of claim 20, wherein the computer readable
medium is shaped to identify at least one of the vendor,
supplier, and consumer product.
24. The system of claim 20, wherein the computer readable
medium further stores at least one of product facts, source
facts, new product facts, service facts, a data gathering inter-
face, and a network identifier corresponding to a location of
additional information.
* * * * *
c12) United States Patent
Montague
(54) CONSUMER-COMPUTER-READABLE
PRODUCTLABELAPPARATUSAND
METHOD
(75) Inventor: David R. Montague, Mapleton, UT
(US)
(73) Assignee: Etagz, Inc, Provo, UT (US)
( *) Notice: Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this
patent is extended or adjusted under 35
U.S.C. 154(b) by 0 days.
This patent is subject to a terminal dis-
claimer.
(21) Appl. No.: 12/398,112
(22) Filed: Mar. 4, 2009
(65)
(63)
(51)
(52)
(58)
(56)
Prior Publication Data
US 2009/0173792Al Jul. 9, 2009
Related U.S. Application Data
Continuation of application No. 11/622,350, filed on
Jan. 11, 2007, now Pat. No. 7,503,502, which is a
continuation of application No. 09/488,079, filed on
Jan. 20, 2000, which is a continuation-in-part of appli-
cationNo. 09/306,077, filed on May 6, 1999, now Pat.
No. 6,298,332.
Int. Cl.
G06K 19100 (2006.01)
G06Q 30100 (2006.01)
U.S. Cl. ......................................... 235/487; 705/14
Field of Classification Search ................. 235/487,
235/383; 705/14
See application file for complete search history.
References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
2,020,381 A 11/1935 Labowitz eta!.
I IIIII
CA
1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
US007703686B2
(10) Patent No.: US 7,703,686 B2
(45) Date of Patent: *Apr. 27, 2010
2,714,448 A 8/1955 Brown
2,973,410 A 2/1961 Hoshino et a!.
(Continued)
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
2176321 5/1996
(Continued)
OTHER PUBLICATIONS
Danny Rogers, Asda nears 50% own-label sales, Marketing pp. 1,
Dec. 7, 1998, pp. 1.
(Continued)
Primary Examiner-Daniel A Hess
(74) Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Law OfC SC Harris
(57) ABSTRACT
A user-computer-readable medium provides all or part of a
product labeling system for engaging purchasers.
Executables, data, or both are recorded in the medium embod-
ied in a tag or other product labeling structure, in order to
deliver to a consumer or purchaser engaging presentations of
products, infommtion, or registration templates. As a result,
purchasers may receive launchers, browsers, viewers, e-mail
systems, facsimile centers, players, or interface brokers for
the foregoing, if organically installed already on a worksta-
tion of a purchaser. Software may provide catalog presenta-
tions, user registration templates, communications, linkers,
or engines, and the like. Operation modules and profile build-
ers may provide information over ready links implemented by
software on the medium. In certain embodiments, entertain-
ment, games, skill tests, and the like, recorded in the medium
as a tag or label may execute to engage a purchaser and
provide purchaser profiling information, product purchasing
information, and the like to a vendor, while providing addi-
tional product information, warranty registrations, applica-
tions, entertainment, or the like, to a purchaser.
20 Claims, 20 Drawing Sheets
EXHIBIT
I ~ ~
US 7,703,686 B2
Page2
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS 6,2I6,112 BI
6,405,203 BI
7,0 I0,876 BI
4/200 I Fuller et al.
6/2002 Collart
3/2006 Siegel et al.
6/200I Redford et al.
3,000,640 A 9/1961
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4,812,633 A 3/1989
4,831,244 A 5/1989
4,868,373 A 9/I989
5,I53,842 A 10/I992
5,217,056 A 6/1993
5,284,689 A 2/I994
5,309,355 A 5/1994
5,333,106 A 7/I994
5,375,240 A 12/1994
5,576,95I A ll/I996
5,6ll,051 A 3/1997
5,7I0,886 A I/I998
5,7ll,672 A l/1998
5,776,586 A 7/I998
5,794,213 A 8/I998
5,805,I64 A 9/I998
5,809,48I A 9/I998
5,825,292 A 10/1998
5,898,777 A 4/I999
5,907,617 A 511999
6,068,117 A * 5/2000
6,126,201 A * 10/2000
6,134,593 A I0/2000
6,I95,006 B1 2/2001
6,I95,432 BI 2/200I
Strauss
Froehlig
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Peterson
Coon
May
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Slafer et al.
Opheij et al.
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Ritter
Laurash et al.
Lockwood
Lanpher et al.
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Lockwood
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Christensen et al.
Redford et al.
Lipper
Markman
Blumet al.
Baronet al.
Tsai et al.
Tycksen, Jr. et al.
Ronning
Koehn ........................ 206/232
Pace et al. .................... 281129
Alexander et al.
Bowers et al.
Takahashi et al.
200I/000304I A1
2001/0042009 AI
200I/00540I4 AI
11/2001 Montague
I2/200I Noda et al.
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
EP
wo
91103705
WOOI11530
l/I992
2/200I
OTHER PUBLICATIONS
Kim Thuy Balin, Hang tag hang-overs, pp. 1-2, Aug. 24, I998, pp. I.
Ericsson: Ericsson, Efficient Networks sign agreement, M2
Presswire. Jun. 11, I998, pp. I-2.
John M. Covaleski,. Consultants, vendors eye business grovvth in
nonprofits, Oct. 1998, pp. 1-3.
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"Chex Quest" Wikipedia on web found at http://en.wikipedia.org/
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wiki/PC_Gamer; printed on Nov. 26, 2009.
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wiki!Covermount; printed on Nov. 26,2009.
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promomagazine.corn!mag/marketing_technology _2/, Aug. I,
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Vogons, "Old CD Magazines/Magazine CDs for download" found on
web at http:/ I68435; posted
Aug. 24, 2009, printed Dec. 14,2009.
* cited by examiner
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US 7,703,686 B2
1
CONSUMER-COMPUTER-READABLE
PRODUCT LABEL APPARATUS AND
METHOD
2
linking information, suitable software, templates, and the like
tor facilitating an exchange of information between vendors
and purchasers. For example, templates for collecting and
delivering user information including warranty data, user
RELATED INVENTIONS
This application is a Continuation of co-pending patent
application Ser. No. 11/622,350, filed Jan. 11, 2007, which is
a Continuation of Ser. No. 09/488,079 filed Jan. 20, 2000,
which is a Continuation-In -Part of patent application Ser. No.
09/306,077, filed May 6, 1999, issued as U.S. Pat. No. 6,298,
332.
5 preferences and motivations, and the like may be integrated
with warranty reporting information, and other useful data in
a delivery system built upon a computer-readable medium
product label, such as a hang tag or any tag attached to a
product. In certain embodiments, executables and operational
BACKGROUND
10 data may be delivered to a user on a computer-readable
medium that alone, or in combination with other packaging
materials, presents a panoply of multimedia presentations,
games, entertainment, and information-collection applica-
tions.
15
1. The Field of the Invention
For example, a product may be labeled with a tag that
includes a computer-readable medium of an ordinary or novel
shape. The novel shape may also be labeled with various
slogans, messages, trade-marks, images, logos, or the like,
provided by the vendor. Meanwhile, the computer-readable
This invention relates to product labeling and, more par-
ticularly, to novel systems and methods for providing elec-
tronic feedback and user information by registration with
vendors of products.
2. The Background Art
Product registration is always a concern of manufacturers
and vendors of products. Information concerning user pur-
chases, attitudes, circumstances, and the like are matters of
great interest. However, user registration through warranty
cards and the like meet with only limited success. Moreover,
limited information is provided.
20 medium product label may contain multimedia catalog pre-
sentations; products information regarding the exact product
on which the tag was shipped from a manufacturer; a regis-
tration engine for registering user information and product
information simultaneously, a profile builder for identifying
25 additional user information that a purchaser is willing and
interested in providing, such as preferences in entertainment,
software, music, video, gaming, or the like; and other useful
software. Likewise, brand loyalty is not necessarily detectible nor
useful to such vendors andmanufactnrers.Anabilityto obtain
user registration information for warranty and follow -up sales 30
activity often lacks any great consumer or user motivation.
Thus, not only information is lacking by motivation, and any
continuing link with a consumer or user may be absent.
What is needed is a system and method for enabling a
comparatively long term relationship to exist between a sup- 35
plier, manufacturer, vendor of goods or services, and the
consumer, purchaser, or user of same.
An advance in the art might provide additional services to
a consumer or user as well. For example, personal informa-
tion such as shoe sizes, clothing sizes, recreational goods, 40
preferences in recreational or business activities, and the like
might be extremely valuable information for a user to main-
tain and catalog for future use. Also, such personal purchas-
ing information might be invaluable to suppliers of goods and
services. Moreover, it would be an advancement in the art to 45
provide a system and method for purchasers to maintain key
information regarding their own preferences and purchases as
well as providing to users historical information that they may
reference in the futnre. To the extent that a consumer or
purchaser desires to provide such information to a vendor 50
during a search for new or replacement goods or services,
having ready access to such information could be invaluable
to both a purchaser and a vendor.
Software available on a computer-readable medium prod-
uct label may include a launcher, browser, viewer, e-mail,
facsimile sender, player, or other executables as well as ven-
dor data. Moreover, such software may be progrannned to
invite, entice, motivate, and facilitate providing information
by a user to be reported back to a vendor. A concierge or valet
provides ready access to important information required by a
purchaser at the time or point of purchase. Software may also
collect and provide to a user or a vendor, or both, upon request
and authorization, any amount of vendor or purchaser infor-
mation deemed useful.
The computer-readable medium product label, may be
configured to be attached to a variety of products including
clothing, toys, tootgear, machinery, headgear, foodstntls fur-
nitnre, appliances, sporting goods, dry goods, tools, and
plants. The label may be configured to be attached to the
product or the product packaging. The label may be attached
to the product in a manner to protect the label from damage
during shipping. The product packaging may also serve to
protect the label. The label may be shipped separately from
the product with its own packing and padding.
Consistent with the foregoing objects, and in accordance
with the invention as embodied and broadly described herein,
a method and apparatns are disclosed in one embodiment of
the present invention as including a computer-readable
medium, apparatns, and a method for delivering vendor-sup- Thus, it would be an advance in the art to provide an easy
interaction apparatus and method for identifYing and record-
ing product or purchasing information, personal preference
information, and the like, for ready provision of same to a
purchaser and to a vendor upon request and authorization.
55 plied information to a purchaser, while providing reporting
facilitation software and purchaser-provided data as well as
internet linking from a purchaser back to a vendor an appa-
ratns made in accordance with one embodiment of the inven-
tionmay include a computer-readable medium, user interface
BRIEF SUMMARY AND OBJECTS OF THE
INVENTION
60 data or a user interface executable, vendor catalog informa-
tion, various input templates, multimedia presentations,
applications such as tools, utilities, games, desk accessories,
or the like. In view of the foregoing, it is a primary object of the present
invention to provide a computer-readable medium product
label providing a link back from a purchaser to a vendor. In 65
certain embodiments, an apparatus and method in accordance
with the invention may provide operational data, executables,
Various data structures or databases for collecting or main-
taining output data or input data serviced by input executables
or output executables may stand alone or may integrate with
browsers, launchers, viewers, or other applications.
US 7, 703,686 B2
3
Such applications may be provided as executables on a
computer-readable medium product label, or may merely
integrate or engage browsers, launchers, viewers, and appli-
cations "organic" to a user's computer. 1bat is, executables
may be provided on a computer-readable meditun product 5
label or may merely be accessed by data on a computer-
readable meditml product label.
4
FIG. 17 is a perspective view and other example of a
product having labels positioned partially inside the interior
of a product;
FIG. 18 is a schematic block diagram illustrating a manu-
facturing process for labels in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 19 is a schematic block diagram illustrating a manu-
facturing process for blank labels in accordance with the
invention; and
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 20 is a schematic block diagram illustrating a process
10 for selecting content for a computer-readable label.
1be foregoing and other objects and features of the present
invention will become more fully apparent from the following
description and appended claims, taken in conjunction with
the accompanying drawings. Understanding that these draw-
ings depict only typical embodiments of the invention and 15
are, therefore, not to be considered limiting of its scope, the
invention will be described with additional specificity and
detail through use of the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a schematic block diagram of computers in a
network and internetwork that may implement the apparatus 20
and method in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 2 is one embodiment of a user computer, a server, and
a base computer, typically owned, controlled, or accessed by
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED
EMBODIMENTS
It will be readily understood that the components of the
present invention, as generally described and illustrated in the
Figures herein, could be arranged and designed in a wide
variety of different configurations. Thus, the following more
detailed description of the embodiments of the system and
method of the present invention, as represented in FIGS. 1
through 9, is not intended to limit the scope of the invention,
as claimed, but is merely representative of the presently pre-
ferred embodiments of the invention.
The presently preferred embodiments of the invention will
a vendor, for communicating information in response to user
or vendor requests;
FIG. 3 is schematic diagram of various alternative configu-
rations of CD-ROM hang-tags or product labels in accor-
dance with the invention;
FIG. 4 is schematic diagram of the information sides of the
CD-ROM hang-tags;
25 be best understood by reference to the drawings, wherein like
parts are designated by like numerals throughout. FIGS. 1-20
illustrate schematic diagrams showing, in considerable detail,
certain presently preferred embodiments of apparatus and
methods in accordance with the invention. Those of ordinary
FIG. 5 is a schematic illustration of various embodiments
of product labeling for presenting CD-ROMs of FIGS. 3-4
including sleeves, substrates, holders, keepers, labels, tethers,
and the like, for delivery of CD-ROMs to purchasers as part of
product labeling;
30 skill in the art will, of course, appreciate that various modifi-
cations to the detailed schematic diagrams may easily be
made without departing from the essential characteristics of
the invention, as described. Thus, the following description of
the Figures is intended only by way of example, and simply
35 illustrates certain presently preferred embodiments of the
invention as claimed herein.
FIG. 6 is a schematic block diagram of data structures for
selected embodiments of a method and apparatus in accor-
dance with the invention, hosted on a computer of FIGS. 1-2;
FIG. 7 is a schematic block diagram of additional details
that may be incorporated in the memory of FIG. 6, or in
40
addition thereto;
FIG. 8 is a schematic block diagram of an interaction
scheme including software engines and data repositories for
implementing an apparatus and method in accordance with
certain embodiments of the invention;
45
FIG. 9 is a schematic block diagram illustrating the data
flows in an apparatus and method in accordance with the
invention;
FIG.10 is a schematic illustration of various embodiments
of computer-readable media in product labels in accordance
50
with the invention;
FIG. 11 is a perspective view of an example of a product
with attached labels in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 12 is a perspective view of another example of a
55
product with attached labels in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 13 is a perspective view of another example of a
product with attached labels in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 14 is a schematic illustration of various types of
tethers and locations of attachment suitable for implementing
60
the invention;
FIG. 15 is a perspective view of an example of a product
having soft packaging having labels attached in accordance
with the invention;
FIG. 16 is a perspective view of and example of a product 65
having hard packaging having labels attached in accordance
with the invention;
Referring now to FIG. 1, an apparatus 10 may implement
the invention on one or more nodes 11, (client 11, computer
11) containing a processor 12 or CPU 12. All components
may exist in a single node 11 or may exist in multiple nodes
11, 52 remote from one another. The CPU 12 may be operably
connected to a memory device 14. A memory device 14 may
include one or more devices such as a hard drive or non-
volatile storage device 16, a read-only memory 18 (ROM)
and a random access (and usually volatile) memory 20
(RAM).
The apparatus 10 may include an input device 22 for
receiving inputs from a user or another device. Similarly, an
output device 24 may be provided within the node 11, or
accessible within the apparatus 10. A network card 26 (inter-
face card) or port 28 may be provided for connecting to
outside devices, such as the network 30.
Internally, a bus 32 may operably interconnect the proces-
sor 12, memory devices 14, input devices 22, output devices
24, network card 26 and port 28. The bus 32 may be thought
of as a data carrier. As such, the bus 32 may be embodied in
numerous configurations. Wire, fiber optic line, wireless elec-
tromagnetic communications by visible light, infrared, and
radio frequencies may likewise be implemented as appropri-
ate for the bus 32 and the network 30.
Input devices 22 may include one or more physical
embodiments. For example, a keyboard 34 may be used for
interaction with the user, as may a mouse 36. A touch screen
38, a telephone 39, or simply a telephone line 39, may be used
for communication with other devices, with a user, or the like.
Similarly, a scanner 40 may be used to receive graphical
inputs which may or may not be translated to other character
US 7, 703,686 B2
5
formats. The hard drive 41 or other memory device 41 may be
used as an input device whether resident within the node 11 or
some other node 52 (e.g., 52a, 52b, etc.) on the network 30, or
from another network 50.
Output devices 24 may likewise include one or more physi-
cal hardware units. For example, in general, the port 28 may
be used to accept inputs and send outputs from the node 11.
Nevertheless, a monitor 42 may provide outputs to a user for
feedback during a process, or for assisting two-way commu-
nication between the processor 12 and a user. A printer 44 or
a hard drive 46 may be used for outputting information as
output devices 24.
In general, a network 30 to which a node 11 connects may,
in turn, be connected through a router 48 to another network
50. In general, two nodes 11, 52 may be on a network 30,
adjoining networks 30, 50, or may be separated by multiple
routers 48 and multiple networks 50 as individual nodes 11,
52 on an internetwork. The individual nodes 52 (e.g. 11, 52,
54) may have various communication capabilities.
In certain embodiments, a minimum of logical capability
may be available in any node 52. Note that any of the indi-
vidual nodes 11, 52, 54 may be referred to, as may all
together, as a node 11 or a node 52. Each may contain a
processor 12 with more or less of the other components
14-44.
Anetwork30 may include one or more servers 54. Servers
may be used to manage, store, communicate, transfer, access,
update, and the like, any practical number offiles, databases,
or the like for other nodes 52 on a network 30. Typically, a
server 54 may be accessed by all nodes 11, 52 on a network
30. Nevertheless, other special functions, including commu-
nications, applications, directory services, and the like, may
be implemented by an individual server 54 or multiple servers
54.
In general, a node 11 may need to communicate over a
network 30 with a server 54, a router 48, or nodes 52. Simi-
larly, a node 11 may need to communicate over another net-
work (50) in an internetwork connection with some remote
node 52. Likewise, individual components 12-46 may need to
communicate data with one another. A communication link
may exist, in general, between any pair of devices.
Referring now to FIG. 2, a CD-ROM tag 16may include an
aperture 61 for aligning or engaging with a drive 62 for
playing the CD-ROM 60.A Drive 62 ina user workstation 64
may provide linking information or executables facilitating
interaction between the user workstation 64 and a server 66,
such as a third party or vendor server, typically maintained by
a service provided. For example, the server 66 may be an
e-mail server a data service server, a web site server, or other
accessible servers.
Meanwhile, a base computer 68 or simply base 68 is typi-
cally maintained by a vendor and may be a server, a web site
server, a communication server, or may simply be the com-
puter system of a vendor interested in interacting with either
a third party server 66 a user workstation 64, or both. In
general, the workstation 64, the server 66, and the base 68
may be remote from one another geographically and con-
nected over some type of network 50. Thus, the input devices
6
Referring now to FIGS. 3-5, a tray 70 may be provided as
partofa drive 62orCD-ROMdrive 62. In general, thetray70,
as illustrated in FIG. 3 reflects an upper portion 70 of a drive
62. Thus, the tray 70 may have an alignment rim 71 for
orienting the CD-ROM 60. An alignment of a CD-ROM 60
facilitates proper engagement of the CD-ROM 60. Accord-
ingly clearance cavity 72 may be provided to receive a spin or
head of a driver 62 for spinning the CD-ROM 60. Thus, the
tray 70 may be regarded as part of a transport 74 or frame 74
10 for moving a CD-ROM 60 into and out of the drive 62.
In general, a CD-ROM 60 may be of any suitable arbitrary,
but symmetrical shape. A tether 75 secured through a pen-
etration 76 may secure the CD-ROM tag 60 to a product. As
a practical matter, the penetration 76 may be distributed in a
15 balanced fashion to prevent even small variation in the bal-
ance on a CD-ROM tag 60.
A vendor may choose to provide a product, brand, vendor,
orothername 78 on a visible face 79 of a CD-ROM tag 60.ln
general, the name 78 and other information provided on the
20 visible face 79 of the CD-ROM tag 60 represent vendor
identification 80, in general. Other vendor identification 80
may include slogans 82, which may themselves be trade-
marked or registered as trademarks. Messages 84 and other
marks 86 or trademarks 86 proprietary to a vendor for ready
25 identification to users (purchasers, consumers) while provid-
ing additional impressions on behalf of a vendor.
Typically, logos 88 may be prominent on the visible face 79
of a CD-ROM tag 60. Likewise, various images 90 or sym-
bols 90 related to either the content of the CD-ROM tag 60,
30 the product on which the CD-ROM tag 60 is affixed, or related
to other aspects of the vendor providing the CD-ROM tag 60
may be provided in any number of colors with suitable
graphic appeal.
In general, a shape 92 or an edge 92 may also provide an
35 overall impression of a CD-ROM tag 60. Any suitable shape
that will still work with a drive 62 may be suitable. In certain
embodiments, a CD-ROM tag 60 may have vertices 94 or
corners 94. As a practical matter, a CD-ROM tag 60 may be
strictly circular or formed in a variety of shapes as illustrated
40 in FIGS. 3-4.
Referring to FIG. 4, a chassis 96 of the drive 62 may mount
anarbor98 adapted to fitthe aperture 61 in a CD-ROM tag 60.
A drive 100 may engage a CD-ROM tag 60 for rotation. A
cavity 102 or clearance 102 in the chassis 96 provides suitable
45 clearance for rotation of the CD-ROM tag 60 about the arbor
98 through the aperture 61. The CD-ROM 60 may include
system tracks 104 containing information peculiar to the
operation of the workstation 64 or the drive 62. However, the
data face 105 may contain content tracks 106 in addition to
50 the system tracks 104. The content tracks contain substantive
data provided by a vendor and targeted to a user. The content
tracks 106 need only fit within the particular shape 92 of a
CD-ROM tag 60 and are thus typically placed well away from
any corners 94 in favor of a continuous central portion of the
55 CD-ROM 60.
22 and output devices 24 provide interaction by a user at a 60
workstation 64 in order to provide inputs and extract infor-
mation in response to prompts from software hosted on the
CD-ROM 60. Note that the CD-ROM 60 is not necessarily
circular in shape. The CD-ROM 60 need only be properly
balanced for spinning and having sufficient space circum- 65
scribed by a circle thereon to store the data tracks required for
the amount of information provided on the CD-ROM 60.
As a practical matter, the penetrations 76 may be provided
with tethers 75 for connecting a CD-ROM 60 to various
products. For example, in the clothing industry, various types
of tethering mechanisms have been developed to facilitate
automatic insertion of securement mechanisms with mini-
mum labor and minimum cost. Nevertheless, alternative
embodiments may operate independent of the tethers 75.
Referring to FIG. 5, a sleeve 110 or substrate 112 may
mount or otherwise secure a CD-ROM tag 60 to a product.
The sleeve 110 or substrate 112 may be secured directly to a
package, or tethered thereto by a tether 75 as illustrated in
FIGS. 3-5.ln one embodiment, a backing 114 may connect to
US 7, 703,686 B2
7
a cover 116 having a seam 117 for securing or bonding 117
the cover 116 to the backing 114. Thus, a CD-ROM 60 may be
inserted between the cover 116 and backing 114 forming a
sleeve 110 or envelope 110. In other embodiments, a pedestal
120 or stub 120 may penetrate the aperture 61 to retain a
CD-ROM tag. In certain embodiments, a foot 121 of a ped-
estal 120 may secure the pedestal120 to a substrate 112 or
backing 114. Similarly, some type of keeper 122 may serve to
retain the CD-ROM tag 60 on the pedestal 120. In selected
embodiments, fingers 123 may provide both the pedestal and
retention function. In other embodiments, a detent 124 may
provide securement or engagement of a CD-ROM tag 60 with
a pedestal120. Securing the CD-ROM 60 thereto.
8
supplant, cooperate with, or substitute for the lack of, a
browser 146 or other application 132, such as a viewer 147.
A launcher 152 may provide an independent launching
mechanism adapted to software 140 provided by the CD-
5 ROM tag 60. Nevertheless, a launcher 152 may simply exist
for the user or purchaser who does not have a launcher 148
organic to their workstation 64.
One particularly valuable product provided by the CD-
ROM tag may be a catalog 154. As a practical matter, the
10 catalog 154 may actually be a multimedia presentation of
product information. The catalog 154 may include data,
search engines, records, pricing information, visual presen-
tations, audio presentations, user information for sizing or
In certain embodiments, a lock 126 may engage a catch 128
for securing a keeper 122 into or onto a pedestal 120. The 15
orientation of the lock 126 and catch 128 as well as the
selecting products and the like.
Another important feature that may be provided to a user is
input templates 156 for providing information to applications
160 provided. For example, a user may determine to select a
rack for holding sporting goods on top of an automobile.
Alternatively, a user may select clothing such as hats, shoes
peculiar mechanism for latching them together may be a
matter of virtually infinite mechanical engagement tech-
niques.
Referring to FIG. 6, various data structures may be hosted
by a workstation 64 before and after loading the CD-ROM tag
60. In certain select embodiments of an apparatus and method
in accordance with the invention, the CD-ROM tag 60 may
contain only files 130. The files 130 may require applications
132 existing completely independently from the CD-ROM
tag 60. As a practical matter, various browsers 146, launchers
148, viewers 147, and the like exist in various distribution
channels. Thus, the CD-ROM tag 60 may actually contain
only non-executable data requiring other executables (such as
applications 132, browsers 146, viewers 147, and watchers
148, and utilities 138. etc.).
Referring to FIG. 6, files 130 may be installed in a memory
device 14 ofthe apparatus 10 in accordance with the inven-
tion. Typically, the memory device 14 of FIG. 6 may be
embodied as the RAM 20 of the workstation 64 of a user. In
general, the memory 14 may be loaded with applications 132
of a user, independent of the CD-ROM tag 60. Likewise, an
operating system 134 and files 136 associated with the oper-
ating system 134 and application 132 reside in the memory
14.
Software 140 provided on the CD-ROM tag 60 may
include specific executables that are simply run from the
CD-ROM tag 60. Alternatively, software 144 may actually be
installed from a CD-ROM tag 60 into a memory device 14
that has non-volatile storage capability, such as a hard drive
16. Thus, during execution, the memory device 14 is typically
the RAM 20 of the workstation 64, whereas installation and
storage typically involves a hard drive 16 at a workstation 64.
In certain selected embodiments, software 144 may rely on
20 etc.Accordingly, input templates 156 may provide user infor-
mation or request user information inputs which may be used
to direct a user's search in a catalog 154 to those particular
products that would be suitable for the user in view of the
information provided by input templates 156. Currently, a
25 user must navigate information provided by vendors and sup-
pliers of products and services. By providing certain input
templates 156 the quantity of information could be automati-
cally filtered in order to provide to a user only those selections
of information that need to be considered. The input tem-
30 plates 156 may provide for storage and maintenance of user
inputs over the mere section in which an application 160 or
catalog 154 is executing, or may store the information for
longer term usage. In certain selected embodiments, the soft-
ware 140 may actually provide a "concierge" or valet function
35 by maintaining over a long period of time a collection of
useful information. Thus, a user need not document catalog
purchases, styles, sizes, or the like, but may instead have such
information maintained automatically as input by the user
directly in response to input templates 156, or as a result of
40 direct inputs provided by a CD-ROM tag associated with a
particular product purchased by a user.
In certain embodiments, included with any catalog 154, or
independent therefrom, a multimedia presentation 158 may
present information to a user. The multimedia presentation
45 158 may be configured as entertainment to engage a user.
Alternatively, the presentation 158 may be a portion of a
catalog 154. In certain embodiments, the multimedia presen-
tation 158 may take the form of qualification testing, or the
like. Any presentation 158 that may engage a user, may also
so collect information, if desired. Thus, sophisticated profiling
may result from responses of a user to a multimedia presen-
tation 158.
a browser 146 already installed previously and otherwise
usable by a user of the workstation 64. Thus, the browser 146
may be thought of as "organic" to the workstation 64. That is,
the browser 146 is previously installed for other functionality
desired by a user. Similarly, a viewer 147 may be an organic
application 132 previously installed, but relied upon by the 55
software 140, 142, 144. Similarly, a launcher 148 or loader
148 may operate in a workstation 64. Similarly, various utili-
ties 138 are typically installed on a workstation 64. Likewise,
various files 136 associated with the applications 132 are
hosted thereon. During operation of any particular applica- 60
tion 132 the application 132 is loaded into RAM 20. Simi-
larly, portions or complete files 136 may be loaded into RAM
20. Otherwise, applications 132 and corresponding files 136
may be stored on a storage device 16 such as a hard drive.
In general, applications for any particular function desired
by a vendor may be provided as part of the software 140 of the
CD-ROM tag 60.
Advertising specialties are typically engaging or useful
products that bear the name, identifying information, loca-
tion, and so forth of a vendor. Thus, various utilities and tools
that may have particular application to a user for managing
computer systems, managing information, and the like may
be provided as tools 162 or utilities 162 in a software package
140. As a practical matter, the advertising industry is much
larger than the software industry. Accordingly, a vendor may
well decide to provide various software tools 162 or utilities
162 at no charge, in order to provide more access of impres-
sions from the vendor to a user on the user's workstation 11,
In another embodiment, or additional improvement to pre- 65
vious embodiments, a user interface 150 may be an execut-
able provided by the CD-ROM tag 60. The user interface may 64.
US 7,703,686 B2
9
Another feature that is often regarded as highly desirable
by a user is games 164. Games 164 that use national trade-
marks, well-recognized characters, or game schemes, or the
like may be provided in the game 164. Again, the games 164
may themselves include multimedia presentations 158 and
may provide direct or indirect input templates 156.
Other software 156 may be provided for any of a host of
purposes that may be desirable by a vendor or a user. Other
software 166 may include, for example, tests, skill evalua-
tions, any interactive exchange of information, or the like that 1 o
may be useful to the user or the vendor. The results of such
other software 166 may be stored for only a session or may be
stored for some period of time for use at a later time by either
10
purchase or a time of purchase. Most users are happy to
provide necessary information to size or otherwise select
purchases. Information provided to a vendor may then be
discreetly used by the vendor in order to better capture demo-
graphic information correlating products, advertising cam-
paigns, sales, and the like, together.
Referring now to FIG. 7, additional and alternative details
of embodiments in accordance with an apparatus and method
of the invention may include executables 180, operational
data 182 (non-executables) and organic data 184. The term
"organic" as used herein reflects the military concept of
installed systems that are part and parcel of a particular orga-
nization or operation. In this instance, the organic data struc-
ture 184 reflect those software and file structures that are a vendor or a user, in accordance with authorizations by each
or either one.
Output data 168 and input data 169 may be viewed from the
point of view of the CD-ROM tag 60, a user, or a vendor.
Regardless, various inputs or various applications 160, pre-
sentations 158, including the catalog 154, and so forth, may
15 installed or inherent on a user workstation 11, 64 independent
ofthe CD-ROM tag 60. Nevertheless, the organic data struc-
tures 184 may be executable in order to access or use opera-
tional data 182 provided by the CD-ROM tag 60.
Typically, a memory device 14 of a user workstation
includes various utilities 186 for performing the necessary
functions or desirable activities associated with the "care and
feeding" of the user workstation 11, 64. Typically various
applications 188 provide functional abilities for a user. For
example, Internet access, browsers, text editors, painting and
drawing programs, word processing, financial programs, and
the like are various applications 188 hosted by a user work-
station 11, 64. Likewise, games, e-mail, and other applica-
tions 188 or programs 188 are becoming ubiquitous by public
domain software, shareware, commercial software, and the
be independent of the application 160 or executables. Thus, 20
the outputs 168 and inputs 169 may be perceived to contain
data used by the executables of the software package 140, as
well as information that may be provided to a user. Also, the
output data 168 and input data 169 may include data in addi-
tion to the data provided by the CD-ROM tag 60. For 25
example, certain of the data 168, 169 may be those items of
information provided in response to the input templates 156,
which information may be provided, at the user's discretion
back to vendors for the purpose of purchasing, selecting,
reporting, registering, or the like, products or purchases. 30 like.
In certain embodiments, software 142 may actually be
installable on a non-volatile storage device 16 of a worksta-
tion 11, 64 of a user. Thus, an installer 170 may actually be
provided on the CD-ROM 60 or independently therefrom.
Output executables 172 may provide data from a user back 35
to a vendor. Meanwhile, input executables 174 may provide
for collection of information from a user. Part oftheuserinput
executables 174 may actually be pre-programmed data pro-
vided by a vendor in association with a CD-ROM tag 60.
Accordingly, the input executable 174 may actually report 40
input data 178 already on a CD-ROM tag, identifYing product
purchases. However, the most useful input data 178 to a
vendor may be the product information available on a CD-
ROM 60 in association with inputs from a user regarding
personal preferences and purchasing patterns. Again, the rela- 45
tionship between input data 178 and output data 176 may be
considered with respect to a user, or with respect to the
executables 172, 174 or may be considered with respect to a
vendor or with respect to a user workstation 11, 64. Thus, one
need not be locked into any one frame of reference. Never- 50
theless, the inputs 178, and outputs 176, in general will pro-
vide information for transfer to and from executables 172,
174 hosted on a user workstation 11, 64, and may provide
information back to a vendor base computer 68. A significant
benefit of a CD-ROM tag 60 is to provide for the needs of a 55
user and the needs of a vendor in exchanging information.
Accordingly, a vendor more easily satisfies the needs of a user
or a purchaser by virtue of the available data 17 6, 178, while
a user can selectively authorize transmission of various data
17 4, 17 6 to and from a vendor base 68 or even an independent 60
third party server 66 according to only those authorizations
selected by a user.
Thus, in one embodiment, the software 140, 142, 144 may
represent alternative mechanisms for collecting information
and storing the same for the user. Similarly, the information 65
may selectively, at a user's discretion, be transmitted from the
user workstation 11, 64 to a vendor base 68 at a point of
The applications 188 operate "on top of' an operating
system 190. Of course, the utilities 186 may operate with
applications 188, or may operate as applications themselves
on the operating system 190.
Many workstations 11, 64, and sometimes operating sys-
tems 190 themselves, include launchers 192 for launching
applications 188. Browsers 194 are ubiquitous. A selected
few browsers are nearly universally installed. Thus, a browser
194 organic to a workstation 11, 64 may actually be presumed
to be one of a very few types. Thus, the CD-ROM tag 60 need
not include a browser 194, since a browser 194 may be pre-
sumed to be installed, so long as the selected few browsers are
supported.
Database managers 196 likewise are of several types. To
the extent that a database manager 196 already exists, a user
may elect not to use or may not need any type of a storage and
retrieval engine other than a database manager 196 organic to
the workstation 10, 16. Search engines 198 may be embodied
in database managers 196 or browsers 194. Alternatively,
other search engines may also exist as a result of various
needs or applications available to a user. Likewise, certain
search engines 198 are available over the Internet and need
only be accessed by internet client software.
Viewers 200 or players 200 are again ubiquitous. The
names are well known and the multimedia presentations play-
ers 200 are well documented. Any one of such viewers 200 or
players 200 may exist as an organic software article on a
workstation 11, 64. Editors 202 or at the higher end, word
processors 202 are likewise ubiquitous and well documented,
while being limited to only a few major players. E-mail
engines 204 exist as does other software 206. Accordingly, a
user may document, or the operating system 190 may pro-
vide, an identification of the typical organic software suite
192, 206. To the extent that a user wants to be spared the
tedium, the executablcs 180 may themselves determine the
organic software suite 192-206, thus obviating the need to
install specialty executables unique to the CD-ROM 60. Nev-
US 7, 703,686 B2
11
ertheless, executables 180 may be provided in order to deliver
to a user the full content of a CD-ROM tag 60, without
requiring any particular software suite 184.
Associated with the software 192-206 may be various data
files 210 taking the form of documents 212 records 214 or
other files 216. Again, the storage format of the data files 210
will depend upon the software creating them. The executables
180 and operational data 182 may conform to the data files
210.
In certain embodiments a CD-ROM tag 60 may include
only operational data 182 and no executables 180. Typically,
an operating system 190 with various utilities 186 can protect
against viruses. Nevertheless, some reluctance to load
executables 180 may be avoided by providing only opera-
tional data 182 on a CD-ROM tag 60, to be executed by the
organic software 184 of a users individual workstation 11, 64.
Nevertheless, since a CD-ROM tag 60 comes from a respon-
sible supplier, and is in a format not available for tampering,
the executables 180 may be loaded with confidence.
12
have few qualms about providing information from a work-
station 11, 64 to a base 68 over an internetwork 50, knowing
that the base 68 is controlled and owned by a specific vendor
under an agreement with the user not to provide user data
5 elsewhere. Alternatively, in certain embodiments, a base 68 or
a user 64 may provide to a third party server 66 certain
information. However, user response data 240 may be pro-
tected to any extent desired by a user and a vendor. Accord-
ingly, a vendor may obtain valuable and specific targeting
10 data so long as the vendor agrees to maintain such data in
confidence. For example, a user may desire repeatedly to
purchase certain selected brands of clothing. The user may
likewise have no qualms about providing sizing data, pur-
chases, style inforn1ation, and the like to a vendor. However,
15 many users might have a great objection to having such infor-
mation generally available to random purchasers of targeting
information. Accordingly, the registration data 240 or
response date 240 may provide user options for the general-
ized availability of personal data.
Nevertheless, for saving space on a CD-ROM tag 60, 20
operational data 182 may consume considerably less space
than certain executables 180. Nevertheless, again, when dis-
cussing audio data or visual data, particularly animated data,
the operational data 182 may grow to substantial size.
The data 240 may include vendor data 242 taken directly
from the CD-ROM tag 60 or provided by a user. Vendor data
242 may he selected by a vendor and embedded on the CD-
ROM tag 60.
A data packaging module 244 may contain information
25 such as authorizations 246 permitted by a user. Likewise, any
questions or templates that fill out database records for a
vendor may be contained in the template content 248. The
data packaging module 244 may thus provide personal infor-
mation in the template content 248, bound to certain selected
In certain embodiments, application data 218 may include
user preferences or user settings 220. Most applications pro-
vide for such information tailored to a user's needs. Again, the
operational data 182 may correspond to the organic software
184, or the new executables 180 installed as a result of the
CD-ROM tag 60. Applications 188 may have their own indi-
vidualized data peculiar, not to a user, but to the application
188. Accordingly, application set up data 222 or setups 222
may be provided as temporary or permanent configuration
data controlling the use and access to applications 188. Of
course, the operational data 182 may all be applicable to the 35
executables 180, as well. Application files 224 may be
required data, or it may be the stored files 224 resulting from
execution of an application 188, 180.
30 and limited authorizations 246. The authorizations 246 may
have the effect of filtering the availability of the template
content 248 to a vendor or various vendors. Thus, the autho-
rizations 246 may provide to a user great comfort and great
control over the distribution of targeting information.
User profile response data 250 may be provided directly or
indirectly from a user workstation 11, 64. In general, the user
response data or the profile data 250 represents information of
value to the vendor, and only available from a user.
Certain graphical user interface data 226 or icon data 226
supports ready access by a user to applications 188, 180.
Entertainment files providing images, operational data, sce-
narios, conditions, and the like tor various gaming applica-
tions or other entertainment executables 265, 188 may be a
major portion of the operational data 182 provided in a CD-
ROM tag 60. For example, new game scenarios, music, sound
bites, presentations, video animations, and the like may form
a substantial entertainment file 228 of interest to a user, and
useful by an executable 180, 188 of a user workstation 11, 64.
In certain embodiments, operational data 182 may be
embodiedinanobject230 or various objects 230. Objects 230
may include strictly attributes 232 or may include sufficient
executables 234 embedded in the object 230 in order to pro-
vide access by a user to the attributes 232.
An audiovisual or multimedia catalog content 236 may
execute with an application 184 or an executable 180 such as
a catalog presentation 270. Again, catalog content 236 may be
a major benefit to a vendor as well as a desirable benefit to a
user. Moreover, if the catalog content 236 may be filtered
according to user preferences, and presented in a dynamic and
engaging format, the catalog content 236 may have great
commercial value to a vendor and to a user in providing
targeted messages to a desiring audience.
One major benefit to CD-ROM tag 60 may be the facilita-
tion of registration data 240 or response data 240 from a user
back to a vendor. The data 240 may be provided from a user
workstation 11, 64 to a base computer 68 of a vendor, or to a
centralized server 66. In certain embodiments, a user may
Product response data 252 or purchase response data 252
40 may be provided by a user, by the CD-ROM tag 60 itself, or
both. Depending on a user's willingness to respond toques-
tions, certain product data 252 may he provided. However,
since a vendor controls the manufacture of the CD-ROM, a
vendor can place information in as much detail as desired on
45 a CD-ROM tag 60. Thus, a CD-ROM may simply he a gen-
eralized CD-ROM tag 60 associated with a vendor. Alterna-
tively, a CD-ROM may be produced in versions which are
specific to a style, color, stock number, sales distribution
outlet identification, or the like. Just as labeling on products
so may be specific to a style, color, and the like, a CD-ROM tag
60 may he so specific. Alternatively, a vendor may produce
CD-ROM tags 60 having certain product data 252, and pro-
viding rapid template inputs or selections of other details. For
example, a style may be indicated by the data 252 provided
55 directly to the CD-ROM. Other response data 252 may
involve user selection of color, size, or the like. Thus, the
CD-ROM tag 60 contains the style information and vendor
information and perhaps certain distribution information,
whereas the response data 252 provided by a user directly
60 may include color, size, and additional purchase point infor-
mation.
Linking data 254 may be inside linking data 255 or outside
linking data 256. Inside linking data 255 may be thought of as
binding information linking, for example, products and pur-
65 chase response data 252 with user profile and user response
data 250. Inside linking data 255 may include authorizations
246linking to selected content 248 obtained from templates.
US 7,703,686 B2
13
Thus, the inside linking data 255 may be quite specific, and
quite controlled. By contrast, the outside linking data 256
may provide information necessary to link as seamlessly as
possible the user workstation 11, 64 to a vendor base 68 or
third party server 66. Thus, for example, the outside linking 5
data 256 may provide addresses and sets of information for
ready engagement of a browser 194 or viewer 200, or even
e-mail 204. The CD-ROM tag 60 may facilitate a very rapid,
user-friendly, and transparent link back to a vendor.
14
date 242, data packaging information 244, user profile date
250, or product data 252 separately stored.
The registration engine 272 may represent the executable
portion 272 designed to provide the registration response date
240. For example, the authorization module 273 may provide
the questions, explanations, and controls, or may use the
information provided for, the authorization 246. Thus, the
authorization module 273 may bethought of as the executable
273 responsible for generating, using, or both, the authoriza-
tion data 246. Similarly, an I-0 module 274 may provide the
connection mechanism for using the linking data 254 in order
to input or output data generated by the registration engine
272.
A profile builder 276 may be simple or sophisticated. The
To the extent that a user station 11, 64 does not contain a 10
specific, required article of organic software 184, an execut-
able 180 may be provided for the function. As a practical
matter, a launcher 258 may not be necessary iflaunchers 192
are organic. Launchers 192 are often embedded in operating
systems 190.
Nevertheless, to the extent that they are not available as
organic software 184, a browser 259, a viewer 260, and e-mail
program 261, a fax sending or receiving program 262, a
player 263 for audio, video, or other data, or a broker 264 for
accessing any of the applications 258-263 or any of the appli- 20
cations 192-206 may be provided on the CD-ROM tag 60.
The functionality of each of these applications 192-206 and
applications 258-263 are clear from their names or titles.
15 profile builder 276 may be thought of as executable 180
responsible for providing user profile data 250. Profile builder
276 may also provide linking between user profile and
response data 250 and the product of purchase response data
A broker 264 may be thought of as a user interface for
selecting and engaging a particular executable 258-263 or 25
application 192-206 on behalf of a user. Thus, a broker 264
may effectively navigate between various applications or
executables seamlessly, with a minimum of interruption and
input by a user.
Entertainment 265 may be a major draw for certain classes 30
of users. Accordingly, proprietary, novel, or licensed enter-
tainment 265 may take the form of music, videos, demonstra-
tions, education, games, skill tests, and the like. Entertain-
ment 265 may be interactive to provide user information.
An installer 266 may or may not be required depending on 35
the particular nature of executables 258-265. Again, an
installer 266 may be obviated by the presence of an installer
266 in association with the organic software 184 when pur-
chased. Alternatively, to the extent that an installer 266 is
necessary to install or uninstall executables 180, the installer 40
266 may be provided on the CD-ROM tag 60. Since so many
applications share libraries, the installer 266 may be neces-
sary in order to obtain the security and the access needed for
proper set up of a user workstation 11, 64.
As discussed above, executables 180 may take the form of 45
objects 267, wherein sufficient attributes 268 to operate cer-
tain executables 269 are provided within the object 267.
Alternatively, the attributes 268 may be significant and a
result of user inputs to access the executables 269. Thus, the
comparative size and significance of the attributes 268 and so
executables 269 need not be prejudiced in favor of either one.
A catalog presentation 270 is an executable 180 for pre-
senting a catalog. The catalog presentation 270 may have data
contained therein, but may preferably be only the executable
180 with the content 236 exchangeable. Thus, a single catalog 55
presentation executable 270 may be provided on a single
CD-ROM tag 60. Lateran, additional CD-ROMs may change
content 236 or add content 236 that may still be accessed by
the single original catalog presentation executable 270.
Similarly, templates 271 may provide input formats, ques- 60
tiounaires, record styles, and the like. Templates 271 may be
animated to be more engaging. The templates 271 may be
nested series of numerous question fields that are automati-
cally filtered according to previous answers. Accordingly, the
templates 271 may be quite sophisticated. However, as with 65
the catalog presentation 270, the templates 271 may benefit
from having the executables 271 separate from the vendor
252. Thus, the profile builder 276 may provide data 250, 252
as well as linking data 254.
An inference engine 277 may be hosted in a user worksta-
tion 11, 64 or may be hosted in the base 68 to be operated on
the base CPU 12, or may be hosted in the CPU 12 of a server
66. In general, the inference engine 277 may actually be a
rather sophisticated and complex software module 277.
Accordingly, the inference engine 277 is typically a portion of
a vendor's analysis tools. Linkers 280 may be incorporated
within the profile builder or registration engine, but may also
be outside. As a practical matter, linkers 280 may be associ-
ated with a broker 264. That is, in general, the linking data 254
is created to be used. Some engine must use the linking data
in order to make the links between operational data 182, or
between a user workstation 11, 64 and a vendor base 68 or
server 66. Thus, the linkers 280 may be embodied within the
broker 264, or may be accessed by the broker 264. In certain
embodiments a browser 259 may obviate the need for a broker
264 or linkers 280. On the other hand, the engines that form
and manage the links back to a vendor, may be provided by
the linkers 280. Other executables 278 may serve additional
fimctions requested by a user or a vendor.
Referring to FIG. 8, a collection 282 of CD-ROMs 60 may
actually involve the electronic series 283 or indices 284 ofthe
content of multiple CD-ROM tags 60. For example, CD-
ROMs 60 may contain substantial amounts of information
that a user does not desire, in general, to store on a storage
device 16 in a user station 11, 64. Accordingly, the collection
283 or the index 284 may simply be responsible to provide
sufficient linking information to readily access information
on CD-ROMs 60. Alternatively, certain specific information
may be stored in the collection 282, with the more massive
information on CD-ROMs 60. In certain embodiments, the
CD-ROMs 60 may be dispensed with and the indices 284 may
provide links back to a web site 68 or base 68 from which
updated information from executables 180 or operational
data 182 may be downloaded to a user on demand. Thus, the
CD-ROM may contain the initial information and setup
involved, while the actual content (e.g. operational data 182)
may be updated and downloaded automatically or in response
to user requests.
Interactions illustrated in FIG. 8 between the user work-
station 64 and the base 68 or other server 66 need not go
outside the browser 259, viewer 260, player 263, or search
engine 285. That is, the collection 282 may be accessed from
within the single computer 64, without access to an internet-
work 50 to contact the base 68 or server 66. An actual index
284 of the content of the collection 282 may be provided and
searched by the indexing and search engine 285. The indexing
US 7, 703,686 B2
15
and searching engine 285 may be thought of as the database
engine maintaining a database 284 of index information
related to the content of the collection 282. Access to the
collection 282 may be obtained by one or more of the browser
259, 260 engine 285, and player 263, or other access software 5
292. In certain embodiments, e-mail 261 may be used to
access the information 282 and forward it to another location.
Typically, a browser 259 or e-mail261 may have immediate
access over an internetwork 50 to other servers 66, 68.
16
trolling a base 68 or base server 68 may provide 295 the
information required by a CD-ROM provider 296 in order for
the CD-ROM provider 296 to construct the operational data
182 and executables 180 of FIG. 7. As a result, the CD-ROM
provider 296 delivers 297 or provides 297 a design 298 for the
CD-ROM hang-tag 60. The design 298 may include both
graphic design and software architecture as well as data struc-
ture architecture for the operational data. The CO-ROMs 60
are then provided 299.
Meanwhile, a vendor 294 provides 302 product 300 to be
associated with the CD-ROM tags 60. The CD-ROM tags 60
may be attached to the product 300 by any suitable means,
including tethering, adhesives, packaging, and the like. Thus,
the CD-ROM tag 60 is associated with the product 300 for
delivery 304 to a user 306. The user 306 separates the CD-
ROM tag 60 from the product 300 and installs 308 the CD-
ROM tag 60 on the workstation 64.
As described with respect to FIGS. 1-8, the workstation 64
may then establish links 310 with the server 66 which may
An optional local broker 286 may navigate between the 10
available applications 180 or executables 180 including the
browser 259 e-mail 261, and the like. However, the local
broker 286 is strictly optional. For example, a browser 259 or
Internet browser 259 may access the collection 282 and pro-
vide date back to the server 66 or the base 68 and vice-versa. 15
Nevertheless, a broker 286 may be configured as described
above in the broker 264 of FIG. 7. The broker 286 has a
function of integrating, if desired, and providing a user inter-
face that does not demand of a user continual switching
between, or worse, launching and exiting, various application
software. As illustrated in FIG. 8, the user workstation 64 may
provide or acquire information from the central database
server 289 by means of a central interface broker 288. That is,
the central interface broker 288 may cooperate with the local
broker 286, or in the absence of a local broker 286 may 25
cooperate directly with a viewer 260 or browser 259. Alter-
natively, a user may access directly a private database server
291 in the base 68, with or without a private interface broker
290. The purpose of the brokers 288, 290 may be designed by
20 include engines, servers, databases, and the like as described
above. Similarly, the workstation 64 may establish links 310
with the base 68 or base server 68 associated with the vendor
294. Accordingly, the workstation 64 may obtain data from
a vendor or a third party. However, in order to facilitate ease 30
of access to servers 66, or the actual data stores 289 and server
68, including the actual data stored 291, information must be
transported in a format recognizable and useful by a control-
ling executable. Since an individual user may have a work-
station 64 having a viewer 260, a viewer may be the only 35
mechanism available to access the collection 282 of CD-
ROM tag information, and update it. Alternatively, some
internet browsers 259 may be available. In some instances,
only e-mail 261 is available. Likewise, only some database
management engine 285 or some particular player 263, such 40
as a multimedia player, or the like, may be available. Accord-
ingly, the availability of brokers 286, 288, 290 may be
optional. However, the brokers basically can facilitate inter-
action by repackaging information according to different pro-
tocols in certain instances. Thus, the brokers 286, 288, 290 45
may all be optional. However, a third party controlling the
server 66 may desire to have a central interface broker 288 in
order to accommodate more information in more formats for
more sources. Likewise, a vendor of products, by controlling
the base 68 or base server 68 may desire to have a private 50
interface broker 290 in order to facilitate access to informa-
tion and receipt of information in a variety of formats.
the servers 66, 68, and deliver data to the databases of the
servers 66, 68.
Referring now to FIG. 10 another embodiment of the
invention is presented as a user-computer-readable medium
imbedded in a product label410 (herein the label). The label
410 may be configured to be a hang tag as the term is used in
the clothing and retail industries, any hanging tag configured
to be attached to a product using a tether 75, or any tag
configured to be attached to a product in any other manner.
Penetrations 76 may be provided with tethers 75 for con-
necting a label 410 to various products. For example, in the
clothing industry, various types of tethering mechanisms have
been developed to facilitate automatic insertion of secure-
ment mechanisms with minimum labor and minimum cost.
Nevertheless, alternative embodiments may operate indepen-
dent of the tethers 75.
Referring to FIG. 10 while continuing to refer generally to
FIGS. 3-5, the label410 may be substituted for CD-ROM tag
60. Accordingly the label 60, 410 is formed to display on an
outer surface 434 information 484. The information 484 may
include facts about the product and facts about the source of
the product. Information 484 may be conveyed directly
through the use of printed words, symbols, trade marks, ser-
vice marks, pictures, and the like. The information 484 may
also be conveyed through the selection of the color or shape of
the label 410. The information 484 may include a product
name, brand name, vendor name, or other name 78, vendor
identification 80, slogans 82, messages 84, other marks 86 or
trademarks 86, logos 88, and images 90 or symbols 90.
In general, a shape 92 or an edge 92 may also provide the
information 484. Any shape that will still function with a
Effectively, in the system of FIG. 8, operating with the
hardware and software configurations of FIGS. 1-7, may
exchange information between a central third party control-
ling a server 66, a vendor controlling a server 68, and a user
controlling a workstation 64.
55 drive 62 may be suitable. In certain embodiments, a label 60,
410 may have vertices 94 or comers 94. As a practical matter,
a label 60, 410 may be the standard shape for the particular
medium or formed in a variety of shapes as illustrated in
FIGS. 3-4 and 10.
The database stores 289, 291 may contain information
obtained from user workstations 64 with user authorizations.
Accordingly, the users may request by pulling information 60
and vendors may push by providing, according to user autho-
rization, data from the data stores 289, 291. Thus, a free flow
of targeted product information to user workstations 64 fil-
tered according to user desires and profiles is facilitated.
Referring to FIG. 9, an apparatus and method in accor- 65
dance with the invention may be implemented by a system
293 or method 293. In one embodiment, a vendor 294 con-
A computer-readable medium product label 410 may be
substituted for the CD-ROM tag 60. Accordingly, if an optical
medium, such as CD-ROM 460, or DVD 468, is selected, the
label 60 may be of any suitable arbitrary weight-balanced
configuration. For other types of media such as a floppy disk
470, an industry-standard size, shape, or both may be dic-
tated. A tether 75, secured through a penetration 76, may
secure the label 60 to a product. As a practical matter, pen-
US 7,703,686 B2
17
etrations 76 may be distributed in a balanced fashion to pre-
vent even small variations in the balance on a label 60, 410,
particularly if the label410 is a CD-Rim 460 or a DVD 468.
In one embodiment, the choice of a computer-readable
medium may include an optical medium such as a DVD 468 5
or CD-ROM 460. In other embodiments, the computer-read-
able medium may include a magnetic medium such as mag-
netic strip 464 or floppy disk 470. In other embodiments, the
computer-readable medium may be a symbolic code such as
a bar code 462. In yet other embodiments, the choice of a 10
computer-readable medium may include firmware 366 such
as a card with an embedded chip.
The computer-readable medium couples to the tag 410
other information 486 in a computer-readable format. The
information 486 of the label410 maybe configured, selected, 15
and operable the same as the various software 140, 142, and
144correspondingto theCD-Romhangtag 60inFIG. 6. The
information 486 may also correspond to the executables and
operational data 182 of the CD-Rom hang tag 60. Accord-
ingly, the information 486 may include product facts, source 20
facts, new product facts, service facts, a game, a data gather-
ing interface, a test, a browser, a launcher, or the like and a
network identifier (e.g. address, URL) corresponding to a
location where additional information may be available.
Referring again to FIGS. 8-9, the collection 282 of media 25
tags 60 may also be a collection 282 of labels 410, each
capable of all the uses and functionality thereof. The process
system 293 or method 293 may apply to labels 410 as well as
to media tags 60. A computer-readable medium embodied in
product a label 410 may perform as a CD-Rom tag 60 or other 30
media tag 60.
Referring to FIG.11, a product 412 is illustrated with labels
410 attached at various locations. In the illustrated embodi-
ment, the product 412 is a garment 414. Many currently
available computer-readable media are fragile and require 35
some degree of padding or other protection during shipping.
For this purpose, the garment 414 is a suitable product 412 to
be packaged in conjunction with the label 410. The garment
414 may be made of soft, cushioning fabric that will protect
the label 410 during packaging, handling, shipping, and dis- 40
play of the product 412 prior to purchase by a consumer.
The garment 414 has an associated exterior 418 and an
interior 420. Depending on the type of garment 414, other
features of the garment 414 may include an attached tag 416,
a button 422, a button hole 424, a pocket 426, a sleeve 428, a 45
cuff 430, and the like. A tether 75 may attach the label410 to
the garment 414 at any of the previously mentioned features
or at other locations where ever labels may be serviceably
attached by manufactures and retailers.
Referring now to FIG. 12, another embodiment of a prod- so
uct 412, may be a toy 440. A toy 440 may be a stuffed animal
440 as shown or any other type of toy 440. A stuffed toy 440
may provide the same beneficial padding and protection for
the label410 as the garment 414.
A toy 440 may have one or more features significant for 55
tagging, such as, for example, an appendage 442, an ear 444,
an exterior surface 418, an arm 446, an attached fabric tag
416, or the like for receiving the label410. The label410 may
be attached to the toy 440 by a tether 75 secured at any of these
or other accessible features. 60
Referring now to FIG. 13, a type offootgear 450 is illus-
trated as one embodiment of a product 412. An eyelet 452, a
lace 454, an exterior surface 418, an interior 420, and other
features of a footgear 450 may be accessible. A tether 75 may
attach the label 414 to the footgear 450 at these or other 65
features without damaging the footgear 450. Because foot-
gear 450 may be somewhat soft in some locations and is
18
frequently shipped and sold in boxes and other hard packag-
ing, footgear 450 is another ideal product 412 for use with a
label 410. The packaging of the footgear 450 may tend to
prevent the label 410 from being damaged prior to purchase
of the product 412 by a consumer.
The label 410, usable as illustrated and described in con-
junction with a garment 414, a toy 440, and a footgear 450,
may rely on of the ability of these products to provide the
needed padding and protection ofthe label 410 prior to pur-
chase by a consumer. However, it will be appreciated by those
of skill in the art that the label 410 may be configured to
function in conjunction with other products 412 that may
require additional measures to insure that the label 410 is
delivered to a consumer without damage. These other prod-
ucts may include headgear, foodstuffs, furniture, materials,
equipment, appliances, sporting goods, dry goods, tools,
machinery, plants, and the like. With such products, labels
410 may be pack aged, shipped, or both independently from
the product, and attached at the site of retail display. Labels
410 may be shipped with sufficient padding or other suitable
packaging structures to protect from heat, bending, breakage,
warping, weather, impact, magnetic fields, or the like.
Referring to FIG. 14, different types of tethers 75 may be
employed. In one illustrated embodiment, a string tether 472
may be matched with a product 412 having a buttonhole 472.
The label 410 may be attached to the string 472 through a
penetration 76. The string may be looped or tied to create a
double strand of string 472. The double stranded string 472
may passed through the button hole 472. The label 410 may
pass back through the resulting loop forming a knot 474
securing the label 410 to the product 412. A knot 474 may
attach a string tether 472 to a button 422 by a wrapping of
double stranded string armmd the base of the button 422 and
passing the attached label through the resulting loop.
In alternative embodiments, a pin 478 may be used to
attach the string tether 472 to the product 412. The pin 478
may be attached to the product 412 by inserting the pin 478
through the outer surface 432 of the product 412. The string
472 may be tied to the pin using a square knot 482 or another
knot 482.
Additionally, a stop 480 may be attached to the string 472
and passed through a button hole 424. The stop 480 may be
made by attaching an end of a string to a crossbar, such as an
elongated, thin piece of plastic, metal, wood, or the like. The
length of the stop 480 tends to position itself across the button
hole 424. Thus, the stop 480 may easily enter the button hole
424 when inserted end-first but will only exit the button hole
424 when carefully oriented by a user in the same marmer.
With most of the disclosed methods of attachment, the
string 472 may actually be made of any suitable, functional
material. For example suitable materials may include plastic,
cotton, paper, nylon, hemp, or other natural or manmade
stranded materials.
In another embodiment tether a 75 may be a T-tether 476
made of a thin, flexible piece of plastic with a rigid stop
(crossbar or "T) at each end. The T-tether 4 76 may be attached
to product 412 through the conventional, attached product or
materiallabel416 or through a surface432 oftheproduct412.
Referring to FIG. 5, a user-computer-readable label 410
may be substituted for a CD-ROM tag 60. A sleeve 110 or
substrate 112 may mount or otherwise secure a label410/60
to a product 412. The sleeve 110 or substrate 112 may be
secured directly to a package, or tethered thereto by a tether
75 by any suitable method, such as those illustrated in FIGS.
3-5. In one embodiment, a backing 114 may connect to a
cover 116 having a seam 117 for securing or bonding 117 the
US 7,703,686 B2
19
cover 116 to the backing 114. A label410, 60 may be inserted
between the cover 116 and backing 114 forming a sleeve 110
or envelope 110.
In other embodiments, a pedestal 120 or stub 120 may
penetrate the aperture 61 to retain a label410, 60. In certain 5
embodiments, a foot 121 of a pedestal 120 may secure the
pedestal120 to a substrate 112 or backing 114. A keeper 122
may serve to retain the label410, 60 on the pedestal120. In
selected embodiments, fingers 123 may provide both a ped-
estal and retention function. In other embodiments, a detent 10
124 may secure or engage a label410, 60 with a pedestal120.
20
The selection 520 of the type of medium may depend on a
number of factors including for example medium availability,
storage capacity, storage density, durability, cost of produc-
tion, and availability of medium readers among target con-
sumers. In one embodiment, optical media such as a CD-
ROM 460 or DVD 468 maybe selected. The optical media are
readily available, have a large storage capacity, are durable,
are inexpensive, enjoy wide use among consumers. Other
types of media such as symbolic media and firmware media
do not enjoy wide distribution of readers among consumers
but may grow in popularity as the installed base of reading
devices grows.
If an optical medium is selected, manufacture 510 may
require the selection of a resin 530, selection of a shape 532,
In certain embodiments, a lock 126 may engage a catch 128
for securing a keeper 122 in or on a pedestal120. The mecha-
nism for latching the lock 126 catch 128 may be selected from
a virtually infinite number mechanical engagements. 15 formation 534 of substrates, information selection 536,
imprinting of the label 538, and quality control 540. Resin
selection 530 may be made from among the types of resin
known in the art. Shape selection 532 may accommodate
Referring now to FIGS.lS and 16, a packaged product 490
may be a product 412 surrounded by packaging 492. In one
embodiment, the packaging 492 may be soft packaging 494.
Soft packaging 494 may comprise any suitable envelope, a
bag, or other covering made of plastic, paper, cloth, or other 20
flexible or flaccid material.
In another embodiment, the packaging 492 may be hard
packaging 496. Hard packaging 496 may be a box, case,
frame, or the like and may be made of paper, cardboard,
wood, metal, or other comparatively stiff and strong struc- 25
tural material.
A label410 may be attached to a packaged product 490 by
securement to an unpackaged product 412 later inserted into
the packaging 492. For example, in the embodiment illus-
trated in FIG. 15, the label 410 is attached by a string tether 30
472 to a button 422 and then inserted into a pocket 426.
The label410 may also be attached directly to the packag-
ing 492 by a tether 75 by any of the previously discussed
methods and structures or another more suitable. In the
embodiment of FIG. 15, the tether 75 is attached to the pack- 35
aging 492 by a fastener. The fastener 498 may be a staple, a
sticker, a pin, aT-tether, a rivet, glue, or the like. If the fastener
498 has a significant surface area, as, for example a sticker,
the fastener may have printed on a face or otherwise convey
fastener a message 500. The fastener message 500 may cor- 40
respond to information 484.
A label 410 may also be attached by an adhesive 502
directly to a surface 493 of the packaging 492 or the product
412. The adhesive 502 may securely hold the label410 to the
packaging 492, yet be readily removable from the label 410. 45
Referring now to FIG. 17, a product 412 may have an
exterior 418 and an interior 420. The label 410 may be
attached to the product 412 to be positioned at least partially
in the interior of the product. The label41 0 may be secured by
a tether 75 and penetration 76 in the attached product or 50
materials label416 to position the label410 in the interior420
of the garment 414. The label 410 may also be secured to a
button 422 a tether 75. The label 410 may be placed in a
pocket 426, one interior region 420 of the product 412.
Referring to FIG. 18, one schematic block diagram illus- 55
trates a process of! abel manufacture 510. Initial manufacture
512 of blank computer-readable media may precede the
selection 514 of the computer-readable content to be stored in
computer-readable medium. Writing 516 the content to the
computer-readable medium may be followed by quality con- 60
trol 518 process.
Referring now to FIG. 19, blank manufacture 512 may
begin with selection 520 of the type of computer-readable
medium to be relied upon. In the illustrated embodiment, a
user may, for example, select from an optical medium 522, 65
symbolic medium 524, magnetic medium 526, firmware
medium 528, or the like.
several variables. For example, for an optical medium, cur-
rent technology dictates a symmetrical balanced shape to spin
evenly. Addition of precisely placed ballast may be used in
certain embodiments. The shape may be selected to convey
the information 484. For example, if a manufacturer of a
product 412 has a readily recognizable shape in its trademark,
the shape may be selected as the shape of the optical medium.
Once a resin selection 530 and shape selection 532 is
complete, the formation of the substrate 534 may occur.
Selection 536 of the information 484 to be printed on the label
410 may involve consideration of the type of information to
be conveyed by the label410 and the manner in which it is to
be conveyed. Information 484 may be conveyed through the
shape of the medium. Likewise color of a medium or the color
printed on the medium may convey information 484.
Pictures and graphics may be printed on or adhered to the
medium in a manner to convey information 484. Words may
be printed on or adhered to the label 410 in order to convey
information 484. Once the selection 536 of the information
484 is complete, the information 538 may be imprinted 484
onto the label 410. Thereafter it may be useful to have a
system available for sampling and verifYing the quality of the
produced blank labels 410.
If a type of medium other than an optical medium 522 is
selected, additional steps may be relied upon. For example, if
a symbolic code medium 524 is selected, the selection of the
material 542 on which the code is to be imprinted may be
necessary. Selected materials 542 may include paper, card-
board, fabric, plastic, and the like. The material selected 542
may depend on the type of reader available.
The symbolic code 543 itself may include dots, images, bar
codes, or the like. The process of manufacture may be the
analogous to those for the optical medium commencing with
selection of shape 532.
If a magnetic medium 526 is selected, an additional step of
type selection may be warranted. Currently, several configu-
rations of magnetic media are available, including floppy
disks, zip disks, magnetic strips, magnetic tape, and so forth.
Size and storage considerations may favor any one of these
types of magnetic media over another in certain applications.
However, wherever technology provides a certain standard
configuration for each of these type of magnetic media, the
process may be analogous to that for the optical process 522
at the formation step 534.
Firmware 528 may also be selected as a computer-readable
medium. The firmware may be a chip 466 imbedded in a
substrate such as a plastic card. The chip may contain com-
puter-readable information that can be accessed when the
chip is positioned to be accessible by a computer. Technology
US 7,703,686 B2
21
may dictate many aspects of the chip including its shape. The
manufacturing process may then be analogous to the optical
medium process 522 at the formation step 534.
22
6. The article of claim 1, wherein the computer readable
medium stores data played back to the retail purchaser on a
playback device.
7. The article of claim 1, wherein the computer readable Referring to FIGS. 18 & 20, content selection 514 may
include the selection of the other information 486 corre-
sponding to data files and executable files. The data selection
550 may depend on the data the vendor wants to covey to and
collect from a user. Executables selection 552 may depend on
whether the executables are organic 534 to a user's system
installable files 556.
5 medium is formed in a shape conveying information corre-
sponding to at least one of the product, a vendor of the product
at retail, a supplier to the vendor, and a manufacturer if dif-
ferent from the supplier.
Referring to FIG.18, writing 516 may be directly related to
the type of medium selected. The labels may be examined 518
for quality control and then be available to be affixed to a
product by a suitable means.
10
From the above discussion, it will be appreciated that the 15
present invention provides a product labeling apparatus and
method that provides entertainment or other useful products
to a user, while providing links and implementation thereof
back to a vendor of services or products. Advertising impres-
sions and hot links may continue long after a product is used. 20
Accordingly, user information may be provided for use by
user, a vendor, or both. Meanwhile, product information may
be provided from a vendor to a user. The data and software
provided on a product label containing a computer-readable
medium may thus facilitate the data needs of a vendor while 25
providing a personal data repository for ready control and
access by a user. Meanwhile, focused links may provide ready
communication over the internet between a vendor and a
purchaser for the benefit of each.
8. The article of claim 1, wherein:
the computer readable medium comprises a physical object
providing at least one of an image and text directly
visible to the retail purchaser shopping the retail site;
the computer readable medium comprises at least on of an
optically readable medium, magnetically readable
medium, and electronically readable medium;
the instructions are embodied in at least one of software,
hardware, and firmware;
the product further comprises packaging having the
securement connected directly thereto; and
the computer readable medium further stores computer
data effective to deliver to the retail purchaser through
the computer thereof disclosure about at least one of the
product, a vendor of the product at retail, a distributor of
the product upstream from retail, and a manufacturer of
the product.
9. An apparatus comprising:
a product provided by a source;
a label affixed to the product by the source;
the label comprising an image containing first information
visible by and identifying to a purchaser of the product at
least one of the product and the source of the product;
and
the label further comprising a computer readable medium,
distinct from the product and storing instructions
executable by a computer of the purchaser of the prod-
uct.
The present invention may be embodied in other specific 30
forms without departing from its essential characteristics.
The described embodiments are to be considered in all
respects as illustrative only, and not restrictive. The scope of
the invention is, therefore, indicated by the appended claims,
rather than by the foregoing description. All changes within 35
the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are to be
embraced within their scope.
10. The apparatus of claim 9, wherein the first information
is communicated directly to the purchaser by at least one of a
40
color, a selection of colors, a shape, a symbol, a word, a name,
and a phrase, found in the image.
What is claimed and desired to be secured by United States
Letters Patent is:
1. An article of manufacture, comprising:
a product displayed for sale to a retail purchaser at a retail
site;
11. The apparatus of claim 9, wherein the computer-read-
able medium stores second information readable directly by
the computer of the purchaser and providing to the user at
a securement connecting a label to the product;
the label, further comprising advertising for the product
directed to the retail purchaser;
the label, further comprising a computer readable medium
distinct from the product; and
45
least one ofinformation about the product, information about
the source, information about other products, information
about use of the product, information about services corre-
sponding to the product, a game, entertainment, music, a data
gathering interface, a test, a browser, a launcher, and an inter-
the label, wherein the computer readable medium further
comprises instructions executable by a computing
device of the retail purchaser.
50 net link.
2. The article of claim 1, wherein the computer readable
medium comprises a physical object providing at least one of
an image and text directly visible to the retail purchaser
55
shopping the retail site.
3. The article of claim 1, wherein the computer readable
medium is readable by at least one of an optical reader,
electromagnetic reader, and electronic reader.
4. The article of claim 1, wherein the instructions are 60
embodied in at least one of software, hardware, and firmware.
5. The article claim 1, wherein the computer readable
medium further stores computer readable data about at least
one of the product and the source of the product, comprising
disclosure of information about at least one of the product, a 65
vendor, a supplier to the vendor, and a manufacturer different
from the supplier.
12. The apparatus of claim 9, wherein the product is
selected from a garment, footwear, headgear, a toy, a food-
stuff, furniture, an appliance, sporting goods, dry goods, a
tool, and a plant.
13. The apparatus of claim 9, wherein the apparatus further
comprises at least on of a protector covering the computer
readable medium before use and the label monolithically
integrated with the computer readable medium, the computer
readable medium being readable by at least one of an elec-
tromagnetic reader, optical reader, and electronic reader.
14. The apparatus of claim 9, wherein the computer-read-
able medium is formatted in at least one of a compact disk,
floppy disk, digital video disk, magnetic strip, bar code, sym-
bolic code, and an embedded chip.
15. The apparatus of claim 9, further comprising:
the first information printed on the label to communicate to
the user an identification of at least one of the product
US 7, 703,686 B2
23
and the source by at least one of a color, shape, symbol,
word, name, and phrase; and
the computer-readable medium further containing second
information comprising at least one of infornmtion
about the product, information about the source, infor-
5
mation about other products, information about use of
the product, information about services corresponding
to the product, a game, entertainment, music, a data
gathering interlace, a test, a browser, a launcher, and an
10
internet link; and
the computer readable medium readable by at least one of
an electroniagnetic reader, optical reader, and electronic
reader.
16. A method comprising: 15
providing a product from a supplier to a vendor selling to an
end user;
providing a label connected to the product and displaying
advertising to the end user, the advertising identifying at
20
least one of the product, vendor, and supplier;
providing the label further comprising a computer-read-
able medium distinct from the product and storing
instructions executable by a computing device of the end
user;
securing the label to the product; and
retailing the product from the vendor to the end user; and
loading and running by the end user the executable instruc-
tions from the label on a computer of the end user.
25
17. The method of claim 16, wherein identifYing comprises
30
at least one of providing an image, logo, shape of the com-
puter readable medium, text, word, or phrase, visible at an
external surface of the label.
24
18. The method of claim 16, wherein:
the advertising comprises a trademark corresponding to at
least one of the product, the vendor; and the supplier;
and
the computer readable computer-readable medium further
comprises data readable by the computer of the end user
and providing to the end user at least one of information
about the product, information about the vendor, infor-
mation about the supplier, information about other prod-
ucts, information about use of the product, information
about services corresponding to the product, a game,
entertainment, music, a data gathering interface inter-
acting with the end user, a data gathering interface inter-
acting with the end user's computer, a test, a browser, a
latmcher, and an internet link.
19. The method of claim 16, wherein the product is selected
from a illagazine, a garment, headgear, footwear, a toy, a
foodstuff, furniture, an appliance, sporting goods, dry goods,
a tool, and a plant.
20. The method of claim 16, wherein:
the product further comprises at least one of
a protector covering the computer readable medium
before use, and
the label monolithically integrated with the computer
readable medium;
the computer readable medium is readable by at least one
of an electromagnetic reader, optical reader, and elec-
tronic reader; and
the computer-readable medium is formatted in at least one
of a compact disk, floppy disk, digital video disk, mag-
netic strip, bar code, symbolic code, and an embedded
chip.
* * * * *
111111 1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
US007703686C 1
c12) EX PARTE REEXAMINATION CERTIFICATE (8733rd)
United States Patent c1o) Number: US 7,703,686 Cl
Montague (45) Certificate Issued: *Dec. 6, 2011
(54) CONSUMER-COMPUTER-READABLE
PRODUCTLABELAPPARATUSAND
METHOD
(75) Inventor: David R. Montague, Mapleton, UT
(US)
(73) Assignee: Etagz, Inc., Provo, UT (US)
Reexamination Request:
No. 90/011,245, Sep. 20,2010
Reexamination Certificate for:
Patent No.: 7,703,686
Issued: Apr. 27, 2010
Appl. No.: 12/398,112
Filed: Mar. 4, 2009
( *) Notice: This patent is subject to a terminal dis-
claimer.
Related U.S. Application Data
(63) Continuation of application No. 11/622,350, filed on Jan. 11,
2007, now Pat. No. 7,503,502, which is a continuation of
application No. 09/488,079, filed on Jan. 20, 2000. now Pat.
No. 8,050,964, which is a continuation-in-part of application
No. 09/306,077, filed on May 6, 1999, now Pat. No. 6,298,
332.
(51) Int.Cl.
G06K 19100
G06Q 30100
(2006.01)
(2006.01)
(52) U.S. Cl . ..................................... 235/487; 705/14.49
112
(58) Field of Classification Search ........................ None
See application file for complete search history.
(56) References Cited
To view the complete listing of prior art documents cited
during the proceeding for Reexamination Omtrol Number
90/011,245, please refer to the USPTO's public Patent
Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) system under the
Display References tab.
Primary E Lee
(57) ABSTRACT
A user-computer-readable medium provides all or part of a
product labeling system for engaging purchasers.
Executables, data, or both are recorded in the medium
embodied in a tag or other product labeling structure, in
order to deliver to a consumer or purchaser engaging presen-
tations of products, information, or registration templates.
As a result, purchasers may receive launchers, browsers,
viewers, e-mail systems, facsimile centers, players, or inter-
face brokers for the foregoing, if organically installed
already on a workstation of a purchaser. Software may pro-
vide catalog presentations, user registration templates,
communications, linkers, or engines, and the like. Operation
modules and profile builders may provide information over
ready links implemented by software on the medium. In cer-
tain embodiments, entertaiument, games, skill tests, and the
like, recorded in the medium as a tag or label may execute to
engage a purchaser and provide purchaser profiling
information, product purchasing information, and the like to
a vendor, while providing additional product information,
warranty registrations, applications, entertainment, or the
like, to a purchaser.
US 7,703,686 Cl
1
EX PARTE
REEXAMINATION CERTIFICATE
ISSUED UNDER 35 U.S.C. 307
THE PATENT IS HEREBY AMENDED AS
INDICATED BELOW.
Matter enclosed in heavy brackets [ ) appeared in the
patent, but has been deleted and is no longer a part ofthe
10
patent; matter printed in italics indicates additions made
to the patent.
AS A RESULT OF REEXAMINATION, IT HAS BEEN
DETERMINED THAT:
The patentability of claims 9, 14 and 15 is confirmed.
Claim 13 is determined to be patentable as amended.
15
20
New claims 21-34 are added and determined to be patent-
2
the label comprisingfirst information providing an adver-
tising impression, visible by and identifYing to a pur-
chaser of the product, at a point of purchase, at least
one of the product and the source of the product;
the label further comprising a computer readable
medium, operably independent and substantively dis-
tinct from the product; and
the label, wherein the computer readable medium stores
instructions executable by a computer of the purchaser
of the product.
28. The apparatus of claim 27, wherein the apparatus
further comprises at least one of'
a protector, covering the computer readable medium
before use; and
the label monolithically integrated with the computer
readable medium.
29. The apparatus of claim 27, wherein the computer
readable medium is readable by at least one of an
electromagnetic, optical, and electronic reader.
able.
Claims 1-8, 10-12 and 16-20 were not reexamined.
30. The apparatus of claim 27, wherein the computer-
readable medium is formatted in at least one of a compact
25
disk, .floppy disk, digital video disk, magnetic strip, bar code,
symbolic code, and an embedded chip.
13. The apparatus of claim 9, wherein the apparatus fur-
ther comprises at least [on) one of a protector covering the
computer readable medium before use and the label mono-
lithically integrated with the computer readable medium, the
computer readable medium being readable by at least one of
30
an electromagnetic reader, optical reader, and electronic
reader.
21. An article of manufacture, comprising:
a product displayed for sale to a retail purchaser at a
retail site;
a securement, connecting a label to the product;
35
the label, further comprising advertising, visible at a
point of purchase, to provide an advertising impression 40
to the retail purchaser/or the product;
the label, further comprising a computer readable
medium operably independent and substantively dis-
tinct/rom the product; and
the label, wherein the computer readable medium further
45
comprises instructions executable by a computing
device of the retail purchaser.
22. The article of claim 21,
wherein the computer readable medium comprises a
50
physical object having a face presenting the advertising
impression;
wherein the computer readable medium is at least one of
optically, magnetically, and electronically readable.
23. The article of claim 21, further comprising packaging 55
covering at least a portion of the product, the securement
being connected directly to the packaging.
24. The article of claim 23, wherein the packaging com-
pletely encloses the product.
25. The article of claim 24, wherein the packaging.further
60
comprises a detent fixing the label to the packaging.
26. The article of claim 24, wherein the label is completely
31. The apparatus of claim 27,further comprising:
the first information printed on the label communicating
to the user an identification of at least one of the prod-
uct and the source by at least one of a color, shape,
symbol, word, name, and phrase;
the computer-readable medium further containing second
information comprising information about at least one
of the product, the source, other products, use of the
product, services corresponding to the product, a game,
entertainment, music, a data gathering interface, a test,
a browser, a launcher, and an internet link; and
the computer readable medium, readable by at least one
of an electromagnetic, optical, and electronic reader.
32. A method comprising:
providing a product from a supplier to a vendor selling to
an end user;
providing a securement;
providing a label connected by the securement to the
product and having a face displaying an advertising
impression directed to the end user,
the providing a label, wherein the advertising impression
identifies at least one of the product, vendor, and sup-
plier;
providing the label, wherein the label further comprises a
computer-readable medium operably independent and
substantively distinct from the product, storing instruc-
tions executable by a computing device of the end user;
providing a communication reflecting retailing of the
product from the vendor to the end user; and
the providing the communication occurring in conse-
quence of loading and running by the end user the
executable instructions from the label on a computer of
the end user.
inside the packaging.
27. An apparatus comprising:
a product provided by a source;
a label affixed to the product by the source;
33. The method of claim 32, wherein the product is
65
selected from a magazine, a garment, headgear, footwear, a
toy, a foodstuff, furniture, an appliance, sporting goods, dry
goods, a tool, and a plant.
US 7,703,686 Cl
3
34. The method of claim 32, wherein:
the product further comprises at least one of a protector
covering the computer readable medium before use,
and the label monolithically integrated with the com-
puter readable medium;
the computer readable medium is readable by at least one
of an electromagnetic, optical, and electronic reader;
and
4
the computer-readable medium is formatted in at least
one of a compact disk, floppy disk, digital video disk,
magnetic strip, bar code, symbolic code, and an embed-
ded chip.
* * * * *
August lOu', 2012
Via Federal Express
John Stephens, Owner
Rich-N-Tone Calls Inc
2315 HWY63 N
Stuttgart, AR 72160
Re: Infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,503,502; 7,703,686; and 6,298,332
Dear Mr. Stephens,
eTAGZ, a Utah corporation, is the owner of United States Patents 7,503,502; 7,703,686; and 6,298,332
(the "eTAGZ Patents"). The eTAGZ Patents are directed at methods of consumer-computer readable
product labeling. Attached are abstracts of the patents.
The inventions described by these patents are used by companies to add value to their products through
the offering of additional mediums of content to products. Examples of infringing activities could
include:
• Magazine and CD bundling
• Consumer products that include CO's attached to the packaging
• Clothing that utilizes a memory device as the label
• Books with computer readable promotional attachments
Some of the benefits companies receive from using these inventions are:
• increased product visibility (additional digital content]
• increased additional revenues (through relevant and directed advertising)
• greater customer satisfaction (gained from meaningful content delivered in addition to the
original product that is purchased)
• greater brand recognition (by linking the user to directed campaigns)
The inventions detailed in the various claims of these patents were developed by David R. Montague for
eTAGZ in the years 2000 and 2009. The patents represent the rights granted by the United States Patent
Trademark Office to eTAGZ for proprietary intellectual property. As an industry leader, the company has
secured a strong market share in the computer readable product labeling space with clients reaching
across many industries and nations.
We have reviewed your use of the eTAGZ Patents and believe that your product(s) utilize the inventions
embodied in the eTAGZ Patents.
The eTAGZ licensing Opportunity
I
EXHIBIT
D
eTAGZ's patented technology will provide numerous benefits to your company by increasing product
visibility, increasing future revenues, growing customer satisfaction and expanding brand recognition for
your products or services. Through the use of computer readable tags, you are able to direct customers
to your content rather than spreading it out to the masses. Through eTAGZ's technology, you will be
able to send messages directly to the demographics that are in the stores purchasing your products.
We are interested in reaching a direct, negotiated (and without litigation) licensing arrangement for all
of your uses of the eTAGZ Patents under your brand names and would like to discuss this matter with
you within 14 days of your receipt of this letter.
Please contact the undersigned at your earliest convenience.
Ed Bruno
Licensing Agent for eTAGZ, Inc.
Bruno.E@eTagz.com
{206) 353-5222
Sincerely,
eTAGZ, Inc.
(801) 377-3400
Enclosures (S)
eTAGZ is a corporation based in Provo, Utah and its legal representation is provided by Pia Anderson
Dorius Reynard & Moss, LLC.
Notice
eTAGZ reserves all rights with regard to the 'SOZ, '686 and '332 patents, including: (1) the right to seek damages anytime within the
last six years that your company started to make use of eTAGZ patented technology; (2) the right to change its royalty rates at any
time; (3) the right to change this licensing program at any time without notice, including variance to conform to applicable laws. You
should not rely on any communication or lack of communication from eTAGZ as a relinquishment of any of eTAGZ's rights.
'332 Patent Claim 1
tRbla"
m

a;
=i
• 'July 17th, 2012
RNT
Hunter Series Goose Calling Kit
1. An apparatus comprising
1) A first computer associated
with a user and containing
a first processor;
2) A second computer
associated with a vendor
and containing a second
processor;
3) A label comprising a
computer readable
medium and adapted to be
selectively secured to and
removed from a product
corresponding to the
vendor and purchased by
the user;
4) The label, further provided
with vendor data provided
by the vendor and
computer readable
instructions executable on
the first computer for
presenting vendor
information to the user.
Rule 408- Confidential
• - ., ______ _

t'
llim
1
'332 Patent Claim 47
July 17th1 2012
RNT
Hunter Series Goose Calling Kit
47. A method comprising
1) providing a label selectively
securable to products to
designate a source of the
products and comprising a
computer readable medium;
2) providing vendor data
corresponding to the source and
directed to purchasers of the
products;
3) recording the vendor data on the
computer readable medium to
be readable by a first computer
associated with a retail
purchaser, from among the
purchasers of the products, the
vendor data being operably
independent and substantively
distinct from the product;
4) the providing vendor data, further
comprising providing
instructions executable by the
first computer to present to the
retail purchaser access, from the
vendor, to a presentation to the
purchaser;
S) the providing label, further
comprising providing a face
thereof presenting an image,
visible to and presenting an
advertising impression to, the
purchaser at a point of
purchase;
6) securing the label to the product;
7} distributing the label and product
to the purchaser.
Rule 408- Confidential
2
'332 Patent Claim 47
July 17th1 2012
RNT
Hunter Series Goose Calling Kit
47. A method comprising
3) recording the vendor data on the
computer readable medium to
be readable by a first computer
associated with a retail
purchaser, from among the
purchasers of the products, the
vendor data being operably
independent and substantively
distinct from the product;
4) the providing vendor data, further
comprising providing
Instructions executable by the
first computer to present to the
retail purchaser access, from the
vendor, to a presentation to the
purchaser;
Rule 408 - Confidential
3
eTAGZ
Infringement of Claim 1 of the '332 Patent
(Independent)
A. computer Is assocl.ated with a vendor.
A computer-readable medium label may be secured to
products in any number of ways to designate a source of the
products (or Indicate a manufacturer, distributor, or seller of
the products).
Plain language of the tlaim.
Plain languageofthedaim.
Plain language of the claim and the description of "label" in
the patent specification (col. 15, lines
58-63; col. 5, lines 38-42). The distinction between product
and label provided in the patent specification (col. 15, lines 58-
63) and the description of •Jabel" above. Securement may be
effectuated by inserting a CD between the cover and backing.
or any of a number of non-exclusive means described in the
patent specification (col. 6, lines 20-30).
•. Plain language .of the claim the df!Stription of. •vendor.
C91-·6 lines
. and .
.. be, on a CD-JtC)M that

multimeifia• Presentations and 2,
line 3; cpl2, 29;37;col.u, lines g.
12),etc. · ·
eTAGZ
Infringement of Claim 47 of the '332 Patent
(Independent)
providing vendor data corresponding to the source and
directed to purchasers of the products;
the providing the label, further comprising providing a face
thereof presenting an image, visible to and presenting an
advertising impression to, the purchaser at a point of

Claim Construction
A computer-readable medium label may be secured to
products in any number of ways to designate a source of the
products (or Indicate a manufacturer, distributor, or seller of
the products).
'J»roviding vendor data sud) CIS marketing .material, Including
;e,l!eciltables and that 'correspond to, or
a source of the 11rilferlylng. products to··.
:purcbasers •. · · · · · ·
Providing vendor data such as marketing material, including
executables and non-executables, on a medium that can be
read on the purchaser's computer.
Justification
Plain language of the claim and the description of "label" in the
patent specification {col. 15, lines
58-63; col. 5, lines 38-42). The distinction between product and
label provided In the patent specification (col. 15, Jines 58-63)
and the description of "Iaber above. Securement may be
effectuated by inserting a CD between the cover and backing.
or any of a number of non-exclusive means described in the
patent specification (col. 6, lines 20-30).
• Plain. language. of the claim and the of "Vendor
• icf!ta" In speclficatlon.(col.1,11nes 57·66; col. 6 lines
47.55• . . . .
17·23k
Plain language of the claim and the description of "vendor
data" in the patent specifiCation (col.l, lines 57-66; col. 6 lines
47-55
and 65-67; col. 12,1ines 17-23).
Plalnlanguageofthe daimandthe descriptlon.of "vendor
.· patl!nt 5peclflcatJ9n 57-GG;coJ, &lines
cpi.12;;Jines .· .
operat{clnatdata p;1ay to. a user on.il that
.. alone; orln.comblnation:wma materials ..
· · Pll!Serlt multlmedla;presentatloosand Ones
.nne 3; co/2, .lines 42·51; col. to, llriesg,;u),
<etc.· · · ·
The label has an image that conveys advertising Information to Plain language of the claim.
the purchaser at the time of the purchase.
l't'h .. secured to the product.
Distributing the label and product to a purchaser.
Ptaln lang11age of the; claim. Including <any securement, as
described .In the that the label maybe attached to
a Pafka&ed Prod!ICt by to unpadcaged product
later Inserted packaging (col. 19, ll(les 27·29). A
packaged a.product surt()unded by packaging;
and tfle paCkaging may.be soft pac/caglng,such as.an
a bil& or other coverlflgmade ofplastic:;'paper,·doth;.on:ither
flexible or material;. or the packaging rriay be hard paCkaging.
such ·as a box, case, frame, or the. like of any stiff and strong
material (col. 19,11nes 16-26).
Plain language of the claim.
From: Ed Bruno [mailto:bruno.e@etagz.com]
Sent: Monday, February 04, 2013 12:02 PM
To: Barrett Deacon
Subject: RE: eTAGZ I RNT Calls
Confidential Settlement Communication Protected Under FRE 408:
Dear Barrett,
We have made extensive concessions, in good faith, on our side to resolve this matter. Of the
initial nine (9) products we placed on notice, we agreed, in the spirit of resolution, to drop six ( 6)
which could be argued to be less infringing. Of the three (3) remaining products we noted nearly
$600,000.00 in retail sales ($570,435.00). Below is the transactional sales data on those
products:
"I"""" :"
2/1/2009- 1/31/2012/1/2010- 1/31/: 2/1/2(J ..l:! .... --.... !f.:ll/2012/1/12- Pr
RNT DVD Combos
RNT00123 837 1911 1847
Duck Hunter DVD combo
RNT00143 541 2045 986
Goose Hunter DVD combo
RNT00312 0 398 30
Speck Hunter DVD combo
What leads your client to believe $1,000 resolves past damages and is worthy of a future license
in this matter? Furthermore, our settlement agreements, which we protect with the strictest of
confidentiality, have been forced into exposure via discovery in some of our litigations. There is
no way we can have some most favored nation deal out there for anybody. We also struggle
with the fact that your client generates significant financial benefit from his product sales that
utilize our invention. And from these significant sales, your client "is not in a position to pay a
significant sum"? Here is our last and final offer : $17,100.00 for past damages only with no
future license. We can structure the settlement into two, consecutive monthly payments of
$8,550.00 each. Additionally, we are certain the settlement value of this matter would grow
significantly in litigation.
Please advise how your client would like to proceed.
My regards,
Ed
EXHIBIT
I F