By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Engineering -- According to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews journalists, a patent by the inventors Wehner, Ulrich (Lawrenceville, GA); Oba, Kazutaka (Duluth, GA), filed on March 20, 2007, was published online on November 17, 2015.
The assignee for this patent, patent number 9189192, is RICOH COMPANY, LTD. (Tokyo, JP).
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "In the current information age, there are often discussions of the desirableness of a paperless society. However, notwithstanding such discussions, there remains a great need by users of computers and other information terminals (that is, any of the various conventional devices which have a need to print on demand, such as personal computers, notebook computers, workstations, other types of computers, kiosks, PDAs, other information appliances, etc.) for printing functionality. Therefore, devices having printing or plotting functionality, such as printers, copiers, multi-function devices, etc., continue to play a significant role in information technology (IT) at home and at work. The terms 'printer' and 'printer device' are used hereinafter generically to include any output device having a printing or plotting functionality, and include multi-function devices having a copy and/or scanning functionality in addition to the printing or plotting functionality.
"A computing device typically submits an electronic document or file to a specified printer by use of a pre-installed print driver, using facilities provided by the operating system, and the application that was used to create the file.
"Typically, a print driver plugs into the infrastructure within the underlying print system provided by the operating system of a computing device. Drivers are generally provided by device manufacturers, and the drivers support specific devices, specific features and certain operating systems.
"For example, a computing device having only a print driver for printing to a printer of printer type number one, in most instances, will not be able to print with a printer of printer type number two. Similarly, a computing device running an operating system (OS) of OS type number one, cannot use a print driver supporting OS type number two (but not supporting OS type number one). As another example, a computing device having only a print driver supporting single-sided printing (but not supporting duplex printing) to a specific printer will not be able to perform duplex printing to the specified printer, even if the specific printer has duplex printing capabilities.
"The limitations of print drivers make it difficult for users of any computing device to submit any file to any printer. It is unlikely that any one computing device has print drivers for each printing device. This is a real constraint in the current information age in which information terminals have mobility and network capabilities that allow the terminals to receive and/or download files from heterogeneous sources, and allow the terminal to navigate to previously unvisited IT environments having printing devices for which the terminal does not have print drivers.
"It is also unlikely that any such computing device has all of the applications needed for all files that might require printing. Further, even if a computing device has an application of one version does not necessarily ensure that the computing device can print (or at least obtain an acceptable printout of) a file created by a different version of the application.
"Mobile or hand held devices often do not have an operating system that supports printer drivers, printer ports, or many of the applications in typical use today. While unable to create many file types, they can often receive or download these files by means like electronic mail, web browsers, etc.
"In addition, installation of print drivers requires knowledge of the target printing device, access to the drivers, privileges to install drivers on the information terminal, and often overwhelms the user, resulting in frustrations, help desk calls, and unpredictable results.
"There is a need for better techniques for submitting files to printing devices."
In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "This disclosure describes methods, apparatuses and systems for computing devices to submit files to printers regardless of operating system, application availability, or driver support.
"In one aspect of this disclosure, a system can be provided with capabilities to discover unknown printing devices and provide the results of the discovery to the user.
"In another aspect of this disclosure, a system can be provided with capabilities to discover the capabilities of the printing devices and describe them to the user.
"Further, the subject matter of this disclosure also can include providing capabilities to the user to specify options to be applied to a print job.
"In one exemplary embodiment of the disclosure, an apparatus and/or method (for example implemented on one or more information terminals configured through an appropriate program of instructions, to print to a selected printer in a printing system) for submitting a print job to a specified printer is configured to (i) convert a document created with a specific application and to be printed, into a print-ready form that is independent of the specific printer and independent of computing platform, and (ii) submit the print job to the specified printer, without using a printer driver.
"For example, such features, in whole or in part, may be implemented as a print application provided through a network to an information terminal enabling a user to print a print job on a specified printer, without using a printer driver."
For more information, see this patent: Wehner, Ulrich; Oba, Kazutaka. Driverless Printing System, Apparatus and Method. U.S. Patent Number 9189192, filed March 20, 2007, and published online on November 17, 2015. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=9189192.PN.&OS=PN/9189192RS=PN/9189192
Keywords for this news article include: Computers, RICOH COMPANY LTD.
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