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US6738491: Image forming apparatus and copy management system

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Filing Information

Inventor(s) Yoshikazu Ikenoue · Hideo Kumashiro · Munehiro Nakatani ·
Assignee(s) Minolta Co., Ltd. ·
Attorney/Agent(s) Sidley Austin Brown & Wood LLP ·
Primary Examiner Jon Chang ·
Application Number US8911101
Filing date 08/14/1997
Issue date 05/18/2004
Predicted expiration date 06/29/2013
U.S. Classifications 382/100  · 283/901  · 283/93  · 399/366  · 283/902  · 382/195  ·
International Classifications --
Kind CodeB1
International Classifications 382100 · 382135 · 382195 · 382232 · 382317 · 283 72 · 283 93 · 283902 · 283901 · 399366 · 380 51 · 380 54 · 380 3 · 358 114 ·
Related U.S. Application DataCROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
This is a division of U.S. patent application Ser. No.08/327,223, filed Oct. 21, 1994, now U.S. Pat. No. 5,671,277, which is a continuation of then application Ser. No. 08/084,408, filed on Jun. 29, 1993, now abandoned.
Foreign Priority JPP4172617 - 06/30/1992 · JPP4172621 - 06/30/1992 · JPP4172659 - 06/30/1992 · JPP4172672 - 06/30/1992 · JPP4172680 - 06/30/1992 ·
26 Claims, 24 Drawings


Abstract

Additional data useful for the management of copies of a document for an image forming apparatus is embedded in a hard copy of the document. The additional data is embedded in an image of a document as discrete dots arranged in a prescribed format. Preferably, the size of each of said discrete dots is such as not to be recognized easily with the naked eye. The image data for embedding the additional data can be obtained by reading a document, or by receiving data sent from a computer. Additional data embedded in a hard copy can be extracted from the image data on the hard copy. Further, the production of a copy according to the image data, can be controlled according to the extracted additional data. Additional data is generated for each copy according to the extracted additional data for embedding it in a hard copy to identify each copy.

Independent Claims | See all claims (26)

  1. 1. An image forming apparatus comprising: an input device for inputting image data; an extracting device for extracting additional data embedded in input image data; and an analyzer for analyzing a distribution path from original image data, which corresponds to such input image data, to the input image data by said input device based on that additional data extracted by said extracting device.
  2. 3. An image forming apparatus comprising: an input device to input image data; an extracting device to extract additional data embedded in input image data inputted by said input device; and an embedding device to prepare new additional data, based on additional data extracted by said extracting device, and to embed the new additional data in image data inputted by said input device.
  3. 4. An image forming apparatus comprising: an input device to input first image data; a search means to search for an area to embed additional data in image data inputted by said input device; and an embedding device to change density levels of pixels of image data included in an area searched by said search means, in a manner representative of additional data to be embedded, and to embed the additional data in the image data inputted by said input device.
  4. 5. An image forming apparatus, comprising: an input device for inputting image data; an embedding device to embed at least first additional data and second additional data in image data inputted by said input device, wherein the first additional data and the second additional data are the same, wherein the embedding device is adapted to synthesize the first and second additional data and the image data inputted by said input device such that an output image data provided by the embedding device includes the image data, at least a first pixel group and at least a second pixel group within the input image data, the first and second pixel groups having a predetermined pattern and having selected ones of the pixels in each pixel group altered or unaltered, wherein at least one pixel in the first pixel group represents a binary digit of the first additional data indicated by whether the one pixel in the fires pixel group is altered or unaltered and at least one pixel in the second pixel group represents a binary digit of the second additional data indicated by whether the one pixel in the second pixel group is altered or unaltered, wherein the output image is substantively identical visually to an image representative of image data inputted by said input device; and wherein in the output image the first additional data assumes a first orientation and the second additional data assumes a second orientation, and said first orientation and said second orientation are different.
  5. 8. An image forming apparatus, comprising: an input device for inputting image data; and an embedding device to embed additional data in image data inputted by said input device, wherein the additional data are a plurality of predefined, discontinuous data units, and each data unit includes at least one indicator that establishes a predefined relationship with respect to at least one other data unit, and wherein at least a portion of said plurality of data units are combinable, based on said predefined relationship, to form a single set of information.
  6. 9. An image processing apparatus comprising: an extracting device for extracting additional data embedded in inputted image data; and an analyzer for analyzing a distribution path from original image data, which corresponds to such input image data, to the inputted image data based on extracted additional data.
  7. 11. An image processing apparatus comprising: an extracting device to extract additional data embedded in inputted image data; and an embedding device to prepare new additional data, based on extracted additional data, and to embed the new additional data in inputted image data.
  8. 12. An image processing apparatus comprising: search means to search for an area to embed additional data in input image data; and an embedding device to change density levels of pixels of image data included in an area searched by said search means, in a manner representative of additional data to be embedded, and to embed the additional data in the input image data.
  9. 13. An image processing apparatus comprising: an input device for inputting image data; and an embedding device to embed additional data in image data inputted by said input device, wherein the embedding device is adapted to embed the additional data within the image data inputted by said input device such that an output image data provided by the embedding device includes the image data and at least one pixel group within the image data, the one pixel group having a predetermined pattern and having selected ones of the pixels in the one pixel group altered or unaltered, wherein at least one pixel in the one pixel group represents a binary digit of the additional data indicated by whether the one pixel is altered or unaltered, and wherein the output image data including the additional data is substantively identical visually to an image representative of image data inputted by said input device.
  10. 16. An image processing apparatus comprising: an input device for inputting image data; and an embedding device to embed additional data in image data inputted by said input device, wherein the additional data are a plurality of predefined, discontinuous data units, and each data unit includes at least one indicator that establishes a predefined relationship with respect to at least one other data unit, and wherein at least a portion of said plurality of data units are combinable, based on said predefined relationship, to form a single set of information.
  11. 17. A data processing apparatus comprising: an extracting device for extracting embedded additional data in inputted data; and an analyzer for analyzing a distribution path from original data, which corresponds to such input data, to the inputted data, wherein the distribution path is derived from extracted additional data.
  12. 18. A data processing apparatus comprising: an extracting device to extract embedded additional data in inputted data; and an embedding device to prepare new additional data, based on extracted additional data, and to embed the new additional data in inputted data.
  13. 19. A data processing apparatus comprising: search means to search for an area to embed additional data in input data; and an embedding device to change a prescribed characteristic level included in an area searched by said search means, in a manner representative of additional data to be embedded, and to embed the additional data in the input data.
  14. 20. A data processing apparatus comprising: an input device for inputting data; and an embedding device to embed additional data in data inputted by said input device, wherein the additional data are a plurality of predefined, discontinuous data units, and each data unit includes at least one indicator that establishes a predefined relationship with respect to at least one other data unit, and wherein at least a portion of said plurality of data units are combinable, based on said predefined relationship, to form a single set of information.
  15. 21. A method of processing data so as to embed additional data in image data comprising the steps of: inputting image data; extracting additional data embedded in inputted image data; and analyzing a distribution path from original image data, which corresponds to such inputted image data, to the inputted image data based on extracted additional data.
  16. 22. A method of processing data so as to embed additional data in image data comprising the steps of: inputting image data; extracting additional data embedded in inputted image data; and preparing new additional data, based on extracted additional data, and embedding the new additional data in said inputted image data.
  17. 23. A method of processing data so as to embed additional data in image data comprising the steps of: inputting first image data; searching inputted first image data for an area to embed additional data; and changing density levels of pixels of the inputted first image data included in a searched area, in a manner representative of additional data to be embedded, so as to embed the additional data in the inputted first image data.
  18. 24. A method of processing data so as to embed additional data in image data comprising the steps of: inputting image data; and embedding additional data in inputted image data, wherein the additional data are a plurality of predefined, discontinuous data units, and each data unit includes at least one indicator that establishes a predefined relationship with respect to at least one other data unit, and wherein at least a portion of said plurality of data units are combinable, based on said predefined relationship, to form a single set of information.
  19. 25. An image processing apparatus comprising: an input device to input image data; an extracting device to extract additional data embedded in input image data; a generator to generate new additional data, wherein the new additional data has a relationship with extracted additional data; and an embedding device to embed new additional data in input image data.
  20. 26. An image processing method comprising the steps of: inputting image data; extracting additional data embedded in input image data; generating new additional data having a relationship to extracted additional data; and embedding new additional data in input image data.

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Referenced By

Document NumberAssigneeInventorsIssue/Pub Date
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US7239734 Digimarc Corporation Adnan M. Alattar et al. Jul 2007
US7492920 Alpvision SA Frederic Jordan et al. Feb 2009
US7532740 Digimarc Corporation Kenneth L. Levy May 2009
US7463752 Konica Minolta Business Technologies, Inc. Yoshikazu Ikenoue Dec 2008
US7532836 Konica Minolta Business Technologies, Inc. Yoichi Kawabuchi et al. May 2009
US7570784 Digimarc Corporation Adnan M. Alattar Aug 2009
US7362781 Digimarc Corporation Geoffrey B. Rhoads Apr 2008
US7295339 Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba Hidenori Kobayashi et al. Nov 2007
US7062070 Digimarc Corporation Robert D. Powell et al. Jun 2006
US7266215 Minolta Co., Ltd. Yoshikazu Ikenoue et al. Sep 2007
US7573614 Ricoh Company, Ltd. Naoto Shiraishi Aug 2009
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US6965682 DAVIS BRUCE L Bruce L. Davis et al. Nov 2005
US7197156 Digimarc Corporation Kenneth Lee Levy Mar 2007
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US7339599 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Junichi Hayashi Mar 2008
US7461136 Digimarc Corporation Geoffrey B. Rhoads Dec 2008
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US7974495 Digimarc Corporation Adnan M. Alattar Jul 2011
US7987245 Digimarc Corporation Geoffrey B. Rhoads Jul 2011
US8014563 Digimarc Corporation Geoffrey B. Rhoads Sep 2011
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US8027520 Digimarc Corporation Geoffrey B. Rhoads Sep 2011
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US8117665 Konica Minolta Business Technologies, Inc. Yoichi Kawabuchi et al. Feb 2012
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