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Inventor and entrepreneur LeRoy G. Hagenbuch has granted a non-exclusive license related to a portfolio of patents directed to radio frequency identification (RFID)-based refuse container interrogation and collection.

Toter LLC is a waste management company in Charlotte, North Carolina. Toter is the second party in the U.S. authorized to sell systems, such as its SmartWay III System, under Hagenbuch’s patents. Hagenbuch said he intends to continue enforcing his patents in the waste industry, but is willing to grant licenses under his patents on reasonable financial terms.

The patents licensed to Toter generally relate to the use of RFID tags embedded in refuse containers such as household carts or larger containers and bins. Collectively, those patents cover, among other things, processes for refuse collection whereby records are generated for cart loading location, the identity of the cart being loaded, the time of collection and/or the weight of material in the carts being loaded. Some or all of this information may be downloaded to a central location and used for any number of purposes, including fleet management, customer billing and confirmation of refuse container pickup.

In addition, a number of the patent claims cover refuse collection processes designed to ensure that a collection event is recorded only when the contents of a cart are actually loaded into a haulage vehicle. This helps waste and recycling collection companies avoid false positives, which can occur where a vehicle interrogates a refuse cart but loading does not occur.

Hagenbuch has obtained more than 60 patents in the U.S. alone. Included in the portfolio of patents licensed to Toter are U.S. Patent Nos. 5,327,347, 5,416,706, 5,631,835 and 5,644,489. In addition to Toter, licensees of his technologies and patents have included Otto Environmental Systems North America Inc., Caterpillar and Komatsu, among others. Hagenbuch is the Co-Founder of Philippi-Hagenbuch, Inc., Peoria, Illinois and serves as its chief engineer.

Published in the March 2014 Edition of American Recycler News