06430554 is referenced by 270 patents.
An interactive search system for use primarily with a global computer network, e.g., the Internet, using a search identifying barcode, such as a UPC code, to rapidly and effectively obtain a supply of related information for presentation to a user. A computer may be used to input a UPC code, taken from a package or advertisement or pre-stored in the computer, to an implementing server on the network. The server contains a database of product and manufacturer identifying UPC codes and uses the input UPC code and the database to identify the manufacturer and is programmed to then perform a search of the network to locate sites relating to or operated by the manufacturer. Also, the server may search the network on a product basis to locate other sites containing the UPC under search. To reduce search time, the user can identify the optional category of the product when the UPC is entered and the server may be programmed to initially search sites where a greater likelihood of uncovering a particular UPC exists. Using “parsing” technology, the server “pulls out” the product description, transmits it to and places it in a random access memory (RAM) or storage of the computer, and proceeds to perform further searching relying on the product description to uncover relevant information. Accordingly, using a single input, a collection of product-related and manufacturer information is quickly assembled in the computer available for a user's consideration all at once at any time. To purchase the particular product, the server can automatically link the computer with the manufacturer's site on the network or the server, to permit direct ordering.