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1. (WO2017039935) METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR TRACKING CONTAINERS
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Claims

1.

A method comprising the steps of:

manufacturing containers (24), including forming the containers (24) and serializing the containers (24) with machine-readable codes (26) that are integral to and irremovable from the containers (24);

using the machine-readable codes (26) to store data associated with the containers (24), including at least one of a date of container manufacture, a time of container manufacture, production facility data, or container quality data;

supplying the containers (24) to a customer;

receiving from the customer, data obtained from customer-readings of the machine-readable codes (26) and including data relating to the filling of the containers (24);

receiving from a seller of products including the containers (24), data obtained from seller-readings of the machine-readable codes (26) and including at least one of a date of container sale, a time of container sale, or seller-specific data; and

analyzing the data received from the customer-readings and seller-readings to determine certain information relating to the containers (24).

2.

The method of claim 1, further comprising:

associating the data from the customer-readings and seller-readings with the particular container(s) (24) to which the data corresponds; and

storing the data in an electronic memory device (20) with other data corresponding to the same container(s) (24).

3.

The method of claim 1, wherein the data from the customer-readings and seller-readings is received from electronic scanning devices (14) configured to read the machine-readable codes (26) of the containers (24).

4.

The method of claim 1, further comprising receiving from an end user of the products including the containers (24), data obtained from end user-readings of the machine-readable codes (26) and including dates of the end user-readings, times of the end-user readings, or both.

5.

The method of claim 4, further comprising:

comparing the data from the customer-readings, seller-readings, and end user-readings across at least one of product brands, product distribution channels, or container types; and

selling the data to the customer.

A method for container manufacturing and design, comprising the steps of: designing and manufacturing containers (24) including forming the containers(24) and serializing each of the containers (24) with a unique machine-readable code (26) that is integral to and irremovable from the container (24);

using the machine-readable codes (26) to store data associated with the containers (24), including at least one of a date of container manufacture, a time of container manufacture, production facility data, or container quality data;

supplying the containers (24) to a customer;

receiving from the customer, data obtained from readings of the machine-readable codes (26) and including data relating to the filling of the containers (24); and

using the data received from the customer as feedback for modifying a design of the containers (24).

7.

The method of claim 6, further comprising:

associating the data received from the customer with the particular container(s) (24) to which the data corresponds; and

storing the data in an electronic memory device (20) with other data corresponding to the same container(s) (24).

8.

A system (10) comprising:

a central server (12);

a database (16) accessible by the server (12) and providing storage for data relating to containers (24) traveling within a distribution chain; and

a plurality of electronic code readers (14) located at different points throughout the distribution chain, the code readers (14) being configured to read machine-readable codes (26) carried by the containers (24) and to electronically communicate data obtained as a result of the readings of the machine-readable codes (26) to the central server (12), wherein each machine-readable code (26) is representative of a data associated with the corresponding container (24); wherein the central server (12) is configured to:

receive from a customer to whom one or more containers (24) were supplied, data obtained from customer-readings of the machine-readable codes (26) of those containers (24) by one or more of the plurality electronic code reader(s) (14) located at the customer, wherein the data includes data relating to the filling of the containers (24);

receive from a seller of products including the containers (24), data obtained from seller-readings of the machine-readable codes (26) by another one or more of the electronic code reader(s) (14) located at the seller, wherein the data includes at least one of a date of container sale, a time of container sale, or seller-specific data; and

generate a report based on the data from the customer readings, seller readings, and end user readings.

9.

The system (10) of claim 8, wherein the central server (12) is configured to:

associate the data from the customer-readings and seller-readings with the particular container(s) (24) to which the data corresponds; and

store the data in an electronic memory device (20) with other data corresponding to the same container(s) (24).

10.

The system of claim 8, wherein the central server (12) is configured to analyze the data from the customer-readings and seller-readings and to generate the report based on that analysis.

11.

The system of claim 8, wherein the central server (12) is further configured to receive from an end user of the products including the containers (24), data obtained from end user-readings of the machine-readable codes (26) by yet another one or more of the electronic code reader(s) (14) located at the end user, wherein the data includes dates of the end user-readings, times of the end user-readings, or both, and to generate the report based on the data from the customer-readings, seller-readings, and end user-readings.

12.

The system of claim 11, wherein the central server (12) is configured to analyze the data from the customer-readings, seller-readings, and end user-readings, and to generate the report based on that analysis.

13.

A method comprising the steps of:

manufacturing containers (24), including forming the containers (24) and serializing each of the containers with a unique machine-readable code (26) that are integral to and irremovable from the container (24);

using the machine-readable codes (26) to store data associated with the containers (24), including at least one of a date of container manufacture, a time of container manufacture, production facility data, or container quality data;

supplying the containers (24) to a customer;

receiving from the customer, data obtained from customer-readings of the machine-readable codes (26) and including a quantity of refills of the containers (24);

earning revenue from the customer dependent at least in part on the quantity of refills of the containers (24).

14.

The method of claim 13, wherein the containers (24) comprise reusable containers, and the method further comprises:

establishing a market sale price for comparable containers in a non-reusable form otherwise identical to the reusable containers (24); and

monetizing the reusable containers (24) in relation to the established market sale price.

15.

The method of claim 14, wherein the monetizing step includes selling the serialized reusable containers (24) at an initial price that is below the established market sale price, and receiving a per-refill compensation from the customer every time the serialized container (24) is refilled by the bottler wherein a sum of the reduced sale price plus a totality of the per-refill compensation is greater than the established market sale price.

16.

The method of claim 14, wherein the monetizing step includes not selling the serialized reusable container (24) to the customer and, instead, receiving a per-refill compensation from the customer every time the serialized container (24) is refilled by the customer wherein a sum of the totality of the per-refill compensation is greater than the established market sale price.

17.

The method of claim 14, wherein the monetizing step includes selling the serialized reusable containers (24) at price that is above the established market sale price, and guaranteeing to the customer a minimum quantity of reuses of the container (24), wherein if the guaranteed minimum quantity is exceeded, the manufacturer receives a per-refill compensation from the customer every time the serialized container (24) is refilled by the customer in excess of the guaranteed minimum quantity, but wherein if the guaranteed minimum quantity is not met, then the manufacturer returns a pro-rated portion of the increased sale price to the customer.

18.

The method of claim 13, further comprising:

associating the data from the customer-readings with the particular container(s) (24) to which the data corresponds; and

storing the data in an electronic memory device (20) with other data corresponding to the same container(s) (24).

19.

The method of claim 13, wherein the data from the customer-readings is received from an electronic scanning device (14) configured to read the machine-readable codes (26) of the containers (24).

20.

A method comprising the steps of:

manufacturing containers (24), including forming the containers (24) and serializing the containers (24) with machine-readable codes (26) that are integral to and irremovable from the containers (24);

using the machine-readable codes (26) to store data associated with the containers (24), including, date of container manufacture, time of container manufacture, production facility data, container quality data, or a combination thereof;

supplying the containers (24) to a customer;

receiving from the customer, data obtained from customer-readings of the machine-readable codes (26) and including data relating to the filling of the containers (24);

receiving from one or more other locations in a distribution chain in which the containers (24) travel, data obtained from readings of the machine-readable codes (26) at those locations; comparing the data from the customer-readings and other readings of the machine-readable codes (26) across at least one of product brands, product distribution channels, or container types; receiving from the customer, compensation for the containers (24) in accordance with an established pricing model; and

providing the data to the customer in exchange for the compensation received from the customer.

21.

The method of claim 20, further comprising:

associating the data from the customer-readings with the particular container(s) (24) to which the data corresponds; and

storing the data in an electronic memory device (20) with other data corresponding to the same container(s) (24).

22.

The method of claim 20, wherein the data from the customer-readings is received from an electronic scanning device configured to read the machine-readable codes of the containers.

23.

The method of claim 31, wherein the step of receiving from one or more other locations in a distribution chain in which the containers (24) travel, data obtained from readings of the machine-readable codes (26) at those locations comprises at least one of:

receiving from a seller of products including the containers (24), data obtained from seller-readings of the machine-readable codes (26) and including at least one of a date of container sale, a time of container sale, or seller-specific data; or

receiving from an end user of the products including the containers (24), data obtained from end user-readings of the machine-readable codes (26) and including dates of the end user-readings, times of the end user-readings, or both.