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Patent 2547294 Summary

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Claims and Abstract availability

Any discrepancies in the text and image of the Claims and Abstract are due to differing posting times. Text of the Claims and Abstract are posted:

  • At the time the application is open to public inspection;
  • At the time of issue of the patent (grant).
(12) Patent: (11) CA 2547294
(54) English Title: METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR MESSAGING ACROSS CELLULAR NETWORKS AND A PUBLIC DATA NETWORK
(54) French Title: PROCEDE ET SYSTEME DE MESSAGERIE A TRAVERS DES RESEAUX CELLULAIRES ET RESEAU PUBLIC DE TRANSMISSION DE DONNEES
Status: Expired
Bibliographic Data
(51) International Patent Classification (IPC):
  • H04W 4/14 (2009.01)
(72) Inventors :
  • CAREY, CHARLES A. (United States of America)
  • ROBINSON, BRUCE A. (United States of America)
(73) Owners :
  • FACEBOOK, INC. (United States of America)
(71) Applicants :
  • TEGIC COMMUNICATIONS, INC. (United States of America)
(74) Agent:
(74) Associate agent:
(45) Issued: 2012-10-23
(22) Filed Date: 2001-03-06
(41) Open to Public Inspection: 2001-09-13
Examination requested: 2006-06-05
Availability of licence: N/A
(25) Language of filing: English

Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT): No

(30) Application Priority Data:
Application No. Country/Territory Date
09/519,525 United States of America 2000-03-06

Abstracts

English Abstract

A method of enabling a user of a cellular communications device to communicate with other users using instant messages includes enabling a user of a cellular communications device to receive, at the cellular communications device, availability information for a user-defined group of other users. The other users within the user-defined group are included in an instant message name list maintained for the user and the availability information includes an indication of an availability of the other users to communicate using instant messages. The method further includes receiving the availability information at the cellular communications device, and displaying the availability information in a user interface on the cellular communications device.


French Abstract

L'invention décrit une méthode qui permet à l'utilisateur d'un dispositif de communication cellulaire de communiquer avec d'autres utilisateurs. Cela comprend de permettre à un utilisateur d'un dispositif de communication cellulaire de recevoir, au dispositif de communication cellulaire, l'information de disponibilité pour un groupe personnalisé d'autres utilisateurs. Les autres utilisateurs dans le groupe personnalisé sont inclus dans la liste de noms du message instantané gardée par l'utilisateur et l'information de disponibilité comprend une indication d'une disponibilité des autres utilisateurs à communiquer à l'aide de messages instantanés. La méthode comprend en outre la réception de l'information de disponibilité au dispositif de communication cellulaire, et l'affichage de l'information de disponibilité dans une interface utilisateur sur le dispositif de communication cellulaire.

Claims

Note: Claims are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.




THE EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION IN WHICH AN EXCLUSIVE PROPERTY
OR PRIVILEGE IS CLAIMED ARE DEFINED AS FOLLOWS:


1. A computer readable medium having instructions stored therein for execution
by a
computer-based server, said instructions comprising instructions for directing
the server to:
store one or more functions or instant message names, each of the one or more
functions
or instant message names being assigned to an address in a list of addresses
assigned to a
subscribing user;
receive an instant message request with an address, the instant message
request being
received from a cellular device;
identify one of the stored instant message names or functions associated with
the address
of the received instant message request;
generate an instant message if the address is identified to be associated with
an instant
message name; and
execute a function if the address is associated with a stored function.

2. The medium of Claim 1, wherein the instructions direct the server to use
information
included in the instant message request when executing the function.

3. The medium of Claim 1, wherein the function is an instant message function.

4. The medium of Claim 3, wherein the instructions direct the server to
execute the instant
message function if the address is associated with the instant message
function.


13

Description

Note: Descriptions are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.



CA 02547294 2001-03-06

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR MESSAGING ACROSS
CELLULAR NETWORKS AND A PUBLIC DATA

NETWORK
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The present invention generally relates to non-voice message transmission
and reception across cellular and public or private data networks and, more
particularly to a method and system for message delivery between a cellular
and
public data network.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Around the world, tens of millions of users are using software that enables
them to be alerted when friends, family and colleagues go on-line for the real-
time
exchange of messages. A commonly used term for this type of real-time exchange
is instant messaging. Instant messaging is cheap, with most vendors giving
away
the product and others charging nominal licensing fees. It is also powerful,
allowing users to communicate in one window while, for example, looking over a
document in another. Team members in different locations can set up impromptu
conversations, bouncing ideas and strategies off each other. It provides quick
and
dirty collaboration, with little to buy and not much to set up.

I


CA 02547294 2001-03-06

The best known instant messaging system is America Online's AOL INSTANT
MESSENGER(TM) (AIM) that was originally designed as a feature for AOLTM's pay
service.
AIM is software that anyone with an Internet connection can download, whether
they are an
AOLTM member or not. After registering a screen name, the user can maintain
lists of
AOLTM members and other AIM users, and be alerted whenever one of those in the
list comes
on-line. When one of those in the list comes on-line, the corresponding screen
name appears
in an AIM interface window on the screen. By clicking on the name appearing in
the AIM
interface window, the user may then send an instant message and initiate a
conversation
session. Users can also sort their buddies into groups. For example, a lawyer
could create
separate groups for partners, associates, in-house counsel and adversaries.
Other vendors, such as YAHOO!(TM), PeopleLink, MIRABILIS(TM) (ICQTM) and
Activerse, offer similar instant message service.
Despite the apparent success of instant messaging systems, it is still limited
to a user
accessing the service through computer-based systems hardwired to the
Internet. There exists
a need to provide the benefits of instant messaging, immediate knowledge of
another online
status and real-time text communication, outside of hardwired Internet
systems. Specifically
in a wireless environment, it would be advantageous to know if a subscriber
has turned on
their cellular phone. It would also be advantageous to communicate via text
messages, which
are far less costly than voice communications because text message data uses
up much less
bandwidth or resources than voice data.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Illustrative embodiments of the present invention may provide, for example, a
method, system and computer program product for instant message communication
in a
wireless and non-wireless environment. In one such illustrative embodiment,
first, a message
is sent from a mobile unit device over a wireless communication network. The
message
includes a destination address, information associated with the mobile unit
device's user,
message content and message address. If, according to information previously
stored for the
mobile unit device's user at the instant message system, the destination
address is associated
with an instant message function, the associated instant message function is
executed at the
instant message system using the information contained in the message content,
if required as
determined by the associated instant message function. If, according to
information
previously stored for the mobile unit device's user at the instant message
system, the
2


CA 02547294 2001-03-06

destination address is associated with an instant message name, an instant
message is created
according to the message content and is sent to the user with the associated
instant message
name.
In accordance with another illustrative embodiment of the present invention,
if said
instant message function is a sign on function, an instant message session is
initiated
according to prestored user profile information and the message content. The
message
content is an instant message name associated with the user of the mobile unit
device and a
predefined password.
In accordance with still another illustrative embodiment of the present
invention, the
status information of users associated with instant message names stored for
the user of the
mobile unit device in the instant message system are determined and sent to
the mobile unit
device of the user. The user's mobile unit device then presents the sent
status information.
In accordance with yet another illustrative embodiment of the present
invention, if
said instant message function is a sign off function, the instant message
session associated
with the mobile unit device's user is ended.

In accordance with yet another illustrative embodiment of the present
invention, if
said instant message function is a delete instant message name function, the
stored instant
message is deleted according to the message content. The message content is at
least one
instant message name.
In accordance with still another illustrative embodiment of the present
invention, if
said instant message function is an update instant message name function, the
status
information of users associated with instant message names stored for the user
of the mobile
unit device in the instant message system are determined and sent to the
mobile unit device of
the user. The user's mobile unit device then presents the sent status
information.
In accordance with further illustrative embodiments of the present invention,
an
instant message name is associated with a destination address at the instant
message system.
This association is saved in memory in the instant message system according to
a registered
user of a mobile unit device. An executable address loading program is
generated according
to the saved association and then sent through the wireless environment to the
mobile unit
device of the registered user. At the mobile unit device the executable
address loading
program is executed, thereby entering the associated instant message name and
address into
memory.

3


CA 02547294 2011-04-28

In accordance with still further illustrative embodiments of the present
invention, an
instant message is processed according to sender user information stored at
the instant message
system if it is intended for a recipient user signed on through a mobile unit
device and then sent
through the wireless environment to the mobile unit device of the recipient
user. The user's
mobile unit device presents the sent instant message and the instant message
name of the creator
of the instant message.
In accordance with another illustrative embodiment, a computer readable medium
has
instructions stored therein for execution by a computer-based server. The
instructions direct the
server to store one or more functions or instant message names, each of the
one or more
functions or instant message names being assigned to an address in a list of
addresses assigned to
a subscribing user. The instructions further direct the server to receive an
instant message
request with an address, the instant message request being received from a
cellular device. The
instructions further direct the server to identify one of the stored instant
message names or
functions associated with the address of the received instant message request.
The instructions
further direct the server to generate an instant message if the address is
identified to be associated
with an instant message name, and to execute a function if the address is
associated with a stored
function.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The foregoing aspects and many of the attendant advantages of illustrative
embodiments
will become more readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by
reference to the
following detailed description, when taken in conjunction with the
accompanying drawings,
wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a block diagram of the components of an embodiment of the present
invention;
FIGURE 2 is a flow diagram of a process of entering instant message names
formed in
accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIGURES 3-7 are flow diagrams of various exemplary processes formed in
accordance
with an embodiment of the present invention;

4


CA 02547294 2011-04-28

FIGURES 8 and 9 are screen shots of an example user interface for remotely
entering
instant message names; and
FIGURES 10-14 are diagrams of example user interfaces implemented on a
cellular
phone.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION
The present embodiment is an integrated wireless and traditional instant
messaging
system and method. As shown in FIGURE 1, the system 20 includes an instant
message routing
system 22 that includes a routing server 24 and a database 26 for storing a
profile for each
subscribing user. Each user profile includes a list of instant message names
with each name
assigned to an address (phone number). The routing server 24 is in
communication with one or
more short message service centers (SMSC) 32 that is in communication with one
or more
wireless mobile carriers 34. Each wireless mobile carrier 34 supports
subscribing users operating
mobile unit devices 36, such as a hand-held cell phone, a bag phone or a
vehicle phone. The
routing server 24 is also coupled to a public or private data network 30, such
as the Internet. Also
coupled to the public or private data network 30 are an instant message server
40 and one or
more traditional systems 42, such as a personal computer.
The communication link between the routing server 24 and the short message
service
center 32 is also either a public or private data network, such as the
Internet or a private
dedicated circuit. A protocol residing over the communication link defines the
structure of
information communicated between the routing server 24 and the short message
service center
32. Preferably this link is the Internet with TCP/IP operating thereon.
Operating over TCP/IP is
another protocol that allows the routing server 24 to identify the
effectiveness of
communications to the mobile unit devices 36. An example protocol residing
over TCP/IP is the
short message peer-to-peer (SMPP) protocol or configuration or data
5


CA 02547294 2001-03-06

management procedure (CDMP) protocol. These protocols provide visibility of
the status of message deliveries to the mobile unit devices 36.
A data bearer protocol defines the structure of data messages
communicated between the mobile unit devices 36, the mobile carrier 34 and the
short message service center 32. The global system for mobile communications
(GSM) environment, used as the primary digital wireless standard throughout
Europe, uses the short message service (SMS)' standard data bearer protocol
for
formatting data for delivery between the mobile unit devices 36, wireless
mobile
carrier 34 and the short message service center 32. The SMS protocol describes
the format of data, called SMS packages, sent or received through the system.
In
accordance with the present invention, the format of data messages, i.e. SMS
package, sent from the mobile unit device includes the phone number of the
mobile unit device, a destination phone number, the short message service
center
address (preferably a number), a validity period value and message content.
The
validity period value informs the short message service center 32 how long to
attempt delivery. Each data message (SMS package) is preferably a single block
of information. As can be readily appreciated by those of ordinary skill in
the art
of wireless communication, the SMS package may be divided up into multiple
packets of data and sent at various intervals.
FIGURE 2 illustrates a method for remotely creating an instant message
name list for a cellular phone. First, a user, who is a subscriber to a
wireless
instant message service, uses a traditional system 42 coupled to the network
30 to
sign on to a web site supported or generated by the routing server 24. A user
becomes a subscriber by completing a registration process that can be
performed
during online communication with either servers 24 or 40 or through other
means,
such as e-mail, conventional mail or telephonic communication. Once the user
has entered into the routing server's web site by preferably completing a sign-
on
or logon with password verification, the user begins instant message name list
(i.e.
buddy list) creation for the user's mobile unit device 36. If the cell phone
user
6


CA 02547294 2011-04-28

knows the instant message name that corresponds to a desired recipient,
decision block 50, the
user enters the instant message name. The entered instant message name is then
saved in a look-
up table at a location in the database 26, block 52. The look-up table is
stored in relation to
predefined user profile information. Each instant message name stored in the
look-up table has a
corresponding destination address, preferably a phone number. For example, the
routing server
24 receives from the mobile carrier 24 or a telecommunications controlling
agency a set of n
telephone numbers. In the database 26 for each user profile, the server 24
associates a number
from the set of n telephone numbers to an entered instant message name. As a
result, the routing
system 22 reuses a limited number of phone numbers.
If the cell phone user does not know the instant message name that corresponds
to a
desired recipient, decision block 50, the user enters information that
corresponds to the desired
recipient, such as an e-mail address, block 54. The server hosting the name
list creation website
then searches for an instant message name that corresponds to the entered
information, blocks 56
and 60. If, at decision block 60, there is a corresponding instant message
name, the
corresponding instant message name is entered and saved, see block 52 above.
If, at decision
block 60, the search fails to find a corresponding instant message name, no
name entry occurs
and the user is given the opportunity to enter more instant message names,
decision block 62 and
block 66. The user is also given the opportunity to enter more instant message
names, decision
block 62 and block 66, after block 52.
If, at decision block 62, the user does not wish to enter more instant message
names, a
program is generated by the server hosting the name list creation website for
programming the
created instant message name list into the user's mobile unit device 36, block
68. Next, at block
70, the generated program is sent through the short message service center 32,
where it is
formatted according to the proper protocol, and then through the mobile
carrier 34 to the user's
mobile unit device 36. At block 72, the user's mobile unit device 36

7


CA 02547294 2001-03-06

receives and executes the program, thus saving the instant message name list
in an
address book stored in memory. In other words, the mobile unit device is
programmed in an over-the-air-programming manner to include the instant
message name list within the mobile unit device's instant message listings
(i.e.
address book).
In an alternative embodiment, if the mobile carrier 34 and corresponding
mobile unit devices 36 do not include the hardware or software components for
receiving and executing the program for loading the saved instant message name
list, the loading of instant message names and corresponding phone numbers
that
are stored at the routing system 22 are manually entered into the address book
of
the user's mobile unit device 36.
FIGURES 3-7 illustrate the process of instant message function delivery,
message delivery and instant message reception using a mobile unit device
across
a wireless and non-wireless network. First, at block 80 of FIGURE 3, through a
user interface on the mobile unit device 36 the user selects an instant
message
function or an instant message name(s) from the mobile unit device's address
book based on the latest stored instant message name status information
received
from the instant message name routing server 24 as a result of a sign on, a
status
update or the last communication with the instant message routing server 24
(see
FIGURE 5 below). Then, the user enters message content information (either
function related information or a message accordingly). Alternatively, the
message content information is entered first, then an instant message function
or
an instant message name is selected. Examples of user interaction with the
instant
message routing server 24 and with the mobile unit device 36 are illustrated
by
example in FIGURES 8-14 below. Next, at block 82, the user's selection and
entered information is formatted according to the predefined protocol and sent
to
the mobile carrier 34. At block 84, the mobile carrier 34 receives the
formatted
data and sends the formatted data to a short message service center 32
according to
the included short message service center address information. At decision
8


CA 02547294 2001-03-06

block 86, the short message service center 32 determines if the received
formatted
data includes address data assigned to an instant message routing server 24,
i.e. an
address field or phone number. If the formatted data does not include address
data
assigned to an instant message routing server 24, the formatted data is
probably an
email message and is processed according to known cellular Short Message
processing methods, block 88. Also commonly referred to as email for cell
phones. If the formatted data does include address data assigned to an instant
message routing server 24, the formatted data is reformatted according to the
predefined protocol used to communicate information between the short message
service center 32 and the instant message routing server 24 and then sent to
the
instant message routing server 24, block 90.
As shown in FIGURE 4, at decision block 102, the instant message routing
server 24 compares the destination number included in the reformatted data to
the
look-up table in the user profile location in the database 26 that corresponds
to the
mobile unit device phone number included with the received data. The
comparison determines what action corresponds to the destination number. If
the
action corresponding to the destination number is an instant message function,
the
instant message routing server 24 executes the instant message function, see
FIGURE 5 below. If the action corresponding to the destination number is an
instant message name, the instant message routing server 24 repackages the
formatted data as an instant message and sends it to the recipient associated
with
instant message name, block 104. Before or after the repackaging occurs, the
instant message routing server 24 determines if the recipient that corresponds
to
the instant message name is signed on to the instant message system, i.e. the
instant message server 40, decision block 106. If the recipient is not signed
on,
the instant message routing server 24 sends a failure message to the user's
mobile
unit device 36 through the short message service center 32 and mobile carrier
34,
block 108. In a first alternate embodiment, if the recipient is not signed on,
the
instant message server 40 stores the instant message until the instant message
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CA 02547294 2001-03-06

server 40 detects that the recipient has signed on through an instant message
routing server 24 or a traditional system 42. In a second alternate
embodiment, if
the recipient is not signed on, the instant message is forwarded to a
previously
designated e-mail address.
If the recipient is signed on, the instant message routing server 24 sends
the instant message to the recipient through the instant message server 40
over the
network 30, block 110. The process of sending an instant message to a mobile
unit device recipient is described in more detail below in FIGURES 6 and 7.
FIGURE 5 illustrates the process of processing data received from a
mobile unit device 36 that corresponds to an instant message function, from B
of
FIGURE 4. First, at decision block 120, if the function is a sign on function,
the
instant message routing server 24 establishes a new instant message session
with
the instant message server 40 for the user associated with the mobile unit
device 36 that send the sign on function. The establishment of a new instant
message session is done in accordance with the proper password(s) that was
included in the message content sent from the mobile unit device 36, block
122.
The instant message routing server 24 checks with instant message server 40 to
determine which of the names in the instant message name list associated with
the
user and stored in the database 26 are available or signed on, block 124. This
determination of who is available is then sent to the mobile unit device 36
through
the short message service center 32 and the mobile carrier 34, block 126. Once
the mobile unit device 36 receives the availability determination, the device
36
process it and makes the availability information available for use by the
user,
block 127.
If the instant message function is not the sign on (sign on) function and if
no instant message session is presently active for the user at the instant
message
routing server 24, decision block 128, a message informing the user that sign
on
must occur first is presented, block 130. If an instant message session exists
and
the function is a sign off (sign off) function, decision block 132, the
instant


CA 02547294 2001-03-06

message routing server 24 ends the corresponding instant message session,
block 134. However, if the function is not the sign off function, the function
is
processed according to instant message rules, block 136. The following other
functions are available: delete; add; and check status. With regards to the
delete
function, the instant message routing server 24 deletes each instant message
name
included in the message content from the instant message name list stored with
the
user's profile information in the database 26. With regards to the add
function, the
instant message routing server 24 adds each instant message name included in
the
message content to the instant message name list stored with the user's
profile
information in the database 26. During instant message session the instant
message routing server 24, like an instant message session on a traditional
system 42, continually receives connection status information of each instant
message name in the instant message name list. With regards to the check
status
function, the instant message routing server 24 sends the latest received
connection status information to the mobile user device 36 through the short
message service center 32 and the mobile carrier 34.
FIGURES 6 and 7 illustrate the process of sending an instant message to a
recipient signed on to the instant message service from a mobile unit device
36
through an instant message routing server 24. The process of FIGURE 6 occurs
when an instant message is sent from another user of a mobile unit device 36,
C
from FIGURE 4, or from a user of a traditional system 42, such as a desktop or
laptop computer. First, at block 140, the instant message server 40 receives
an
instant message and, at block 142, sends it to the signed on recipient
identified in
the instant message. If, at decision block 144, the recipient is a normal
instant
message recipient, i.e. not a recipient with an instant message session active
through the instant message routing server 24, the recipient receives and
views the
instant message as per instant message procedures, block 146. If, on the other
hand, at decision block 144, the recipient is a user with an instant message
session
active through the instant message routing server 24, the instant message
routing
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CA 02547294 2001-03-06

server 24 receives the instant message, block 148. Then, at block 150, the
instant
message routing server 24 prepares the received instant message according to
the
predefined protocol and sends the prepared instant message to the short
message
service center 32, where the short message service center 32 stores and
forwards
the instant message to the mobile carrier 36 according to the predefined
wireless
protocol, block 152.
As shown in FIGURE 7, at block 160, the mobile carrier 36 prepares the
instant message received from the short message service center 32 for
transmission and sends the prepared transmission to the mobile unit device 36.
If,
to at decision block 162, the mobile unit device 36 successfully receives the
prepared
transmission of the instant message, the mobile unit device 36 replies to the
short
message service center 32 that the transmission was received, block 164. Then,
at
block 166, the short message service center 32 receives the mobile unit
device's
successful reply and deletes the stored instant message.
If, however, at decision block 162, the mobile unit device 36 did not
successfully receive the prepared transmission of the instant message and if,
at
decision block 168, a transmission delivery threshold has not been reached, a
message is sent to the short message service center 32 that the mobile unit
device 36 did not successfully receive the instant message, block 170. This
message of unsuccessful reception is sent by the mobile carrier 34. When the
short message service center 32. receives a message of unsuccessful reception,
the
short message service center 32 retrieves the stored instant message that
corresponds to the unsuccessfully sent transmission and resends the
transmission
to the mobile unit device 36 through the mobile carrier 34, blocks 172 and
160.
Again, at decision block 162, if the mobile unit device 36 did not
successfully receive the prepared transmission of the instant message and if,
at
decision block 168, a transmission delivery threshold has been reached, the
mobile
carrier 34 sends a message to the instant message routing server 24 through
the
short message service center 32 that the mobile unit device 36 is not
connected or
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CA 02547294 2001-03-06

not receiving instant messages, block 174. When the instant message routing
server receives a message of this type, the instant message routing server 24
signs
off or logs off the instant message session associated with the user of the
mobile
unit device 36 that failed to receive the transmission, block 176. The
transmission
delivery threshold is preferably a predefined number of delivery attempts.
Once
the number of attempts have been reached or exceeded, the mobile carrier 34
assumes the mobile user device 36 is off or out of reception range. It can be
readily appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art of cell phone
communication, that various data delivery methods can be used for insuring
information gets delivered during temporary periods of time when the cell
phone
is out of communication with the mobile carrier.
FIGURES 8-14 illustrate example user interfaces used for instant message
name list creation (FIGURE 2) and for mobile unit device interaction
(FIGURES 3-7). As shown in FIGURE 8, a wireless instant messaging sign on
window 200 includes data fields for entry of the user's screen name 202 and
password 204. The user's screen name and password are stored in one of the
routing server 24 or the instant message server 40 as a result of a previously
performed registration process. After the correct information is entered in
the data
fields 202 and 204, the user is provided access to various user wireless
instant
messaging information, such as user account information and an instant message
name list interface, as shown in FIGURE 9. The wireless instant messaging sign
on window 200 is presented on a traditional system 42 that is coupled to the
public
or private data network 30. The traditional system 42 includes previously
loaded
software received from either the instant message routing server 24 or the
instant
message server 40 as a result of the registration process.
As shown in FIGURE 9, an instant message name list window 220 is an
interface that allows users interaction with the stored instant message name
list.
Each instant message name in the list corresponds to a phone number assigned
to
the instant message routing server 24. Through window 220 the user enters,
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CA 02547294 2001-03-06

deletes or reorders instant message names based on a comparison with the
address
book stored in the user's mobile unit device and the user's desired entries.
The
server 24 or 40 that hosts the window 220 assigns a phone number to each new
instant message name entered by the user. The phone numbers assigned are
selected from a pool of phone numbers specifically assigned for that purpose.
After the user has entered any new instant message names into window 220, the
user requests loading of the newly entered instant message names into the
user's
mobile unit device 36. The server 24 or 40 that hosts the window 220 then
generates an instant message name entry executable program that is sent
through
to the short message service center 32 and the mobile carrier 34 to the user's
mobile
unit device 36. When the user's mobile unit device 36 receives the executable
program, the mobile unit device 36 executes the instant message name entry
program and loads the newly entered names with corresponding phone numbers
into the mobile unit device's address book stored in memory.
FIGURE 10 shows a mobile unit device 230 with an example first address
book user interface (ui) screen 228. The first address book ui screen 228
includes
the instant message names stored in the first four locations in the mobile
unit
device's address book. The mobile unit device 230 includes on-screen and
off-screen user interface control features (e.g. touch screen, cursor control,
soft
function keys). Two examples on-screen user interface control features are a
"Select" 232 and a "Back" 234 function displayed at the bottom of the address
book ui screen 228. In order for a user to send an instant message, the user
selects
a create message display screen, enters a text message using the mobile unit
device's keypad, such as the T9 enabled keypad produced by Tegic
Communications, and then selects a recipient (an instant message name) from
the address book ui screen. User activation of the "Select" function allows
the
user to select a user identified (e.g. highlighted) instant message name in
the name
list as the recipient of the entered instant message. User activation of the
"Back"
function allows the user to view the previously displayed ui screen.

14


CA 02547294 2001-03-06

FIGURE 11 shows an example second ui screen 236 of the address book.
The second ui screen 236 shows address book locations occupied by the
following
instant message functions: update recipient (instant message name or buddy)
availability; delete a recipient; sign off; sign on. When the user selects and
sends
the update recipient availability ("Buddies") function with any necessary
predefined message content to the instant message routing server 24, the
instant
message routing server 24 checks availability of recipients (instant message
names
in the stored instant message name list) and sends the results back to the
mobile
unit device 230. FIGURE 12 shows the results of an executed recipient update
on
1o the display of the mobile unit device 230. In display area 238, recipients
Emma972 and Gomer22 are indicated as being on-line (i.e. signed on the instant
message system). Richard53, tom235 and zebra 98 are indicated as being off-
line
(i.e. signed off the instant message system).
When the user selects and sends the "Delete" recipient function with the
recipient's instant message name in the message content to the instant message
routing server 24, the instant message routing server 24 deletes the included
instant message name from the user's instant message name list stored in the
database 22. Selection of the "SignOff' function commands the instant message
routing server 24 to end the instant message session associated with the user.
Selection of the "SignOn" function commands the instant message routing
server 24 to initiate an instant message session with the instant message
server 40
according to screen name and password information sent as message content to
the
instant message routing server 24, see FIGURE 13. The "SignOn" function
message content can be saved at the mobile unit device and reused for
subsequent
sign on requests. Alternatively, the instant message routing server 24 stores
the
user's instant message screen name and password and the phone number of the
user's mobile unit device 36 to aid with automatic sign on.



CA 02547294 2001-03-06

FIGURE 14 shows how a received message appears on the mobile unit
device 230. The message content of the received message is displayed with the
instant message name of the originator of the received message.
As can be readily appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art, the
fractions performed by the routing system 22 may be combined with the instant
message server 40 or the short message service center 32. The short message
service center 40 may be included in the mobile carrier infrastructure. Also,
the
functions of the components of the present invention may be distributed to
multiple servers across one or more of the included networks.
While the presently preferred embodiment of the invention has been
illustrated and described, it will be appreciated that various changes can be
made
therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

16

Representative Drawing
A single figure which represents the drawing illustrating the invention.
Administrative Status

For a clearer understanding of the status of the application/patent presented on this page, the site Disclaimer , as well as the definitions for Patent , Administrative Status , Maintenance Fee  and Payment History  should be consulted.

Administrative Status

Title Date
Forecasted Issue Date 2012-10-23
(22) Filed 2001-03-06
(41) Open to Public Inspection 2001-09-13
Examination Requested 2006-06-05
(45) Issued 2012-10-23
Expired 2021-03-08

Abandonment History

There is no abandonment history.

Payment History

Fee Type Anniversary Year Due Date Amount Paid Paid Date
Request for Examination $800.00 2006-06-05
Registration of a document - section 124 $100.00 2006-06-05
Application Fee $400.00 2006-06-05
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 2 2003-03-06 $100.00 2006-06-05
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 3 2004-03-08 $100.00 2006-06-05
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 4 2005-03-07 $100.00 2006-06-05
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 5 2006-03-06 $200.00 2006-06-05
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 6 2007-03-06 $200.00 2007-02-22
Registration of a document - section 124 $100.00 2007-06-04
Section 8 Correction $200.00 2007-06-04
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 7 2008-03-06 $200.00 2008-03-06
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 8 2009-03-06 $200.00 2008-12-11
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 9 2010-03-08 $200.00 2010-02-04
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 10 2011-03-07 $250.00 2011-02-09
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 11 2012-03-06 $250.00 2012-02-23
Final Fee $300.00 2012-08-03
Registration of a document - section 124 $100.00 2012-08-10
Registration of a document - section 124 $100.00 2012-08-10
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 12 2013-03-06 $250.00 2013-02-13
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 13 2014-03-06 $250.00 2014-02-14
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 14 2015-03-06 $250.00 2015-02-11
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 15 2016-03-07 $450.00 2016-02-10
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 16 2017-03-06 $450.00 2017-02-08
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 17 2018-03-06 $450.00 2018-02-15
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 18 2019-03-06 $450.00 2019-02-25
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 19 2020-03-06 $450.00 2020-02-28
Owners on Record

Note: Records showing the ownership history in alphabetical order.

Current Owners on Record
FACEBOOK, INC.
Past Owners on Record
AOL INC.
AOL LLC
CAREY, CHARLES A.
ROBINSON, BRUCE A.
TEGIC COMMUNICATIONS, INC.
Past Owners that do not appear in the "Owners on Record" listing will appear in other documentation within the application.
Documents

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Document
Description 
Date
(yyyy-mm-dd) 
Number of pages   Size of Image (KB) 
Abstract 2001-03-06 1 19
Description 2001-03-06 18 921
Claims 2001-03-06 7 298
Drawings 2001-03-06 10 237
Representative Drawing 2006-07-21 1 18
Cover Page 2006-07-24 2 55
Cover Page 2007-07-24 3 84
Description 2011-04-28 16 777
Claims 2011-04-28 1 32
Representative Drawing 2012-10-02 1 6
Cover Page 2012-10-02 2 41
Correspondence 2006-06-22 1 39
Assignment 2001-03-06 4 130
Correspondence 2006-08-07 1 15
Assignment 2007-06-04 10 263
Prosecution-Amendment 2007-07-24 2 46
Prosecution-Amendment 2010-10-29 4 192
Prosecution-Amendment 2011-04-28 13 526
Correspondence 2012-08-03 2 76
Assignment 2012-08-10 73 1,971
Correspondence 2015-02-17 4 232