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1 (19) (11) EP B1 (12) EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION (4) Date of publication and mention of the grant of the patent: Bulletin 07/39 (21) Application number: (22) Date of filing: (1) Int Cl.: H04L 12/8 (06.01) H04L 29/06 (06.01) (86) International application number: PCT/US01/04870 (87) International publication number: WO 02/04268 ( Gazette 02/28) (4) SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR CONTROLLING AND ORGANIZING SYSTEM UND VERFAHREN ZUM STEUERN UND ORGANISIEREN VON SYSTEME ET PROCEDE DE COMMANDE ET D ORGANISATION DU COURRIER ELECTRONIQUE (84) Designated Contracting States: AT BE CH CY DE DK ES FI FR GB GR IE IT LI LU MC NL PT SE TR () Priority: US (43) Date of publication of application: Bulletin 03/4 (73) Proprietor: Levosky, Michael P. Woburn, MA (US) (72) Inventor: Levosky, Michael P. Woburn, MA (US) (74) Representative: Exell, Jonathan Mark et al Williams Powell Morley House 26- Holborn Viaduct London EC1A 2BP (GB) (6) References cited: EP-A EP-A US-A US-B US-B US-B HALL R J: "HOW TO AVOID UNWANTED " COMMUNICATIONS OF THE ASSOCIATION FOR COMPUTING MACHINERY, ASSOCIATION FOR COMPUTING MACHINERY. NEW YORK, US, vol. 41, no. 3, March 1998 ( ), pages 88-9, XP ISSN: SPAMMOTEL.COM: "Welcome to SpamMotel.com"[Online] August 00 (00-08-), XP Retrieved from the Internet: URL: /spammotel.com/spammotel/ more.html> [retrieved on ] SPAMMOTEL.COM: "Frequently Asked Questions"[Online] August 00 (00-08-), XP Retrieved from the Internet: URL: 0/spammotel.com/spammotel/faq.html> [retrieved on ] EP B1 Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention). Printed by Jouve, 7001 PARIS (FR)

2 1 EP B1 2 Description BACKGROUND - FIELD OF INVENTION [0001] This invention relates to a system and method for controlling unwanted and organizing in general. BACKGROUND - DESCRIPTION OF PRIOR ART [0002] is now a universal means of communication, augmenting, and sometimes replacing other traditional forms of communication, including postal service, FAX, and voice communications. The ease of composing and the speed of transmitting , and the presence of the Internet in almost every corner of the world has promoted its use, which promises to become almost omnipresent. [0003] The ease of use and speed of transmission has created problems, however, which include the transmission of unwanted messages, so-called "Spam", the equivalent of junk mail in postal service jargon. And unlike postal service junk mail, the transmission of Spam is virtually free for the senders, as most Internet Service Providers provide unlimited usage for modest fees. [0004] Many systems provide means to filter and block unwanted messages. As an example, consider the system used by hotmail.com, Microsoft s Websitebased system, which can be accessed at http: // [000] In hotmail.com s blocking system, typical incoming can be directed to the user s Inbox if and only if : (a) The address appears on the "To:" or "Cc:" line. (b) The sender s address appears in the user s Hotmail Address Book. (c) It is from a user in the hotmail.com or msn.com domain. (d) it is a Hotmail WebCourier or Special Offers Subscription, Hotmail Member Letter, or is from Microsoft, MSN, or a Microsoft Passport partner site [0006] These blocking and filtering features are typical attempts to reject unwanted , or "Spam", but they have a number of drawbacks : For instance, many of these prior art systems blocking features do not allow communications which may be wanted by the recipient, although the recipient did not foresee communications from the sender. In addition, the unwanted sender of may continually change his address, so that the recipient cannot block Spam from a particular sender simply by blocking a single address. And finally, the recipient is constantly in danger of revealing his address to new potential Spammers by sending messages to new recipients. [0007] The present invention overcomes these problems by the simple expedient of never revealing his true address, but rather by using a series of alias addresses which are first intercepted by an Alias server before being forwarded to the recipient, and by providing means for-the recipient to identify the circumstances under which the alias address was issued, and to whom it was issued. When a particular alias address becomes the target of excessive Spam, the user can abandon that alias address, and create a new one. [0008] In addition to controlling Spam, the current invention also provides a useful means for organizing messages in general. The invention provides a means to identify message as to a number of important parameters not provided by normal systems. [0009] EP discloses a system and method in which an alias source address for an electronic mail message is generated having a real source address and a destination address. An alias source address substitutor substitutes the alias source address for the real source address, removing the real source address from the e- mail message and thereby rendering the sender, located at the real source address, anonymous. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION [00] It is a general object of the current invention to provide a system and method to block unwanted form a user s client program. It is a further object of the invention to provide the user with an unlimited number of alias addresses which can be used or discarded as they become available to Spammers. [0011] In accordance with one aspect of the current invention, there is provided a method according to claim 1. [0012] In accordance with a second aspect of the invention, the method includes a displaying of a log of a multiplicity of transactions to the user by the client control program, the log further including the time and date of each transaction, the alias address of each transaction, and the identification information of the transaction. [0013] According to a third aspect of the invention, the generating of the alias address further includes substantially random character generating. [0014] According to a fourth aspect of the invention, the system further includes the entering one or more additional physical addresses into the client control program, and receiving an additional alias address corresponding to each additional physical address. [00] According to a fifth aspect of the invention, the method includes entering a request by the client control program for one or more additional alias addresses corresponding to each physical address, and receiving by the client control program an additional alias address corresponding to each such request. [0016] According to a sixth aspect of the invention, the 2

3 3 EP B1 4 method further includes the entering a request by the client control program to suspend forwarding by the alias server to the client program of all addressed to a particular alias address. [0017] According to a seventh aspect of the invention, the method further includes the entering a request by the client control program to permanently discontinue receipt by the client program of all addressed to a particular alias address. [0018] According to an eighth aspect of the invention, the method further includes the generating by the client control program of an alias address containing a user name. [0019] According to a final aspect of the invention, the method further includes the filtering the at the Alias Server. DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS [00] These, and further features of the invention, may be better understood with reference to the accompanying specification and drawings depicting the preferred embodiment, in which: Fig.1 depicts a block diagram of a popular prior art system. Figure 2 depicts a block diagram of the current invention. Figure 3 depicts the startup screen of the Client Control Program of the current invention. Figure 4 depicts a setup screen of the Client Control Program of the current invention Figure depicts a screen delivering an Alias address to the user of the current invention. Figure 6 depicts an message forwarded to the user by the Alias Server. Figure 7 depicts the log produced by the Client Control Program of the current invention. Figure 8 depicts the screen of the Client Control Program used to filter or block unwanted messages. Figure 9 depicts an input screen produced by an alternative embodiment of the Client Control Program of the current invention DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODI- MENTS [0021] The preferred embodiments are understood by first considering the prior art, as shown in Figure 1. This figure begins with an client, a program which sends and receives . Clients include programs such as Eudora, and Microsoft s Outlook Express. Referring to this figure, the sender of the , using the client 2 sends and receives 1 using communication link 8, which connects the client to the Internet Service Provider 1 (ISP) 4. This ISP may include such major companies as America On Line (AOL), or the Microsoft Network (MSN ). The ISP then communicates with the server 6, using communication link, via communication link. The communications links are bi-directional, with s being received and transmitted through the server. In turn, the server 6 is connected with other ISPs via other communications links. [0022] The server 6 next transmits the to the recipient 12, who uses client software 12 to receive the . This communication 18, is usually done through the same or another ISP, shown as ISP 2 (14) in Figure 1. The communication as shown in Figure 1 is all bi-directional, so that the recipient, using receiver client 12, may send back to the sender client 2, in exactly the same manner as described above when the communication is from sender to receiver. [0023] The address of the sender is included in the communication, so that the recipient may use the sender s address for any purpose desired. The recipient may sell the sender s address to third parties who collect addresses for the purposes of sending advertisements, or other communications to the sender, which the sender has not solicited. Such unsolicited messages are commonly known as "Spam". [0024] The current invention avoids this problem by not revealing the sender s true address, but by instead utilizing an alias address which directs responses to an alias server, which may or may not retransmit the response to the original sender. [002] Referring now to Figure 2, the current invention utilizes an Alias server 0 as an intermediary between the client and the server 1. The client first communicates with the Alias server, which assigns the client with a new, unique alias address. This alias address is then used by the client when communicating with an recipient requesting an address from the client. [0026] It should be noted that this system operates only under conditions that the sender s address is transmitted to the recipient by non- means. The sender may give his address to a recipient by letter, FAX, telephone, or by including it in a form contained within a WEB site requesting the sender s address. Thus, the communication shown in Figure 2 is unidirectional only as between the Alias Server and the receiver client.. That is, the receiver client 12, may communicate messages to the Alias Server 0 by this method, but not vice-versa. The Alias server will only send messages to clients registered to use the service provided by the Alias- Server. GENERATING THE ALIAS ADDRESS [0027] The invention is implemented with the use of a client control program called "SpamMotel.exe", which resides on the client s computer. When this program is started, it first displays the screen shown in Figure 3. [0028] Referring now to this figure, the client first enters 3

4 EP B an new account by clicking on SETUP button 228, which then displays the DIALOG window shown in Figure 4. Referring now to Figure 3, the user enters a user name, which may be anything the client desires, into box 2, and an actual (physical) address already in use in ADDRESS box 2. The user must retype his address again in box 4, as an error reduction technique. The user may then make up a password, and type it into box 6, and repeat the same password in box 8. The user may check off a box to save the password, providing different levels of security for each account. The user then clicks on the CREATE NEW AC- COUNT button 222, and is then returned to the original screen, as shown in Figure 3. [0029] Referring again to Figure 3, the information just entered is displayed. The pulldown list 3 shows the user name just created. However, the user may create a number of different profiles, having different user names, corresponding to a number of different physical addresses used. The corresponding physical address is shown in box 322, and the password in box 324, although each character of the password is represented by an "x" in this screen. However, the user may change the password in box 324. [00] A message may be included to identify all associated with this user name by typing into box 326. In the example shown in Figure 4, the message "For computer components only" will appear on all forwarded from the alias server associated with this user name. In addition, one of four TYPES 334 is selected. These TYPES include FWD, SPAM, URGENT, and a custom type which will display a message which the user enters in box 332. This TYPE message will appear as the SUB- JECT of any forwarded by the Alias server. [0031] The final step in the generation of a new alias address is done by clicking on the CREATE NEW ADDRESS button 3, which produces the screen shown in Fig., in which a new window 0 appears. [0032] Whenever the CREATE NEW ADDRESS button is depressed in the window shown in Figure 3, the Client Control Program sends the information entered so far into the Client Control Program to the Alias server, which then enters this information into an alias user record in its master data file, and then generates a pseudo-random string of characters, followed by which constitutes the alias address corresponding to the user name 3, as shown in Figure 3. This alias address is then entered into the alias user record in the datafile, which also contains the remainder of the user information corresponding to this user name. [0033] It is generally recommended that the user create a new address whenever a new Website request for an address is made, so that the user can distinguish between responses from different vendors. Thus, additional alias addresses can be generated corresponding to the same user name, with or without different text features and TYPE selections. Thus, the database may contain more than one alias user record corresponding to the same user name. However, no two alias user records may contain the same alias address. [0034] After a new address is created, the address is stored on the client system clipboard, so that it may be simply pasted into the appropriate box in any Web site form request from a correspondent requesting the address. In any event, the alias address is communicated to a recipient wanting to use an address to communicated with the sender. RECEIVING HAVING THE ALIAS AD- DRESS [003] Assuming that the recipient (or any other client having the alias address) now sends an message to the user at the address just created by the Client Control Program, the message is received by the Alias Server, and modified by incorporating various information previously entered in the Client Control Program into the message. This modified message is then forwarded by the Alias Server to the sender s client 2. Figure 6. depicts an example of such a forwarded message. [0036] Referring now to Figure 6, the actual message 18 sent by the recipient appears at the bottom on the screen. The screen contains other information concerning this message, however. First of all, the Alias address 4 appears next to the "To:" heading, indicating that the message was addressed to this Alias address by the recipient. Next, the "Subject" 412 of the message is the "custom" TYPE information entered by the user in box 332 as seen in Figure 3. This subject, "net shopping" in the present example, is followed by a colon (:), after which the subject information entered by the recipient, follows, in the case, the text "your order". [0037] Then a block of information 4 appears, indicating that this message was forwarded by the Client Control Program, and including the time and date of the message, as well as the time and date that the Alias address was created. The total number of messages forwarded and received 414 is shown. Finally, the "note", or "message" text previously entered by the user to identify this Alias address, shown as reference number 326 in Figure 3, appears, to remind the user further about this particular Alias address. [0038] This message text may be indefinite in length, unlike the "subject" text transmitted by normal , which is severely limited in length. The message text in the current invention is not sent within the header block, as in normal , but is incorporated into the body of the when transmitted back to the user. Thus, this message may be quite extensive, and must be sufficient in length to adequately describe the nature of the circumstances of the creation of the alias in question. It is typically used to remind the user why this particular Alias address was created and how it is 4

5 7 EP B1 8 used. USING THE "REPLY" FUNCTION [0039] The invention allows for the user to reply to s, while still keeping his or her physical address from the sender. [00] This is done by taking the recipient s original , as it first comes through the Alias server, and recording the recipient s address in the Alias server. If the user has used the reply-to function based on current protocols, then that reply-to address is the one that is recorded. [0041] A special return code is then inserted in the reply-to portion of the sender s header information, overwriting any other information in that area of the header. SpainMotel s current return code is of the form ABCD123ER~spammotel.com (8 characters of mixed letters and numbers) [0042] Thus, when the user clicks on the reply button of his client program, it is the new return code that is automatically placed in the to header for purposes of replying. (This is handled this way by all current programs, based on current protocols and formats.) [0043] With the new return code in place, when the user clicks on send in his client program, the reply is sent to the Alias server instead of going directly back to the recipient. Next, the Alias server strips all information which could identify the user s physical address, and the user s Alias address originally given to the recipient used as the new replied-from address. Thus the privacy of the user s real address is preserved. [0044] The Alias server takes the further step of removing both the subject-line prefix that the user first set (the Fwd:, Spain:, Urgent:, or Custom:). [004] The Alias server also takes the further step of removing the information portion (memo, dates and times, etc.) from the body of the replied-to , before sending it back to the recipient. Communication may thus go "back and forth" a number of times while preserving the "alias" form of user s address. USING THE LOG INFORMATION [0046] The current invention allows the user to review the history of the various alias addresses created, and the messages received addressed to those alias addresses. A log is maintained on the Alias server of this history. [0047] The log file is accessed either by clicking on the VIEW LOG button 342, as shown in the screen of Figure 3, or by accessing the Alias Server WEB site at In either case, the screen shown in Figure 7 is displayed. [0048] Referring now to Figure 7, the history is displayed as a series of events, or transactions, each associated with a particular alias address. Referring to the even shown in block 4, the date of the event is displayed, in this case 11/29/00, and the time, in this case 9:09 AM. The number of messages received by the Alias server is shown, as well as the number of such messages forwarded to the sender s physical address. Because the sender may chose to block or filter messages, the number received and the number forwarded need not be the same. [0049] Still referring to block 4, the contents of the TYPE parameter, shown as reference number 334 in Figure 3, and the message, shown as reference number 326 in Figure 3, is also displayed. And finally, the Alias address prefix is displayed. [000] The user may decide to block or suspend the forwarding of messages from the alias server by means of a check box 434, together with an action button, either the suspend button 4, or the resume button 436, which undoes the action of the suspend button. The user may also decide to filter message associated with a particular alias address by clicking the FILTER button 442, which then displays the screen shown in Figure 8. [001] Referring now to Figure 8, the user of a particular alias address 470 may set up filters to either allow only those messages containing certain character combinations in the FROM header, or to reject those messages containing certain character combinations in the FROM header. [002] To use this feature, one of the check boxes 464, 468 must be checked, and the user enters the text string to be either accepted or rejected in the corresponding text box 460, 462. It should be noted that the Log Display, previously described, also allows the user to reject or suspend all mail addressed to a particular alias address in its entirety. [003] In order to make the log function more useful and convenient, a sort feature is incorporated into the log. Referring again to Figure 7, a pull-down list 441 is available to allow the user to select a basis for sorting. These include sorts according to the date of creation of the event or transaction, the date received by the user, the status of the transaction (i.e. whether reception is currently suspended, or resumed), and the total transactions received so far. [004] In addition to the sort feature in the log file, provisions are also included to allow the user to search the log file for a text string contained within the message or notes field, or within the subject line prefix line, as shown in Figure 6 as reference number 412. ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENT - ALIAS SERV- ER INCORPORATED INTO SERVER [00] A number of WEB-based sites exist, including Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail. In these sites, the user s account is accessed by logging onto the appropriate Internet Site, in the case of Hotmail, and in the case

6 9 EP B1 of Yahoo! Mail. The functions of the server, in this case, exists on the host s Internet Site, and no client program is required for the user to send and receive . [006] When using such a system, it is not necessary to have a separate Alias Server, as all the functions of the Alias Server may be incorporated into the host s WebSite. The Alias Server may indeed be a separate program or process operating within the Server, or the functions may be otherwise incorporated into the Server. [007] In addition, the forwarding of the destined for the user and addressed to the user s alias address is performed by the combined Server/Alias Server. Nevertheless, for such combined systems, the terms "Alias Server", and "forwarding" of the will be used, referring in this case to the functions, rather than to specific software modules or systems. [008] The nature of this alternative embodiment does not require a stand-alone client program, as previously mentioned. Control by the user may be implemented by means of a browser plug-in, or a proxy setting in the browser itself. However the functionality of the system, as seen by the user, will remain the same as if there were a client program resident on the client computer. [009] In addition, an client program may also be used when at a WEB site requesting an address, and when it would be inconvenient for the user to return to the WEB-based program to generate an Alias address. [0060] This alternative embodiment also provides alternative methods for displaying the "notes" messages, and other information used to identify the alias address, including time and date of creation, and other statistical data shown in the log file display of Figure 7. These alternative display methods include pop-up windows, linked to other screens which are displayed when the user clicks on the link. Segmented screens, or screens containing separated windows, may also display this information. The information may also be downloaded as a separate file. 2 3 by the user. [0063] This embodiment allows the user to issue an Alias address, and transmit it to the recipient, without the need to access a computer or similar device at the time of issuance. Under such circumstances, the user will enter the Alias address, and other information, into the Client Control Program at a later time. [0064] As shown in Figure 8, the alias address is composed of three parts: a prefix, which may either be created by the user by typing it into box 480; or, as an alternative, the user may request a pseudo-random character string, as in the preferred embodiment. The second part of the alias address is a "dash" (-) character, followed by the user name as entered into the Client Control Program as part of the system setup. And the third part of the name, following the sign, is the Alias Server address. [006] Thus, in the example previously used for user joedoe, the alias address might be in the case where the user wished to identify an alias address to be used in communicating with Amazon.com. the well-known e- Commerce company. [0066] It is important to note that incoming s are checked against the database to determine whether there are existing entries (memos, etc.) for that Dashmail address. If no entry exists, the is flagged with an indicator in the subject line. This allows the user to spot the missing entry, and also allows for such s to be diverted to a separate folder for review. [0067] This is a key element of the dashmail embodiment.. Without this functionality, anyone could send an to the user and "get through". Its incorporation provides means for blocking unwanted responses. [0068] The default setting is to let everything through, that is, to be forwarded to the user. This is because the user may forget to make an entry or has not yet had time to make an entry before receiving s to a given address. [0069] The suggested protocols for the flags in the subject line are: SECOND ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENT - DASH- MAIL [0061] The preferred embodiment of the current invention generates a random, or pseudo-random string of characters, which are used with the Alias server suffix, spammotel.com. The resultant alias address is therefore not immediately recognizable by the user, who may use the message FROM header to identify the source of the message, or the message text associated with a custom TYPE 334, as shown in Figure 3. [0062] Referring now to Figure 9, an alternative embodiment contains, a provision to allow the user to incorporate his own name into the alias address. The screen shown in Figure 8 is produced in place of that of Figure 4 when a new alias address is requested 4 0 (a) Fwd: s with entries. This may be changed by user to a custom prefix. (b) fwd: s using the root name only, when the "from" address has been placed in a "friends and family" list. (c) x-fwd: s without entries, but with a prefix. Usually these are s for which the user will add an entry. (d) xfwd: s using the root name only, not found in "friends and family" list. [0070] The user may choose to block all s containing either of the "x" flags. [0071] The Dashmail alternative embodiment may use or accept alternate forms of address with the same basic function. These would most likely be the dash, the dot, 6

7 11 EP B1 12 and the underscore. And may also use the following form: instead of: [0072] For users having access to their own domains, the form: may also be use. [0073] While the invention has been described with reference to specific embodiments, it will be apparent that improvements and modifications may be made within the purview of the invention without departing from the scope of the invention defined in the appended claims. Claims 1. A computer implemented method for control and organization of messages in a data communications network, the data communications network including: an client program (2) comprising a user address, and residing on a user computer; a user server (6) which communicates with the client program (2) over the data communications network; an alias server (0) which communicates with the user server (6) over the data communications network; and a client control system which communicates with the alias server (0) over the data communications network; the method comprising: accepting inputs of the user address, corresponding identification information, and filter commands at the client control system; transmitting the user address, the filter commands, and the corresponding identification information, from the client control system to the alias server (0); storing the user address, the filter commands, and the corresponding identification information in the alias server (0); automatically generating a first alias address by the alias server (0), not generated from the user address, and not generated from a recipient address, and storing said first alias address in the alias server (0); transmitting the first alias address by the alias server (0) to the client control system; transmitting a message comprising the first alias address by the user to a recipient by means other than ; receiving by the alias server (0) of a reply message addressed to the first alias address; storing information regarding the reply message in the alias server (0); and if the stored filter commands do not cause the alias server (0) to block the reply message, then forwarding by the alias server (0) of the reply message, together with the identification information, to the user address via the user server (6). 2. The method of claim 1, wherein the client control system further comprises a client control program residing on the user computer. 3. The method of claim 1 or 2, wherein the messages further comprise a subject line and a message body, the method further comprising: a) sending the subject line prefix from the client control program to the alias server (0); b) sending user memo information from the client control program to the alias server (0); c) storing the user memo information and user subject line prefix in the alias server (0); d) inserting the user subject line prefix into the subject line of the reply message and inserting the user memo information into the message body of the reply message, so that the user can easily associate the alias address with the reply message and recipient. 4. The method of claim 3, further comprising inserting the user subject line prefix into header fields of the message wherein the header fields further comprise a FROM line, a CC line, and a BCC line.. The method of any preceding claim, further comprising: transmitting to the client control program by the alias server (0) statistical information which further comprises: the alias address; a time and date of the creation of the alias address; a message number; 7

8 13 EP B1 14 the subject line prefix; the user memo information; and a number of messages received; a number of messages forwarded; a previous message received; and sorting of said statistical information by the client control program by either 1) a date received; 2) a status, comprising suspension of message or resuming of messages; 3) a number of total messages received from a particular recipient; or 4) the date of the creation of the alias address 6. The method of any preceding claim, further comprising, after receiving a message from a recipient addressed to the first alias address: selecting by the user of the Reply function of the client program (2); inputting of a reply message by the user; transmitting of the user s reply message to the Alias server (0): stripping of the user s reply message of all information which could identify the user s physical address by the Alias server (0); and forwarding the stripped reply message to the recipient. 2 permanently discontinue receipt by the client program (2) of all addressed to a particular alias address. 12. The method of any preceding claim, further comprising transmitting by the user a message to two or more recipients using the same alias first address and the same identification information. 13. The method of any preceding claim, wherein the filter commands further comprise: (a) rejecting all messages addressed to the first alias address at the alias server (0); (b) suspending receipt of all messages addressed to the first alias address by the alias server (0); and (c) restoring receipt of all messages addressed to the first alias address at the alias server (0). 14. The method of any preceding claim, further comprising: (a) entering one or more additional alias addresses and identification information associated with each such additional alias address by the user; (b) generating a log by the client control program, and displaying the log to the user, the log comprising, for each alias address; 7. The method of any preceding claim, wherein the generating of the alias address further comprises random character generating. 8. The method of any preceding claim, further comprising accepting one or more additional physical addresses at the client control program, and receiving an additional alias address corresponding to each additional physical address. 9. The method of claim 8, further comprising entering a request by the client control program for one or more additional alias addresses corresponding to each physical address, and receiving by the client control program an additional alias address corresponding to each such request.. The method of claim 8 or 9, further comprising entering a request by the client control program to suspend forwarding by the alias server (0) to the client program (2) of all addressed to a particular alias address (i) the date of the generation of the alias address; (ii) the alias address; and (iii) the corresponding identification information.. The method of any preceding claim, whereby (a) the messages further comprise a subject and a body; and (b) the identification information comprises a first identification message and a second identification message, and whereby the method further comprises : (i) appending by the alias server (0) of the first identification message to the subject; and (ii) appending by the alias server (0) of the second identification message to the body. 11. The method of claim 8, 9 or, further comprising entering a request by the client control program to 8

9 EP B1 16 Patentansprüche 1. Computerimplementiertes Verfahren zur Steuerung und Organisation von -Nachrichten in einem Netzwerk für Datenkommunikation, wobei das Netzwerk für Datenkommunikation einschließt: ein -Client-Programm (2), welches die E- Mail-Adresse eines Benutzers aufweist und auf einem Computer des Benutzers residiert; einen -Server (6) des Benutzers, der mit dem -Client-Programm (2) über das Netzwerk für die Datenkommunikation kommuniziert; einen Alias- -Server (0), der mit dem E- Mail-Server (6) des Benutzers über das Netzwerk für die Datenkommunikation kommuniziert; und ein Steuerungssystem für den Client, der mit dem Alias- -Server (0) über das Netzwerk für die Datenkommunikation kommuniziert; wobei das Verfahren aufweist: Das Annehmen von Eingaben der - Adresse des Benutzers, der entsprechenden identifizierungsinformation, und von Filterbefehlen an das Steuerungssystem des Client; das Übertragen der -Adresse des Benutzers, der Filterbefehle und der entsprechenden Identifizierungsinformation von dem Steuerungssystem des Client zu dem Alias- -Server (0); das Speichern der -Adresse des Benutzers, der Filterbefehle und der entsprechenden Identifizierungsinformation in dem Alias- -Server (0); das automatische Erzeugen einer ersten Alias- -Adresse durch den Alias-E- Mail-Server (0), die nicht aus der - Adresse des Benutzers erzeugt wird und nicht aus einer Adresse des Empfängers erzeugt wird, und das Speichern der ersten Alias- -Adresse in dem Alias- - Server (0); das Übertragen der ersten Alias- - Adresse mittels des Alias- -Servers (0) an das Steuerungssystem des Client; das Übertragen einer Nachricht, welche die erste Alias- -Adresse aufweist, durch den Benutzer an einen Empfänger mittels anderer Wege als ; das Empfangen einer an die erste Alias-E- Mail-Adresse adressierten Antwortnachricht durch den Alias- -Server (0); das Speichern einer Information betreffend die Antwortnachricht in dem Alias Server (0); und falls die gespeicherten Filterbefehle den Alias- -Server (0) nicht dazu veranlassen, die Antwortnachricht zu blockieren, dann das Weiterleiten der Antwortnachricht zusammen mit der Identifizierungsinformation durch den Alias- -Server (0) mittels des s-Servers (6) des Benutzers an die -Adresse des Benutzers. 2. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, in welchem das Steuerungssystem des Client außerdem ein Steuerungsprogramm für den Client aufweist, das auf dem Computer des Benutzers residiert. 3. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1 oder 2, in welchem die -Nachrichten außerdem eine Betreffzeile und einen Nachrichtenhauptteil aufweisen, wobei das Verfahren außerdem aufweist: a) das Senden eines Betreffzeilenvorspanns durch das Steuerungsprogramm des Client an den Alias- -Server (0); b) das Senden einer Memoinformation des Benutzers von dem Steuerungsprogramm des Client an den Alias- -Server (0); c) das Speichern der Memoinformation des Benutzers und des Betreffszeilenvorspanns des Benutzers in dem Alias- -Server (0); d) das Einfügen des Betreffzeilenvorspanns des Benutzers in die Betreffzeile der Antwortnachricht und das Einfügen der Memoinformation des Benutzers in den Nachrichtenhauptteil der Antwortnachricht, so dass der Benutzer die Alias- -Adresse zu der Antwortnachricht und dem Empfänger leicht zuordnen kann. 4. Verfahren nach Anspruch 3, außerdem aufweisend das Einfügen des Betreffzeilenvorspanns des Benutzers in die Kopffelder der -Nachricht, wobei die Kopffelder außerdem eine Absenderzeile (FROM line), eine -Kopie-Zeile (CC line) und eine Blindkopiezeile (BCC line) aufweisen.. Verfahren nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, außerdem aufweisend: Das Übertragen statistischer Informationen an das Steuerungsprogramm des Clienten mittels des Alias- Servers (0), die außerdem aufweisen: die Alias- -Adresse; Zeit und Datum der Erstellung der Alias-E- Mail-Adresse; eine Nachrichtennummer; 9

10 17 EP B1 18 den Betreffzeilenvorspann; eine Memoinformation des Benutzers; und die Zahl der empfangenen Nachrichten; die Zahl der weitergeleiteten Nachrichten; eine vorher empfangene Nachricht; und eine Sortierung der statistischen Informationen durch das Steuerungsprogramm des Client nach entweder 1) einem erhaltenen Datum; 2) einem Status, der das Aufhalten einer Nachricht oder das Wiederannehmen von Nachrichten aufweist; 3) einer Zahl der gesamten erhaltenen Nachrichten von einem speziellen Empfänger; oder 4) dem Datum der Erstellung einer Alias- -Adresse. 6. Verfahren nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, außerdem aufweisend nach dem Erhalt einer Nachricht von einem Empfänger adressiert an die erste Alias- -Anschrift: Das Auswählen der Antwortfunktion des - Client-Programms (2) durch den Benutzer; das Eingeben einer Antwortnachricht durch den Benutzer; das Übertragen der Antwortnachricht des Benutzers an den Alias- -Server (0): das Entkleiden der Antwortnachricht des Benutzers von sämtlicher Information, welche die physikalische -Adresse des Benutzers durch den Alias- -Server (0) identifizieren könnte; und Weiterleiten der entkleideten Antwortnachricht an den Empfänger. 7. Verfahren nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, in welchem das Erzeugen einer Alias- -Adresse außerdem das Erzeugen eines Zufallszeichens aufweist. 2 3 Steuerungsprogramm für den Client.. Verfahren nach Anspruch 8 oder 9, außerdem aufweisend das Eingeben einer Anforderung durch das Steuerungsprogramm für den Client, das Weiterleiten von allen s, die an eine bestimmte Alias- -Adresse adressiert sind, durch den Alias-E- Mail-Server (0) an das -Client Programm (2) zu unterbrechen. 11. Verfahren nach Anspruch 8, 9 oder, außerdem aufweisend das Eingeben einer Aufforderung durch das Steuerungsprogramm für den Clienten, den Erhalt von sämtlichen s, die an eine bestimmte Alias- -Adresse adressiert sind, durch das E- Mail Client Programm (2) dauerhaft zu unterbrechen. 12. Verfahren nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, außerdem aufweisend das Übertragen einer Nachricht durch den Benutzer an zwei oder mehr Empfänger unter Verwendung der gleichen ersten Alias- -Adresse und der gleichen Identifizierungsinformation. 13. Verfahren nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, in welchem die Filterbefehle außerdem aufweisen: a) das Zurückweisen von allen Nachrichten, die an eine erste Alias- -Adresse an den Alias- -Server (0) gerichtet sind; b) das Unterbrechen des Empfangens von allen Nachrichten, die an eine erste Alias- - Adresse durch den Alias- -Server (0) gerichtet sind; und c) das Zurückgeben des Erhalts von allen Nachrichten, die an eine erste Alias- -Adresse auf dem Alias- -Server (0) gerichtet sind. 14. Verfahren nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, außerdem aufweisend: 8. Verfahren nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, außerdem aufweisend das Annehmen von einem oder mehr zusätzlichen physikalischen - Adressen an dem Steuerungsprogramm für den Client, und das Empfangen von zusätzlichen Alias-E- Mail-Adressen, die jeweils den zusätzlichen physikalischen -Adressen entsprechen. 9. Verfahren nach Anspruch 8, außerdem aufweisend das Eingeben einer Anforderung für eine oder mehrere zusätzliche Alias Adressen entsprechend einer jeden physikalischen Adresse durch das Steuerungsprogramm für den Client und, das Empfangen einer zusätzlichen Alias- -Adresse, die jeweils einer derartigen Anforderung entspricht, durch das 4 0 a) das Eingeben von einer oder mehreren zusätzlichen Alias- -Adressen und einer Identifizierungsinformation, die zu einer jeden derartigen zusätzlichen Alias- -Adresse durch den Benutzer zugeordnet wird; b) das Erzeugen eines Protokolls durch das Steuerungsprogramm für den Clienten und das Anzeigen des Protokolls für den Benutzer, wobei das Protokoll für jede Alias- -Adresse aufweist: i) das Datum der Erzeugung der Alias-E- Mail-Adresse; ii) die Alias- -Adresse; und iii) die entsprechende Identifizierungsinfor-

11 19 EP B1 mation.. Verfahren nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, in welchem a) die -Nachrichten außerdem einen Betreff und einen Hauptbestandteil aufweisen; und b) die Identifizierungsinformation außerdem eine erste Identifizierungsnachricht und eine zweite ldentifizierungsnachricht aufweist, und wobei das Verfahren außerdem aufweist: i) das Anhängen von der ersten Identifizierungsnachricht an dem Betreff durch den Alias-E- Mail-Server (0); und ii) das Anhängen der zweiten Identifizierungsnachricht an den Hauptteil durch den Alias-E- Mail-Server (0). Revendications 1. Procédé mis en oeuvre par ordinateur permettant de commander et d organiser les messages de courrier électronique dans un réseau de communication de données, le réseau de communication de données comportant : un programme client de courrier électronique (2) comprenant une adresse de courrier électronique utilisateur, et se trouvant dans l ordinateur d un utilisateur ; un serveur de courrier électronique utilisateur (6) qui communique avec le programme client de courrier électronique (2) sur le réseau de communication de données ; un serveur de courrier électronique alias (0) qui communique avec le serveur de courrier électronique utilisateur (6) sur le réseau de communication de données ; et un système de contrôle client qui communique avec le serveur de courrier électronique alias (0) sur le réseau de communication de données; le procédé comprenant les étapes suivantes : l acceptation des entrées de l adresse de courrier électronique utilisateur, des informations d identification correspondantes et des commandes de filtre au niveau du système de contrôle client ; la transmission de l adresse de courrier électronique utilisateur, des commandes de filtre et des informations d identification correspondantes par le système de contrôle client au serveur de courrier électronique alias (0) ; le stockage de l adresse de courrier électronique utilisateur, des commandes de filtre et des informations d identification correspondantes dans le serveur de courrier électronique alias (0) ; la génération automatique d une première adresse de courrier électronique alias par le serveur de courrier électronique alias (0), qui n est pas générée à partir de l adresse de courrier électronique utilisateur, et qui n est pas générée à partir d une adresse de destinataire ; et le stockage de ladite première adresse de courrier électronique alias dans le serveur de courrier électronique alias (0) ; la transmission de la première adresse de courrier électronique alias par le serveur de courrier électronique alias (0) au système de contrôle client ; la transmission d un message comprenant la première adresse de courrier électronique alias par l utilisateur à un destinataire au moyen d un autre courrier électronique ; la réception, par le serveur de courrier électronique alias (0), d un message de réponse adressé à la première adresse de courrier électronique alias ; le stockage des informations concernant le message de réponse dans le serveur de courrier électronique alias (0) ; et si les commandes de filtre stockées n amènent pas le serveur de courrier électronique alias (0) à bloquer le message de réponse, le transfert, par le serveur de courrier électronique alias (0) du message de réponse, avec les informations d identification, à l adresse de courrier électronique utilisateur par l intermédiaire du serveur de courrier électronique utilisateur (6). 2. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le système de contrôle client comprend en outre un programme de contrôle client qui se trouve dans l ordinateur de l utilisateur. 3. Procédé selon la revendication 1 ou 2, dans lequel les messages de courrier électronique comprennent en outre une ligne objet et un corps de message, le procédé comprenant en outre : a) l envoi du préfixe de ligne objet par le programme de contrôle client au serveur de courrier électronique alias (0) ; b) l envoi d informations mémo utilisateur par le programme de contrôle client au serveur de courrier électronique alias (0) ; c) le stockage des informations mémo utilisateur et du préfixe de ligne objet de l utilisateur dans 11

12 21 EP B1 22 le serveur de courrier électronique alias (0) ; d) l insertion du préfixe de ligne objet de l utilisateur dans la ligne objet du message de réponse et l insertion des informations mémo utilisateur dans le corps de message du message de réponse, de telle sorte que l utilisateur peut facilement associer l adresse de courrier électronique alias au message de réponse et au destinataire. 4. Procédé selon la revendication 3, comprenant en outre l insertion du préfixe de ligne objet de l utilisateur dans les champs en-tête du message de courrier électronique, les champs en-tête comprenant en outre une ligne De, une ligne Cc et une ligne Cci.. Procédé selon l une quelconque des revendications précédentes, comprenant en outre : la transmission au programme de contrôle client par le serveur de courrier électronique alias (0) d informations statistiques comprenant en outre: l adresse de courrier électronique alias ; une heure et date de création de l adresse de courrier électronique alias ; un numéro de message ; le préfixe de ligne objet ; les informations mémo utilisateur ; et un certain nombre de messages reçus ; un certain nombre de messages transférés ; un message précédent reçu ; et le tri desdites informations statistiques par le programme de contrôle client par : 1) une date de réception ; 2) un état, comprenant la suspension du message ou la reprise des messages ; 3) un nombre total de messages reçus par un destinataire particulier ; ou 4) la date de création de l adresse de courrier électronique alias. 6. Procédé selon l une quelconque des revendications précédentes, comprenant en outre, après réception d un message provenant d un destinataire adressé à la première adresse de courrier électronique alias : la sélection, par l utilisateur, de la fonction Répondre du programme client de courrier électronique (2) ; l entrée d un message de réponse par l utilisateur ; la transmission du message de réponse de l utilisateur au serveur de courrier électronique alias (0) ; l épuration du message de réponse de l utilisateur de toutes les informations pouvant identifier l adresse de courrier électronique physique de l utilisateur par le serveur de courrier électronique alias (0) ; et le transfert du message de réponse épuré au destinataire. 7. Procédé selon l une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel la génération de l adresse de courrier électronique alias comprend en outre la génération de caractères aléatoires. 8. Procédé selon l une quelconque des revendications précédentes, comprenant en outre l acceptation d une ou plusieurs adresses de courrier électronique physiques supplémentaires au niveau du programme de contrôle client, et la réception d une adresse de courrier électronique alias supplémentaire correspondant à chaque adresse de courrier électronique physique supplémentaire. 9. Procédé selon la revendication 8, comprenant en outre l entrée d une demande par le programme de contrôle client d une ou plusieurs adresses alias supplémentaires correspondant à chaque adresse physique, et la réception par le programme de contrôle client d une adresse de courrier électronique alias supplémentaire correspondant à chacune de ces demandes.. Procédé selon la revendication 8 ou 9, comprenant en outre l entrée d une demande par le programme de contrôle client de suspendre le transfert par le serveur de courrier électronique alias (0) au programme client de courrier électronique (2) de tous les courriers électroniques adressés à une adresse de courrier électronique alias particulière. 11. Procédé selon la revendication 8, 9 ou, comprenant en outre l entrée d une demande par le programme de contrôle client d interrompre de manière permanente la réception par le programme client de courrier électronique (2) de tous les courriers électroniques adressés à une adresse de courrier électronique alias particulière. 12. Procédé selon l une quelconque des revendications précédentes, comprenant en outre la transmission par l utilisateur d un message à deux ou plusieurs destinataires utilisant la même première adresse de courrier électronique alias et les mêmes informations d identification. 13. Procédé selon l une quelconque des revendications 12

13 23 EP B1 24 précédentes, dans lequel les commandes de filtre comprennent en outre: (a) le rejet de tous les messages adressés à la première adresse de courrier électronique alias au niveau du serveur de courrier électronique alias (0) ; (b) la suspension de la réception de tous les messages adressés à la première adresse de courrier électronique alias par le serveur de courrier électronique alias (0) ; et (c) la restauration de la réception de tous les messages adressés à la première adresse de courrier électronique alias au niveau du serveur de courrier électronique alias (0). 14. Procédé selon l une quelconque des revendications précédentes, comprenant en outre : (a) l entrée d une ou plusieurs adresses de courrier électronique alias supplémentaires et informations d identification associées à chacune de ces adresses de courrier électronique alias supplémentaires par l utilisateur ; (b) la génération d un journal par le programme de contrôle client et l affichage du journal à l utilisateur, le journal comprenant, pour chaque adresse de courrier électronique alias : 2 (i) la date de génération de l adresse de courrier électronique alias ; (ii) l adresse de courrier électronique alias ; et (iii) les informations d identification correspondantes. 3. Procédé selon l une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel : (a) les messages de courrier électronique comprennent en outre un objet et un corps ; et (b) les informations d identification comprennent un premier message d identification et un deuxième message d identification, et dans lequel le procédé comprend en outre : (i) l ajout par le serveur de courrier électronique alias (0) du premier message d identification à l objet ; et (ii) l ajout par le serveur de courrier électronique alias (0) du deuxième message d identification au corps

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