Patent Application No. 09/113,344 Method for Integrating Internet SMTP Electronic Messaging with Postal Services

Inventor: Dr. Ben Livson, 36 Minnamurra Road, NSW Australia,

Phone: +61 414 250 437, Fax: +61 2 9958 3915 and Email:


Conclusion, Ramifications, and Scope

This invention is about integrating Internet SMTP electronic messaging to postal services. The invention is a universal Internet standards compliant extension of SMTP messaging that enables the use of any standard email client or web browser. The method covers addressing, authentication and billing for any service provider licensed to use this invention.

The method extends to providing email and facsimile to subscribers that do not have access or do not want access to any technology.

The invention is independent of messaging vendors. Any modern SMTP messaging system with 'hooks' - an Application Programming Interface - can be adopted.

The invention calls for message handling to be on the server side. By virtue of this a standard email client or web-browser can be used without requiring any client modifications.

The addressing rules minimise the length of typing addresses. Addressing integrates with email distribution lists including list servers. All messaging can be integrated into the email inbox.

The invention advances the state of the art by presenting four new methods:

  1. Method for extending SMTP addressing to all types messaging including postal addressing.
  2. Method for authenticating Internet subscribers of the extended SMTP addressing services.
  3. Method for billing any authenticated Internet subscriber of the extended SMTP addressing services.
  4. Method for virtual email, facsimile and mailbag as unique new messaging value added services.

All the methods can be supported by the invention's design for a SMTP handler of all types of messaging services including postal services.


Background -- Field of Invention

Methods are presented for extended Electronic Addressing, Authentication and Billing for a complete solution for Service Providers. A new class postal services is presented for providing electronic mail addresses and facsimile numbers to subscribers that do not have access to any technology or do not want to use any technology.


"The method serves subscribers that do not have or do not want to have access to either email or facsimile. An email address or facsimile number can be allocated and forwarded to a postal recipient. Subscribes can not only receive but also reply to email or facsimile messages without access to technology. The envelopes from the hybrid mail provider have peel-off labels to reverse to and from address labels and reply paid label so that the subscriber can reuse the hybrid mail envelop to send it with her hand-written or typed reply back to the hybrid mail in-bound mailroom processing centre.

The processing centre will scan and perform optical character recognition of the reply and send the reply to the original email address or facsimile number. Similarly, prepaid formatted envelopes will be available for subscribes to send new email or facsimile messages by postal services. Thus, the hybrid mail service provider will free the subscriber from using any technology enabling her all the basic functions for receiving, replying and sending messages.

The reverse of subscribers requesting all communications to be electronic and sent to the email inbox including postal letters is handled by the same service provider in-bound mail room for scanning and optical character recognition. The subscriber activates such a service by forwarding post to the post box of the in-bound mailroom.

Hybrid mails according to subscriber preferences can be either:

Collation is a premium value-added services limited by the hybrid print-mail infrastructure. The algorithm for collation for a given mail run depends on the overall load and scheduling aspects of the print-mail facility.



Claims: I claim:

  1. Method for extending SMTP standards compliant messaging to handle multiple message types selected from the group consisting of email, postal address, voicemail, facsimile, pager and mobile short message service,
  2. whereby a subscriber can use any standard email client or web browser to send or receive any of the said message types,

    whereby email inbox and sendbox integrate all said types of messages,

    whereby email distribution lists and list servers support all said types of messages,

    whereby a subscriber without access to any messaging technology can be allocated an email address and a facsimile number with all messages converted into and delivered by postal services, and

    whereby a subscriber can get postal letters converted into email.

  3. The message addressing structure of claim 1 is optional-service-flags@address@domain wherein said service-flags represent value added services or postal service classes, wherein said address type is selected from the said group of messaging types, and wherein said domain belongs to a hybrid messaging service provider,
  4. whereby the required length of postal message addressing is minimised by defaulting to the from-address country code and expanding suburb-town and state information from the post-code or zip-code, and

    whereby the required length of telephony message addressing is minimised by defaulting to the subscriber's country-code and area code.

  5. The message authentication methods of claim 1 support authentication selected from the group consisting of addresses from trusted domains, trusted sender or receiver SMTP addresses, web username and password logons, and electronic certificates, and
  6. whereby authentication of trusted domains and trusted addresses is strengthened by matching the message header's from-address-domain Internet Protocol IP packet address against the Internet Domain Name Service DNS.

  7. The message billing methods of claim 1 support itemised billing selected from the group consisting of invoicing of bulk billed trusted domains, credit and debit card invoicing of individual subscribers.
  8. The subscriber preferences of claim 1 support delivery methods selected from the said group of messaging types.
  9. Addressees of claim 1 selected from the group consisting of email@domain and facsimile@domain wherein said delivery preference of claim 5 is postal service are freed from the use of messaging technology whether receiving, replying or sending said message types.
  10. Delivery preferences of claim 5 for hybrid mail conversion into postal services support collation of messages, and
    whereby cost and number of envelopes is minimised without sacrificing speed of delivery.