Fax routing system and method using standard fax machine and personal computer

  • US 20030026400A1
  • Filed: 04/29/2002
  • Published: 02/06/2003
  • Est. Priority Date: 04/10/1997
  • Status: Active Grant
First Claim
Patent Images

1. A fax routing system comprising:

  • (a) a local fax machine for;

    (1) receiving a document to be faxed over a telephone line;

    (2) receiving a telephone number to which the document should be faxed over the telephone line;

    (3) dialing the telephone number; and

    (4) transmitting the document over the telephone line after dialing the telephone number as a fax;

    (b) a local computer containing a table of telephone numbers and corresponding Internet addresses, said local computer for;

    (1) receiving a telephone number;

    (2) looking the telephone number up in the table; and

    (3) delivering the Internet address corresponding to a telephone number in the table;

    (c) a fax director connected to said fax machine, said computer and to a telephone line, said fax director including;

    (1) an off-hook sensor for sensing when said local fax machine goes off hook;

    (2) a dial tone provider for delivering a dial tone to said local fax machine;

    (3) a telephone number decoder for decoding the telephone number dialed by said local fax machine;

    (4) a telephone number dialer connectable to the telephone line for dialing the telephone number;

    (5) a handshaker for handshaking with said fax machine;

    (6) a fax converter for converting the fax to be sent by said local fax machine into a computer file;

    (7) a processor connected to said off-hook sensor, dial tone provider, telephone number decoder, telephone number dialer, handshaker and fax converter for;

    a. causing said dial tone provider to provide a dial tone after said off-hook sensor senses said fax machine going off hook;

    b. causing said telephone number decoder to decode the telephone number dialed by said local fax machine after causing said dial tone provider to provide a dial tone;

    c. if an Internet address corresponding to the telephone number is in said telephone number table;

    causing said handshaker to handshake with said fax machine;

    causing said fax converter to convert the fax being sent by said local fax machine into a computer file;

    directing said fax sender to send the computer file to the Internet address corresponding to the telephone number in the table; and

    d. if an Internet address corresponding to the telephone number is not in said telephone number table, for;

    causing said telephone number dialer to dial the telephone number; and

    connecting said local fax machine to the telephone line; and

    (d) a fax sender connectable to the Internet and to either said fax director or said computer for sending the computer file containing the fax over the Internet to the Internet address if the telephone number is in said table.

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