Automatic notification of receipt of electronic mail (e-mail) via telephone system without requiring log-on to e-mail server

  • US 5,944,786 A
  • Filed: 12/04/1996
  • Issued: 08/31/1999
  • Est. Priority Date: 12/04/1996
  • Status: Expired due to Term
First Claim
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1. An automatic electronic mail (e-mail) notification system for use with a computer based communications system and a telephone system, the commnunications system comprising:

  • a plurality of computers each having means for sending and receiving e-mail;

    a network connecting the computers, the network including;

    an e-mail server having means for receiving from the network e-mail messages addressed to selected recipients, andmeans for storing each of the e-mail messages in an addressable mail box having a recipient identifier associated therewith;

    the telephone system comprising;

    a plurality of telephone nodes, each node having a respective subscriber identifier;

    a voice messaging system havinga voice mail notification signal generator for generating a voice mail notification signal in response to the receipt of a voice mail message, andsignal transmitting means for sending the voice mail notification signal to the telephone node corresponding to a subscriber identifier associated with the voice mail message;

    the e-mail notification system comprising;

    a recipient--subscriber correlator for correlating the recipient identifier of an e-mail message with a respective subscriber identifier;

    an e-mail notification signal generator responsive to the receipt of an e-mail message by the e-mail server for actuating the voice mail system to send an e-mail notification signal the telephone node corresponding to the respective subscriber identifier; and

    notification means connected to each of the telephone nodes for notifying the recipient of the receipt of the e-mail by the e-mail server in response to receipt of the e-mail notification signal.

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