System and method for filtering unsolicited electronic mail messages using data matching and heuristic processing

  • US 5,999,932 A
  • Filed: 01/13/1998
  • Issued: 12/07/1999
  • Est. Priority Date: 01/13/1998
  • Status: Expired due to Term
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First Claim
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1. A method for filtering electronic mail addressed to a user, comprising the steps of:

  • storing a user inclusion list including identification data for identifying e-mail desired by the user;

    receiving an electronic mail message;

    comparing data from said received electronic mail message with said identification data;

    upon identifying a match between said electronic mail message data and said identification data, marking said electronic mail with a first display code;

    displaying in a first display format said electronic mail message marked with the first display code to the user;

    upon failing to detect a match between said electronic mail message data and said identification data, performing at least one heuristic process to determine whether said electronic mail message may be of interest to the user;

    upon identifying an electronic mail message of interest to the user, marking said electronic mail with a second display code;

    displaying said electronic mail message marked with said second display code to the user in a second display format;

    upon failing to identify an electronic mail message of interest to the user, marking the electronic mail message with a third display code; and

    displaying said electronic mail message marked with said third display code to the user in a third display format.

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