Using multiple simultaneous threads of communication

  • US 7,328,242 B1
  • Filed: 09/17/2002
  • Issued: 02/05/2008
  • Est. Priority Date: 11/09/2001
  • Status: Active Grant
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First Claim
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1. A method in a client computing device for maintaining multiple simultaneous interactive threads of communication for a user of the client computing device, the method comprising:

  • creating multiple persistent threads of communication for the user of the client computing device, each thread having a distinct group of multiple participants that includes the user and multiple other users and each having a distinct associated topic such that the communications for a thread each have contents related to the topic for that thread, the creating of each of the multiple threads occurring before receiving any communications for the thread and including,receiving an indication from the user to create the thread, the received indication including an indication of the group of multiple participants for the thread; and

    automatically communicating with computing devices of the other indicated participants to create the thread on each of those computing devices, so that each of the thread participants is enabled to send communications for the thread and is enabled to view received communications for the thread from other thread participants; and

    simultaneously displaying the multiple threads of communication to the user of the client computing device in such a manner that, for each of the multiple threads, communications of the thread are displayed together in a uniform manner and are displayed separately from communications of the other threads, the displaying of each thread of communication including,while the client computing device is actively communicating with other computing devices,receiving multiple communications for the thread that are each from one of the multiple other users for the thread;

    receiving multiple communications for the thread from the user that are each intended for the multiple other users for the thread;

    sending the multiple communications from the user to the multiple other users for the thread in a manner without notification to the user; and

    displaying to the user in a single window and in a specified order all the received communications for the thread from the user and from the other users such that all of the contents of all of the communications are displayed to the user in a uniform manner;

    after the displaying of all the received communications for the thread and while the client computing device is no longer actively communicating with other computing devices,receiving one or more additional communications for the thread from the user that are intended for the multiple other users for the thread; and

    without sending the received additional communications to the multiple other users for the thread, updating the display for the thread to include the received additional communications from the user in such a manner that those additional communications are displayed in the same manner as the previously sent communications for the thread from the user; and

    after the updating of the display and while the client computing device is again actively communicating with other computing devices,sending the received additional communications for the thread from the user to the multiple other users for the thread, the sending performed in a manner without notification to the user;

    receiving additional communications for the thread that are each from one of the multiple other users for the thread, one or more of the received additional communications sent while the client computing device was not actively communicating with other computing devices; and

    updating the display for the thread to include the received additional communications from the other users in such a manner that those additional communications are displayed in the same manner as the other previously received communications for the thread from the other users,so that the user of the client computing device can send communications to each of multiple simultaneous threads whether or not the client computing device is actively communicating with other computing devices and can see a display with all of the contents of all of the communications for a thread shown in a uniform manner.

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