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A System to Redirect Emails Sent to someone who is "Out of Office"

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000184836D
Original Publication Date: 2009-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2009-Jul-01
Document File: 1 page(s) / 25K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Currently, when an "out-of-office" email is received by the sender of an email, the original sender of the email then needs to look up the back-up (if indicated within the email) and then re-send or forward the original email to the back-up. There already exists technology to automatically forward an email when it is undeliverable to the particular email address (Patent number 7093025 "SMTP extension for email delivery failure". http://www.google.com/patents?id=lrF6AAAAEBAJ&dq=out-of-office+email). This existing patent idea describes a mechanism of an additional SMTP protocol parameter which is used to identify an alternate recipient to whom emails are automatically forwarded in case the primary recipient is not reachable.The email could have been returned for various reasons such as the receiver being out-of-office or on vacation. However, the disadvantage of the method as described in the existing idea is that the email gets automatically forwarded to either the alternate email provided by the sender or by the email provided by the recipient. In order for this to happen, the recipient would have had to set up their email forwarding to the correct emails. This invention provides the sender of a returned email the option to re-send the email to a back-up specified by the original recipient in case the recipient is unavailable (on vacation, or out of office)

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A System to Redirect Emails Sent to someone who is "Out of Office"

This disclosure presents a method to provide the sender with an option to re-direct their original email to a back-up (or another email) specified by the original recipient of the email.

The invention can be implemented as follows:

When the sender of the email gets an out-of-office email, the email application detects special phrases like "out-of-office" and"on vacation". If the phrases are detected within the email, the email client then detects for phrases such as back-up which can consist of a single or multiple names. If back-up names are found, a "Re-Direct" button is provided to the original sender of the email that has been returned. The sender can then use this button to send an email to the back-ups detected in the email that was returned. In addition, the original recipient is added as a CC on the email so that they are aware the email was forwarded. The sender will have the option to modify the recipients and add/remove any if necessary.

If no back-ups are detected, the "Re-direct" email will not be presented to the sender.

Here are the specific claims being made in this invention:

1. The ability of the email client to detect specific phrases to determine that the recipient is unavailable e.g out-of-office/vacation/backup
2. The ability of the email client to detect specific phrases to indicate whether a back up was specified in the return or out...