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A method for automatic information collection through e-mail

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000201695D
Publication Date: 2010-Nov-18
Document File: 8 page(s) / 160K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The present invention provides a method to collect information automatically through e-mail. The sender will launch a survey through email, and then the mail server will detect it and forward this e-mail in turn in the receiver's group. The first receiver gets the email and fills up the required information, and then it will be forwarded to the next receiver. After the last receiver fulfills the information, the e-mail with the complete information will be forwarded to the sender.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 48% of the total text.

Page 01 of 8

A method for automatic information collection through e -

-mail

mail

Many of us have to collect information from others by email. The normal solution is:
a. Generate a table (Notes table, table in Microsoft word, table in Microsoft Excel, table in Symphony, and etc)
b. Then send it out by email. Ask the recipients to fill in required information, and reply to you with the updated table
c. Collect all inputs for survey.

The process is very painful, due to:
a. You received too much redundant information from everyone
b. You must collect everyone's input by checking each reply manually.

As described in Figure 1:

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Figure 1

For the purpose to collect/survey information by email, this invention relates to a method to deliver email in turn and control the delivery process with limited response time.

The key idea is described by Figure 2:

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Figure 2

Email server controls the email delivery process by:
o Receive the original note sent by the sender.
o Forward the note to the 1st receiver.
o When the 1st receiver sent out the reply, email server forward the reply to the 2nd receiver. o Repeat the process, until the receive list is went through.
o Forward the last reply to the sender, in which a summary report is generated already.

The whole email delivery process is controlled by "limited response time". If a receiver doesn't provide the reply within a certain time, he/she will be passed on, and the turn is changed to the next receiver. Anyway, a response report will be sent to the sender in the end to indicate who is jumped over in the loop.

As described in Figure 3:

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Figure 3

If there are too many receivers in Group list, the server provides a 'forward in multiple groups' way to save time. The main process is described by figure 4:

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Sub-group A

Sender

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Summary A

Sub-group B

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Orig Note

Summary B

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Email Server

Figure 4
1. Sender chooses to forward i...