Browse Prior Art Database

Maintaining discussion threads in email communication.

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000237910D
Publication Date: 2014-Jul-21
Document File: 7 page(s) / 430K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

A method to maintain discussion threads in email communication.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 30% of the total text.

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Maintaining discussion threads in email communication .

Disclosed is a method to maintain discussion with multiple threads started and

continued via emails in a user friendly form similar to discussion forum with automatic

detection of threads and possibility to maintain participant list per thread.

It is quite typical in large organizations that discussion started via email grows bigger and bigger; such emails often contain a list of items/problems etc; more and more people are copied to, some of them are interested in overall discussion, some are interested only in specific topic (item on the list). Moreover, when engaged people come from different time zone p it becomes extremely tedious to follow the discussion and possibility that some important piece of information will be overlooked raise significantly as there can be a lot of emails send overnight related to various topics mentioned in the discussion.

Moreover such discussion grow bigger and bigger spontaneously and while they are already in progress it is extremely difficult to switch the discussion to more appropriate medium (e.g. discussion forum)

Therefore there is a need to enhance mail server with functionality to automatically detect such discussion and organize them in more user friendly form allowing:
- separation of sub-threads in discussion
- keeping clear history of discussion

Provided is a list with list of most relevant prior-arts we were able to identify:
1) System and method for managing display of a multiple message electronic mail thread ( https://www.google.com/patents/US7487216) - focuses on displaying and email with multiple appended messages - generally limited to a single email (with history) when each response is marked by header. The approach is way too narrow to compete with our idea.

2) Providing discussion thread context for posts displayed in a flat list ( https://www.google.com/patents/CA2590942A1) - focuses exclusively on displaying content of a forum, not suitable for automatically creation of such forum from emails.

3) Multi-tiered approach to e-mail prioritization ( https://www.google.com/patents/WO2013118089A2) - in contrary to this idea we do not try to determine importance/priority of the email for receiver.

The solution would be a mailing system that would:
a) automatically detect list of items being discussion in email
b) automatically assign a participant to individual item(s)

c) automatically merge incoming mails into one containing all the changes
d) track changes and mark them with author and time of change

Mail combined by such a system would be something between:
- regular emails (ease of use / set up)
- forum (thread following/ distribution lists per thread)
- document in a cloud (latest version will be always distributed/history of changes/reasoning available)

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While details of the idea will be presented in next chapter, what is believed to be novel is:
- Mail Server (MS) analyses content of incoming email and use this in...