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AutoReply Message Service

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000022387D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Apr-25
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Apr-25

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Some e-mail clients offer the feature of activating an "Out of Office" reply, which allows to individually answer incoming messages. However, such an easy configurable personalized service has not been implemented into mobile or wired phones, yet. Therefore, it is proposed to introduce an AutoReply Message Service (AMS) that offers this functionality. It can be implemented as follows. The user defines a message and assigns it to the desired caller IDs (e.g. telephone numbers, address book entries, etc.). This message can be either text (SMS), audio/visual (MMS), voice call, or other. The message is then stored along with a validity period on the phone device. Also, for each caller ID, an integer (ID counter) is assigned that defines how often the message is sent at most when the same participant calls repeatedly. If an incoming call is not answered within a predefined period of time (e.g. 25s), it is handed over to the "Reply Assistant" that checks whether a message is stored for this caller (cf. Fig. 1). If this is the case, it then verifies that the ID counter is greater than zero and finally checks if the validity period has expired. If all requirements are met, the message is sent to the caller and the ID counter is reduced by one. Additionally, a report can be presented to the user to indicate which calls have been answered by the AMS. If any of the above conditions is not fulfilled, no message is sent and the call follows its usual path (e.g. is forwarded to the mailbox). This can also be reported to the user along with the reasons why it has not been answered by the AMS.