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Autonomous e-mail deletion at intermediate servers Disclosure Number: IPCOM000033543D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Dec-16
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Dec-16
Document File: 3 page(s) / 41K

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The present idea presents a method and apparatus for the deletion of e-mail from intermediate servers to avoid the unnecessary storage of the already successfully delivered e-mails with independence of the systems and or methods used by senders and/or receivers.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 41% of the total text.

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Autonomous e-mail deletion at intermediate servers

Electronic mail (e-mail) is a very efficient way and tool to communicate and/or exchange computer system files or documents between two or more computers which require an originator computer connected to a server (originator server) and at least a destination computer connected to a server (destination server). In many cases the originator server and the destination server could be the same one but in many instances they are different servers and in such cases it may, or may not, be connected to a network of computers which include a certain number of servers, one or more than one, which transmit the message through the network to its destination.

   These intermediate servers are a pathway for the e-mail to reach from the origination server the destination server. As the e-mail is received by each intermediate server it utilizes storage space in order to be retransmitted to the next server in the network in its way to its final destination and remains there until the server administrator cleans up such storage space. After the e-mail is successfully transmitted to the next server in the path there is no reason to keep using storage space unnecessarily, therefore a suitable solution is needed.

   The existing solutions need to modify the message introducing an indicator for self-removal or a deletion date, therefore the sender has to include these indicators itself or the ISP has to include it as it is proposed by the first three patents mentioned above.

   For such reason a method to delete all kind of e-mail messages from intermediate servers storage space when they are no longer useful is needed.

   The present solution provides a solution independently from any random deadline therefore optimizes the storage space resources as the unnecessary used space is freed up as soon as it is noticed its uselessness.

An advantage of this solution is that ISP or network providers can benefit from it independently if the final destination server or servers in other networks to which it is connected itself has the ability to communicate back the deletion message as long as the last intermediate server can communicate this deletion message to all of the previous intermediate servers in its own network, all these servers will optimize their storage space being the last intermediate server the one requiring other maintenance to free up such unnecessarily used storage space.

   A table (deletion table) is created at the receiving server, either if it is an intermediate or final server, containing the message identification, the address of the intermediate server which sent the message other than the originating server and it is updated with each e-mail message received. The server position in the deletion pathway is indicated in the table and it is transmitted along with the message to the next server in order to allow the server which receives the message to indicate its own position in the deletion pathway....