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System and Method for Communication Group Management Disclosure Number: IPCOM000200541D
Publication Date: 2010-Oct-18
Document File: 4 page(s) / 379K

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


Disclosed is a method to facilitate contact group transfer within communication systems. Such communication systems may include Instant Messaging (IM) for smart phones or hand-held devices, Enterprise Instant Messaging (EIM) systems, or other electronic collections of message recipients.

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System and Method for Communication Group Management

NOTE: In this disclosure, the term Instant Messaging (IM) is used in reference to Instant Messaging and all other relevant analogous technologies.

Instant Messaging

Instant Messaging is a collection of technologies used for real-time text-based communication between two or more participants over the Internet or other types of networks. Of importance is that on-line chat and IM differs from other technologies such as email due to the perceived synchronicity of the communications by the users; chat happens in real-time. Some systems permit messages to be sent to people not currently 'logged on' (off-line messages), thus removing some of the differences between IM and email.

Messaging allows effective and efficient communication, allowing immediate receipt of acknowledgment or reply. In many cases, IM includes additional features. For example, users can see each other by using webcams, or talk directly for free over the Internet using a microphone and headphones or speakers. Many client programs allow file transfers as well, although they are typically limited by permissible file-size.


Each modern messaging service generally provides its own client, either a separately installed piece of software, or a browser-based client. Typically, these clients only work with that company's service, although some allow limited function with other services. There are also third party client software applications that will connect with most of the major messaging services.

Presently, methods do not exist to permit an easy transfer of a group of contacts between users of IM software. More specifically, if a group is created by one user (e.g., department listing, common interest group, etc.) no existing method allows that user to transfer this group for use by other individuals. Ideally, this transfer would occur through messaging channels, so that other communication channels need not be introduced.

The disclosed invention enables one user to send another a list of contacts through messaging. The invention allows this group to be constructed dynamically, and not have to be maintained in a management interface. However, some embodiments might enable users to save this group as a permanent, private group. In saving as a private group, the user can specify a category under which the group should be saved, thus facilitating future group messaging on this particular subject.

The transfer occurs using known information transfer over networking mediums, such
as Extensible Markup Language (XML) messages inside of Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) packets, etc. In some embodiments of this invention, whenever a user accepts a group chat invitation, an icon displays in the group window that signifies the collective group, and clicking on this icon saves that group to


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the contact list under a selected category or the category currently being discussed. The categor...