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System and Method for determining critical section read acknowledgement in an email Disclosure Number: IPCOM000217046D
Publication Date: 2012-Apr-30
Document File: 4 page(s) / 163K

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


Disclosed are a system and method for providing a section wise read receipt facility in email. The invention allows senders to indicate a critical section(s) within an email and apply the read receipt function to that particular section. This allows the sender to know whether the recipient read the most important information contained in the email.

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System and Method for determining critical section read acknowledgement in an email

Because of the popularity of email, developers of email systems (i.e., the programs that implement email functionality) have offered increasingly functionally rich email clients and servers. Two of the better-known email features are the email delivery option features commonly known as delivery confirmation and return receipt (although those skilled in the art may also refer to the latter feature as read receipt ). When the delivery confirmation option is enabled for a first email message and the first email message is successfully delivered, the sender receives a report that the first email was successfully delivered to a mailbox belonging to the recipient. Both the delivery confirmation and return receipt features of email systems are well known in the art .

While the delivery confirmation and return receipt options are often very useful tools for tracking email messages, the current implementations of these features are inflexible . The sender of the email often adds formal information such as an introduction , salutation, etc. to the email, which might not have any great significance. Only a specific portion of the email might be important to the sender ; therefore, the sender is keen to know whether the recipient has read that specific section . However, all the current implementations of the read receipt mechanism are based on the entire email ; the read receipt is sent back to the sender as soon as the recipient opens the mail , irrespective of whether the reader has seen the entire email or a specific portion of the email. The basic definition of read receipt itself is flawed under the current implementations since there is no way the sender can track whether the recipient has "read" a specific important section of the email .

Illustration of the problem:

The Consultant of services team sends the following email to his client .



In the above email, the most important part is marked in bold, and as is in most cases, it is a smaller portion of the email. If the client does not read the entire email from beginning to end, they might miss this information. However, the read receipt is sent to the consultant, giving him the impression that the team members have read the entire email, including the important portion/section. He has no other way to find this out except to make personal contact or send another email specifically asking feedback about the email portion/section he has in mind. This leads to unnecessary duplication of emails and waste of time.

Existing Prior Art:

• System and method for selective application of email delivery options . [1]


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• Method for managing electronic mail receipts using audio -visual notification. [2]

• Electronic mail system and method. [3]

• Document tracking methods and system therefor . [4]

• Method and system for providing enhanced call waiting and caller ident...