WO2009066295A2 - Communication systems and methods - Google Patents

Communication systems and methods Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2009066295A2
WO2009066295A2 PCT/IL2008/001529 IL2008001529W WO2009066295A2 WO 2009066295 A2 WO2009066295 A2 WO 2009066295A2 IL 2008001529 W IL2008001529 W IL 2008001529W WO 2009066295 A2 WO2009066295 A2 WO 2009066295A2
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
identification information
communication
identifier
unique
adapted
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Application number
PCT/IL2008/001529
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French (fr)
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WO2009066295A3 (en
Inventor
Noam Ben-Uzi
Nissim Shani
Original Assignee
Changenetics Llc
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Publication date
Priority to US98981307P priority Critical
Priority to US60/989,813 priority
Priority to US11872008A priority
Priority to US12/118,720 priority
Application filed by Changenetics Llc filed Critical Changenetics Llc
Publication of WO2009066295A2 publication Critical patent/WO2009066295A2/en
Publication of WO2009066295A3 publication Critical patent/WO2009066295A3/en

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Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M1/00Substation equipment, e.g. for use by subscribers; Analogous equipment at exchanges
    • H04M1/57Arrangements for indicating or recording the number of the calling subscriber at the called subscriber's set
    • H04M1/575Means for retrieving and displaying personal data about calling party
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M3/00Automatic or semi-automatic exchanges
    • H04M3/42Systems providing special services or facilities to subscribers
    • H04M3/42025Calling or Called party identification service
    • H04M3/42034Calling party identification service
    • H04M3/42042Notifying the called party of information on the calling party

Abstract

A system for providing extended identification information, the system includes: (a) identification information receiver, adapted to receive the received identification information from a communication initiation system; and (b) a processor that is coupled to the identification information receiver, and which is adapted to receive additional identification information in response to the received identification information, and to provide the extended identification information in response to the received identification information and to the additional identification information.

Description

Communication Systems and Methods

Related application

[001] This application claims priority of: a. U.S provisional patent serial number 60/989813 filed on November 22, 2007; and b. U.S. patent application number 12/118,720, filed on May 11, 2008.

Field of the invention

[002] The invention relates to communication systems and methods, and more specifically to systems and methods for providing extended identification information, and to systems and methods for providing connection information.

Background of the invention

[003] In the different forms of communication, an initiator of the communication needs to have exact information about a communication identifier (e.g. phone number, mail address, electronic mail address, and the like) of an addressee, in order to initiate any sort of communication with the addressee. In many of those forms of communication, information pertaining to the initiator is usually provided to the addressee (e.g. a return address in mail communication, an identified call in voice communication, and so forth), in order to facilitate recognition of the initiator by the addressee, as well as to enable a returning communication in some of the forms of communication (e.g. replying to an electronic mail requires the providing of a return electronic mail address).

[004] Currently, for example, telephone communication infrastructure and standards enables providing to the called party the telephone number of the calling party, under some technical and other restrictions. This became feasible with the widespread adoption of digital exchanges with a separate call data circuit. Standards for this circuit were adopted internationally with the development of Signaling System 7 (SS7), which is now the standard for connecting phone companies world-wide. SS7 allows an exchange of the calling party (i.e. caller) to send a Calling Party Number Message (CPNM or CPN), which includes the number of the caller, and whether or not the caller wants their number to be blocked. The CPNM is passed all the way to the called party's exchange, where the CPNM is translated into the local form of Caller ID, and blocking is applied if necessary.

[005] Thus, for caller identification to work, the two parties must be on digital exchanges, that are linked by SS7. Many calling card companies are not SS7 connected, and different routing can mean that calls between the same two numbers may or may not show the Caller ID. Additionally, Caller ID is not possible from most analogue mobile phones.

[006] Most notably, in most forms of communication, the communication identifiers of both the initiator and the addressee are not associated with the person or the entity (i.e. neither with the initiator not with the addressee), but rather with a device (such as a cellular phone), which a routing trail (such as a land line number or an email) or with physical location (such as a regular mail, and to an extent also land lines). Therefore, the initiator can usually not contact the addressee in a way unmediated by prior information pertaining to a certain device, a certain routing trail, or a certain location.

[007] Additionally, as most people and other entities use several forms of communication rather than just one; many potential initiators may need to be informed about many different communication identifiers (electronic mail address, home phone number, work phone number, cellular phone number, home address, business address, instant massaging identifier, and so forth). Not only may the initiator need to attempt contacting the addressee using many of those communication identifiers (e.g. try home phone number, than work phone number, and upon failure to reaching the addressee, sending an email message), updating one or more of the communication identifier (e.g. after moving) may require informing a great deal of potential initiators pertaining to the updating. On top of that, being reachable means having to disclose all those communication identifiers, wherein one may not want to publish his private phone number, though nevertheless wanting to be available to receive phone calls using his home phone.

[008] Similarly, when being identified, the initiator many a times is not identified as the initiator, but by his device, routing trail, location, etc. For example, calling from a phone belonging to another, the initiator will not be identified personally, but rather as the owner of the phone. Likewise, calling from a phone shared by many (be it a phone of a family or a small company, for example), the telephone number from which the call was made may be provided to the assignee, but not the identity of the actual caller. Comparably, when calling such a phone, the initiator can not usually call the addressee personally, because there is no indication that the communication is addressed to the addressee, but rather that it is transferred by a specific device.

[009] In addition, all the existing solutions lack the ability to dynamically route communication to and from entities as they move around, same as we're now used to reach someone on his cell wherever he's now roaming. If someone changed his work place, lost his cell phone (or his battery went dead), moved to a new house or is on vacation, you can probably be sure someone will lose track of him, temporarily or even permanently.

Summary of the invention

[0010] A system for providing extended identification information, the system includes: (a) identification information receiver, adapted to receive the received identification information from a communication initiation system; and (b) a processor that is coupled to the identification information receiver, and which is adapted to receive additional identification information in response to the received identification information, and to provide the extended identification information in response to the received identification information and to the additional identification information.

[0011] A method for providing extended identification information, the method includes: (a) receiving received identification information; (b) receiving additional identification information in response to the received identification information; (c) processing the received identification information and the additional identification information to provide extended identification information; and (d) providing the extended identification information.

[0012] A system for providing connection information, the system includes at least one unique communication identifier registrar, wherein each of at least one unique communication identifier registrar includes: (a) an interface for receiving a unique identifier query, and (b) a processor that is adapted to provide a communication specific identifier in response to the unique identifier query.

Brief description of the drawings

[0013] The foregoing and other objects, features, and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. In the drawings, similar reference characters denote similar elements throughout the different views, in which: [0014] Figures IA through ID illustrate a system for providing extended identification information, according to embodiments of the invention;

[0015] Figures 2A through 2F illustrate extended identification information as provided to a user, according to different embodiments of the invention;

[0016] Figures 3A and 3B illustrate a method for providing extended identification information, according to an embodiment of the invention;

[0017] Figures 4A and 4B illustrate a system for providing connection information, according to an embodiment of the invention; and

[0018] Figure 5 illustrates an implementation of unique communication identifier for electronic messaging communication, according to an embodiment of the invention.

Detailed description of the drawings

[0019] Different types of communication services (e.g. electronic mail, telephony, instant messaging and so forth) provide to a user to which the communication is designated some information pertaining to an initiator of said communication. For example, in telephony the user is provided (if signed to suitable service) the telephone number from which the user called, in electronic mailing the recipient is provided with the email address from which, the message was sent, and so forth. Alas, said legacy identification information is typically very limited, and does not provide to a modern user sufficient information for the conduct of successful business, for example. Fortunately, said legacy identification information can serve as a basis for providing extended identification information, as the invention teaches.

[0020] It is noted that current legacy communication services provider (e.g. mail servers, IM servers etc.) can easily integrate additional information sources, and provide a much richer data offering for both initiating and addressed entities. Additionally, we believe that many initiators, be those companies, individuals, etc. will benefit from providing more information about themselves when they initiate a communication with different sorts of users.

[0021] Figures IA through ID illustrate system 300 for providing extended identification information, according to embodiments of the invention. Conveniently, the extended identification information is a simple extension to existing legacy identification information of an existing legacy identifying service. [0022] System 300 includes: (a) identification information receiver, which is adapted to receive the received identification information from a communication initiation system, and (b) processor 220 that is connected to identification information receiver, and which is adapted to receive additional identification information in response to the received identification information, and to provide the extended identification information in response to the received identification information and to the additional identification information.

[0023] According to different embodiments of the invention, the received identification information is one of: (a) existing legacy identification information, (b) received extended identification information, and (c) unique communication identifier (discussed below).

[0024] By way of example, the extended identification information may include some or all of the following data fields (and the extension of the identification information may involve adding or updating to the received identification information one or more of the following data fields, wherein it is noted that other data fields may included as well): first name; last name; title; company name; mobile phone; home address; home phone; home fax ; business phone; business address; business fax; call location; company URL; email; company stock symbol; advertising slot (a link to optional ; advertising material, e.g. promotions, coupons etc. related to given entity); time of communication; initiator location (e.g. by extracting country and/or area code data from received identification information); and multimedia data, which may describe the initiator or otherwise relate to it: picture, music clip, video clip, avatar, company stock symbol, current value and/or trend indicator; company logo; company news & publications (either in the form of URLs or textual), electronic signature, and so forth.

[0025] According to an embodiment of the invention, the extended identification information includes a preferred communication language, wherein at least one of the data fields of the extended identification information are stored in different languages, and upon the provision of the extended identification information, a language based selection is used to select the appropriate information for selection. According to an embodiment of the invention, information in multiple languages is provided, wherein the selection is made on the receiving end.

[0026] As aforementioned, in order to receive the additional identification information, system 300 should utilize the received identification information. According to an embodiment of the invention, system 300 is adapted to query identification information database 420 in response to the received information, wherein according to an embodiment of the invention system 300 is adapted to query external database (which may be dedicated to identification information or include identification information as well as additional information), and according to an embodiment of the invention system 300 includes an internal identification information database (not shown), and is adapted to query the internal identification information database.

[0027] According to an embodiment of the invention, system 300 is adapted to query multiple identification information databases 420, wherein according to an embodiment of the invention, system 300 is adapted to verify additional identification information received from a first identification information database 420 by identification information (either received identification information or additional identification information received from a second identification information database 420.

[0028] According to some embodiments of the invention, system 300 is adapted to query one or more of the following identification information databases 420: (a) UCI registrar (discussed below); (b) domain registrar (e.g. WHOIS); (c) companies database (e.g. Dan & Bradstreet); (d) corporate database (e.g. customer database); (e) yellow pages / white pages; (f) news media (e.g. for news and publications about the initiator or about a company to which the initiator belongs); (g) advertising agencies (e.g. for news and publications about the initiator or about a company to which the initiator belongs); (h) stock sites (for company stock values).

[0029] Conveniently, system 300 is adapted to query a constant set of given identification information databases. According to an embodiment of the invention, the set of identification information databases is at least partially selected by a user of system 300, thus it is conveniently specifically tailored per a given set of identification information databases available to the user.

[0030] According to an embodiment of the invention, system 300 is adapted to query one or more internet search engines and/or publicly available (i.e. non private) databases. According to an embodiment of the invention, system 300 is adapted to verify additional identification information received from an internet search engine or from a publicly available database by identification information (either received or additional) received from another identification information database, from an internet search engine. According to an embodiment of the invention, system 300 is adapted to utilize agent technology for finding a correlation between the received identification information and other data fragments related to that initiator.

[0031] According to an embodiment of the invention, the verifying includes verifying the additional identification information by identification information received from multiple sources. According to an embodiment of the invention, system 300 is adapted to provide the extended identification information with at least one validity indicator, which pertains to the validity of at least a portion of the extended identification information (e.g. a "validity meter" using a Red- Yellow-Green validity scale, to indicate an assurance level of a verifying algorithm in the results provided).

[0032] Since the extended identification information that is retrieved is retrieved from a variety of sources, the trustworthiness of which is not always known in advance to the user, a fraud may associate additional identification information with either the legacy communication identifier or the unique communication identifier (as aforementioned, the receiving may include receiving of a unique communication identifier) used for initiating the communication, e.g. in a phishing attempt, pretending to be someone else, which may be known to the user.

[0033] The user may therefore, according to an embodiment of the invention, indicate which communication identifiers (either legacy or unique) are to be trusted (e.g. indicating that a certain UCI is to be trusted for a colleague, and that other UCIs should not be trusted), and thus, according to an embodiment of the invention, processor 320 may be further adapted to process the received communication identifier (and especially, according to an embodiment of the invention, the received unique communication identifier), so as to provide a trust indication in response to the received communication identifier. Conveniently, processor 220 is further adapted to according to such an embodiment of the invention to provide the trust indication on top of (or instead of, e.g. if determined not trustworthy) the extended identification information.

[0034] According to an embodiment of the invention, a trusted communication identifier may be use to authenticate another. For example, an authorized colleague (or a device thereof) may be used to authenticate a communication identifier of a mutual acquaintance.

[0035] According to an embodiment of the invention, processor 320 is further adapted to process a received extended identification information query, so as to provide a unique communication identifier. In such a way, different resources such as identification information databases could be implemented by system 300 to retrieve the unique communication identifier associated with a user using one or more pieces of information known about said user. Said user may choose certain pieces of information (or types of information) by which he could be queried. For example, a the unique communication identifier of a Jared who is living in New Jersey and works as a software engineer in New York could be searched for using only those details, and not his last name, for example. As only the unique communication identifier is provided in response to such a received extended identification information query (which may, for example, be a UCI using only for business purposes), the privacy of the searched for user is only slightly endangered.

[0036] According to an embodiment of the invention, system 300 is adapted to update an identification information database in response to at least a portion of the additional identification information (or in response to other identification information reached by querying the at least one identification information database). Such an updating may improve a performance of system 300, conveniently keeping the quality of data intact. It is noted that as information pertaining to the initiator usually changes with time, the updated database is conveniently not used as a single source.

[0037] According to an embodiment of the invention, the received identification information is received from a telephony network, wherein, according to an embodiment of the invention, the received identification information is telephony legacy identification information.

[0038] It is noted that system 300 can be conveniently implemented either: (a) by an initiating communication service provider, wherein the extended identification information is provided instead of the legacy identification information; (b) by a receiving communication service provider, wherein the received identification information received from the initiating communication service provider is used to provide the extended identification information; or (c) on the receiving side, before the actual provision to the end user.

[0039] When implemented by a communication service provider (e.g. a telephony provider) system 300 is conveniently an extended identification information switch of the communication service company, wherein the communication service provider usually needs to implement an application program interface (API) for the providing of the extended identification information.

[0040] It is noted that display 330 conveniently belongs to end user system 400 (e.g. PC, PDA, smart phone), which includes an extended identification information providing software, for providing of the extended identification information. It is noted that extended identification information providing software is conveniently not required when end user system 400 is a simple wireless telephony device. In such a case, system 300 is conveniently adapted to implement SMS, MMS and wireless application protocol (WAP) push or software communication to provide the extended identification information to end user system 400 that is a mobile phone of user 120. It is noted that, according to an embodiment of the invention, only a portion of the extended identification information is provided to the mobile phone, where user 120 is required to initiate a separate data session (e.g. using links to a website of system 300 or some other web server) to receive additional portions of the extended identification information.

[0041] It is clear to a person who is skilled in the art that when end user system 400 is a PDA or a smart phone, as opposed to the limited presentation capabilities of the simple wireless device, the advanced wireless device is conveniently either in an "always-on" environment where a data session can be easily established and/or has a bigger and usually colorful display screen and/or has an open development environment (for downloading software on it). Thus this device either will have downloaded the extended identification information providing software, or can use a web-based graphic user interface (GUI) from the incoming SMS / MMS / WAP Push message plus an optional data session for more data, which will present all the extended identification information.

[0042] Referring now to figure ID, according to an embodiment of the invention in which system 300 is an extended identification information switch, as disclosed above, the extended identification information switch is a designated host computer which runs the extended identification information providing software, which can carry out two types of assignments: (a) to provide a telephony wire-line or wireless operator a way to extend the received identification information, and (b) to provide to a wireless entity (e.g. the user's mobile phone) the notification and the interface to receive the extended identification information pertaining to the initiator.

[0043] When running inside a telephony operator's environment, system 300 is conveniently adapted to provide the extended identification information using standard computerized communication protocols to the operator systems so that the information can be transmitted over the line with the regular signaling of incoming call.

[0044] According to an embodiment of the invention, system 300 is adapted to consult an internal pre-configurable table of device type per addressed entity. It is noted that conveniently, the wireless operator already has this type of information, as the user conveniently bought the device from it, the system 300 might be configured to consult an external database 420 using standard data protocols such as JDBC, ODBC, OLE DB/ADO, LDAP, SQL etc. for this information.

[0045] According to an embodiment of the invention, system 300 is further adapted to utilize a connection status of user 120 to wireless data network 920 (thus having an IP address) or not. According to an embodiment of the invention, system 300 is adapted to acquire this information by consulting one of the components of wireless data network 920 such as the GGSN, PDSN, RAS etc., or the Gateway that serves this entity using standard data protocols such as HTTP, OSA/P ARLAY etc.

[0046] Once system 300 knows the device type used by user 120, and if user 120 is currently connected to wireless data network 920, system 300 conveniently knows the characteristics of communications and presentation for this specific user 120 using its specific device at this specific moment.

[0047] According to different embodiments of the invention, system 300 is adapted to utilize different methods for providing the extended identification information to user 120.

[0048] According to an embodiment of the invention, in which user 120 uses a PDA or a smart phone 402, which has a given "open" operating system, this device can use a pre- installed extended identification information providing software (denoted "SW") or to download it upon request for the displaying of the extended identification information. Thus, system 300 can conveniently communicate with said software using some proprietary or standard protocol. It should be noted that this implementation conveniently this requires said software to be of an "always on" type, so that it can "listen" to incoming extended identification information

[0049] According to an embodiment of the invention, in which user 120 uses end user system 400 which does not have any dedicated software installed (or if his device has no ability to load any software on it, such as in a case of simple wireless devices 404), system 300 is conveniently adapted to use WAP Push (if user 120 is now connected to the wireless data network 920 and assigned an IP address) or SMS / MMS. Conveniently, the means of presentation are a built-in browser of end user system 400. Thus, according to such an embodiment of the invention, system 300 is conveniently adapted to load the extended identification information to some HTML, WML, HDML, cHTML, XHTML etc. file on a web-server and then send the file's link via WAP Push / SMS / MMS to end user system 300.

[0050] It is noted that in order to send WAP Push messages to a PPG of wireless operator 912 of user 120, system 300 conveniently supports PAP protocol. In order to send SMS messages to the SMS center (denoted SMSc) of wireless operator 912, system 300 is conveniently adapted to support one or more of the following messaging protocols: CIMD2, SEMA OIS, SMPP, SMTP, SNPP, TAP, TAP-IXO, TNPP, UCP, WCTP, and XWI.

[0051] It is noted that, in order to extract the received identification information, e.g. by switch 924 of wireless operator 922, system 300 should conveniently implement some form of protocol, e.g. a proprietary protocol or one of the standard protocols for voice / signaling such as: (a) SS7; (b) SIP; (c) Sigtran; (d) H.323; and (e) Q.931 (denoted 926).

[0052] According to an embodiment of the invention, system 300 is adapted to provide the extended identification information in the interval between a first ring of incoming call and the "off hook" event (as the call is being answered by the user). It is noted that some prior art solutions provide legacy identification information during said interval.

[0053] In these moments, user 120 has a chance to receive a much richer picture about an initiator 110, before he actually picks up the call. According to an embodiment of the invention, system 300 is adapted to store the extended identification information, so that missed calls do not mean missed information.

[0054] It is noted that conveniently, the user interface relay on some existing component in the vicinity of the user (e.g. his PC, TV, mobile phone etc.), and thus it is not necessary for user 120 to purchase (as today) a CID enabled phone; he can use the extended identification information service with any regular telephone handset, either wire-line of wireless.

[0055] Referring to the extended identification information providing software, it is noted that said software has an advantage over most other UI implementations, as it resides on a PC or smart phone / PDA environment, and can thus take use of all the multimedia capabilities of the device OS, and provide a rich user experience for the extended identification information service.

[0056] Figures 2A through 2F illustrate extended identification information as provided to user 120, according to different embodiments of the invention. According to an embodiment of the invention, an incoming call notification will pop out from a right side of display 330 for a configurable period (e.g. 5 seconds), enabling user 120 to see the details of initiator 110 immediately as the phone rings.

[0057] According to an embodiment of the invention, if user 120 missed the call, system 300 is adapted to provide the extended identification information at a later stage, conveniently accompanied by the time the call was made. The missed call information is conveniently accompanied by a calling back enabling button (as illustrated in figure 2B).

[0058] It is noted that in order to enable the callback from end user system 400 which is, for example, a user's PC, additional hardware and software configuration is required; usually it requires user 120 to have a modem connected to headphones. For voice-capable PDAs and mobile phones, the end user system 400 should conveniently support an infrastructure for initiating a call from the OS / Application execution environment, like TAPI.

[0059] It is noted that, for example in small simple mobile phones, e.g. implementing wireless markup language (WML), end user system 400 typically has much less visual capabilities for displaying the extended identification information, and thus conveniently only the most important data of the extended identification information are provided to such and user system 400, and an additional link is provided to the user should he like to browse for more data (illustrated in figure 2C). According to another embodiment of the invention, a larger portion of the extended identification information is provided, but user 120 must scroll to see the entire extended data available (illustrated in figure 2D).

[0060] Figure 2E illustrates extended identification information displayed on a television, according to an embodiment of the invention, as it is implemented on the given television setup-box, and figure 2D illustrate extended identification information pertaining to electronic mail communication, according to an embodiment of the invention, as it is implemented on the given electronic mail messaging software.

[0061] It should be noted that system 300 is adapted, according to an embodiment of the invention, to incorporate extended identification information into a sent SMS or MMS messages, and/or provide the extended identification information in response to a transmission of an SMS or MMS. Similarly, system 300 is adapted, according to an embodiment of the invention, to incorporate extended identification information into a sent instant message (during instant messaging session), and/or provide the extended identification information in response to a transmission of the instant message. [0062] According to an embodiment of the invention, system 300 further includes at least one unique communication identifier registrar 210, wherein each of at least one unique communication identifier registrar 210 includes: (a) interface 212 for receiving a unique identifier query, and (b) processor 214 that is adapted to provide a communication specific identifier in response to the unique identifier query.

[0063] It is noted that system 300 could be incorporated with a single unique communication identifier registrar 210, wherein the processor 320 of system 300 is also processor 212 of the unique communication identifier registrar 210. Likewise, processor 320 could query the same databases 420 for retrieving the extended identification information as well as for providing the communication specific identifier.

[0064] A more detailed description of a system that includes at least one unique communication identifier registrars 210 is offered in relation to system 200. It is however noted that the different embodiments of system 200 could be incorporated into system 300 which includes the at least one unique communication identifier registrar 210.

[0065] According to an embodiment of the invention, an initiator of communication (e.g. a caller in a telephony call) may define a calling status or other information (e.g. short text message), which may inform a recipient of the communication (e.g. the person being called to) about the status of the caller, the intention for the type of communication (e.g. fun, work, a brief moment of your time, etc). Such information may be displayed (or otherwise provided) to the party being called, which may base a decision whether to respond to the call.

[0066] It is further noted that according to another such an embodiment of the invention, user 120 may further use different identities that are associated with different statuses. For example, a nick name and a casual image may be used for a "friends" phone call, while a full name, title, and image of company logo may be used for a business call. [0067] Figures 3A and 3B illustrate method 1300 for providing extended identification information, according to an embodiment of the invention. It is noted that different embodiments of system 300 are adapted to carry out different embodiments of method 1300, even if not specifically mentioned so above, and that different embodiments of method 1300 are adapted to be carried out and to facilitate different embodiments of system 300, even if not specifically so mentioned. The description of method 1300 and that of system 300 should be therefore considered, when appropriate, as completing each other.

[0068] Method 1300 conveniently starts with stage 1310 of receiving an incoming call indication. According to an embodiment of the invention, the incoming call indication is an incoming call signal received from a public switched telephone network (PSTN).

[0069] Stage 1310 is followed by stage 1320 of receiving the received identification information. According to an embodiment of the invention, stage 1320 includes stage 1321 of receiving legacy identification information from the PSTN. It is noted that the legacy identification information is received by a user, which is typically subscribed to a caller ID service (CID).

[0070] According to an embodiment of the invention, stage 1320 includes stage 1322 of receiving received extended identification information from an extended identification information switch, which conveniently belongs to the PSTN, and is adapted to provide the received extended identification information substantially together with the incoming call indication. It is noted that the received extended identification information is received by a user, which is typically subscribed to a PSTN extended identification information service. .

[0071] According to an embodiment of the invention, stage 1320 includes stage 1323 of receiving a unique communication identifier, which is described expansively below.

[0072] According to an embodiment of the invention, wherein method 1300 is conveniently adapted for providing of the extended identification information to a home user, the receiving is carried out by a modem of the system for providing extended identification information, wherein the modem is adapted to receive the received identification information from the PSTN. According to an embodiment of the invention, the receiving is carried out by a modem (or a similar unit) that is connected to several telephone lines.

[0073] According to an embodiment of the invention, wherein method 1300 is conveniently adapted for providing of the extended identification information to a corporate user, the receiving is carried out by a local private branch exchange (PBX). Conveniently, the local PBX will provide both the call and the received identifying information to a log-in server [318]. According to an embodiment of the invention, stage 1320, and especially the providing of the call and the received identification information to the log-in server includes stage 1324 of matching PBX to log-in server user ID (such as computer host name, IP etc.), which facilitates easy an incorporation of extended identification information for corporate desktop user, as suggested by this invention.

[0074] According to an embodiment of the invention in which the receiving is carried out by the local PBX, the log-in server is adapted to store associations of users to the computers by which they have logged in to a corporate network (as illustrated in figure 1C), and when receiving the call and the identification information (e.g. by a proprietary or standard protocol), and to match between the call destination (i.e. the identification information, preferably extended identification information as discussed above, of the user to which the communication is made) and computer 332 which the user used to log-in, so the extended information is provided to computer 332, and, according to an embodiment of the invention, the call is transmitted to an extension associated with computer 332 (e.g. in the same office). Thus, there is no need to implement a solution per end user, using complex hardware and software.

[0075] Stage 1320 of receiving is followed by stage 1330 of receiving additional identification information in response to the received identification information. Conveniently, stage 1330 includes stage 1331 of providing the received identification information by the receiving component (such as the aforementioned modem) to a processor, which is adapted to carry out stage 1320. According to an embodiment of the invention, the processor belongs to a computing entity (such as a personal computer (PC), a personal digital assistant (PDA), and so forth), which is further adapted to provide the extended identification information to the user, wherein the computing entity is connected to the receiving component, usually by a standard data connection. Conveniently, the received identification information is provided to the processor using the standard data connection (e.g. universal serial bus (USB), peripheral component interconnect (PCI), recommended standard 232 (RS232), and so forth).

[0076] According to an embodiment of the invention, stage 1330 includes stage 1332 of querying an identification information database in response to the received identification information, wherein according to an embodiment of the invention the stage 1332 includes querying an external database (which may be dedicated to identification information or include identification information as well as additional information), and according to an embodiment of the invention stage 1330 includes querying an internal identification information database that is included in a system that carries out method 1330.

[0077] It is noted that, according to an embodiment of the invention, stage 1332 includes querying multiple identification information databases, wherein according to an embodiment of the invention, stage 1332 includes stage 1333 of verifying additional identification information received from a first identification information database by identification information (either received or additional), that is either included in the received identification information or received from a second identification information database.

[0078] It is noted that, according to some embodiments of the invention, stage 1332 includes querying one or more of the following identification information databases: (a) UCI registrar; (b) domain registrar (e.g. WHOIS); (c) companies database (e.g. Dan & Bradstreet); (d) corporate database (e.g. customer database); (e) yellow pages / white pages; (f) news media (e.g. for news and publications about the initiator or about a company to which the initiator belongs); (g) advertising agencies (e.g. for news and publications about the initiator or about a company to which the initiator belongs); (h) stock sites (for company stock values).

[0079] Conveniently, the querying includes querying a constant set of given identification information databases. According to an embodiment of the invention, the set of identification information databases is at least partially selected by a user, thus it is conveniently specifically tailored per a given set of identification information databases available to the user.

[0080] According to an embodiment of the invention, stage 1330 includes stage 1334 of querying one or more internet search engines and/or publicly available (i.e. non private) databases. According to an embodiment of the invention, stage 1334 includes stage 1335 of verifying additional identification information received from an internet search engine or from a publicly available database by identification information (either received or additional) received from another identification information database, or from an internet search engine. According to an embodiment of the invention, stage 1335 includes stage 1336 of correlating between the received identification information and other data fragments related to that initiator.

[0081] According to an embodiment of the invention, the verifying includes verifying the additional identification information by identification information received from multiple sources. According to an embodiment of the invention, the verifying includes determining at least one validity indicator, which pertains to the validity of at least a portion of the additional identification information (e.g. a "validity meter" using a Red- Yellow-Green validity scale, to indicate an assurance level of a verifying algorithm in the results provided).

[0082] It is noted that, according to an embodiment of the invention, stage 1330 include stage 1337 of updating an identification information database in response to at least a portion of the additional identification information (or in response to other identification information reached by querying the at least one identification information database). Clearly, such an updating may improve future instances of querying, conveniently keeping the quality of data intact. It is noted that as information pertaining to the initiator usually changes with time, the updated database is conveniently not used as a single source.

[0083] Stage 1330 is followed by stage 1340 of processing the received identification information and the additional identification information, to provide the extended identification information. It is noted that the extended information may include only parts of each of the received identification information or of the additional identification information.

[0084] According to an embodiment of the invention, stage 1340 includes stage 1341 of selecting portions of identification information (either received or additional) to be included in the extended identification information. According to an embodiment of the invention, the selecting of stage 1341 is responsive to at least one validity indicator. According to an embodiment of the invention, the selecting of stage 1341 is responsive to at least on user preference (i.e. user's indication pertaining to the sort of information that is of interest to the user).

[0085] Since the extended identification information that is retrieved is retrieved from a variety of sources, the trustworthiness of which is not always known in advance to the user, a fraud may associate additional identification information with either the legacy communication identifier or the unique communication identifier (as indicated in relation to stage 1323, the receiving may include receiving of a unique communication identifier) used for initiating the communication, e.g. in a phishing attempt, pretending to be someone else, which may be known to the user.

[0086] The user may therefore, according to an embodiment of the invention, indicate which communication identifiers (either legacy or unique) are to be trusted (e.g. indicating that a certain UCI is to be trusted for a colleague, and that other UCIs should not be trusted), and thus, according to an embodiment of the invention, the processing may include processing the received communication identifier (and especially, according to an embodiment of the invention, the received unique communication identifier), so as to provide a trust indication in response to the received communication identifier. Conveniently, the stage of providing discussed below further includes according to such an embodiment of the invention providing the trust indication on top of (or instead of, e.g. if determined not trustworthy) the extended identification information.

[0087] Stage 1340 is followed by stage 1350 of providing the extended identification information to a user. Conveniently, the providing is carried out by visually presenting the extended identification information (or a portion thereof) to the user.

[0088] According to an embodiment of the invention, the providing includes displaying the extended identification information (or a portion thereof) on a display of the computing entity (e.g. PC, PDA, cellular phone, etc).

[0089] According to an embodiment of the invention, the providing includes providing the extended identification information (or portion thereof) to an external displaying unit (wherein it is noted that according to some embodiments of the invention, the external unit is adapted to provide the extended identification information in a non visual manner, or in a combined form). According to an embodiment of the invention, the external displaying unit is a television. According to an embodiment of the invention, the external displaying unit is a projector.

[0090] According to an embodiment of the invention, stage 1350 includes stage 1351 of providing the extended identification information with one or more of the at least one validity indicator, which pertains to the validity of at least a portion of the extended identification information.

[0091] According to an embodiment of the invention, stage 1350 includes stage 1352 of providing the extended identification information to a computer that matches the log-in server user ID. This way, the extended identification information could be provided to a PC (or other computing entity) with which the user had logged into the log-in server, or into other corporate server(s). Conveniently, the providing of the extended identification information is that carried out using a local area network (LAN) of the corporate.

[0092] According to an embodiment of the invention, method 1300 further includes receiving a unique identifier query, and providing a communication specific identifier in response to the unique identifier query. More detailed a description of providing of a communication specific identifier is offered in relation to system 200, and it is clear to a person who is skilled in the art that the different embodiments of the invention disclosed in relation to system 200 could be easily implemented for method 1300.

[0093] According to an embodiment of the invention, system 1300 further includes processing a received extended identification information query, so as to provide a unique communication identifier. In such a way, different resources such as identification information databases could be implemented to retrieve the UCI associated with a user using one or more pieces of information known about said user. Said user may choose certain pieces of information (or types of information) by which he could be queried.

[0094] For example, a the unique communication identifier of a Jared who is living in New Jersey and works as a software engineer in New York could be searched for using only those details, and not his last name, for example. As only the unique communication identifier is provided in response to such a received extended identification information query (which may, for example, be a UCI using only for business purposes), the privacy of the searched for user is only slightly endangered.

[0095] Figures 4A and 4B illustrate system 200 for providing connection information, according to an embodiment of the invention. System 200 facilitate communication between entities (people, devices, business entities, etc.) employing a unique communication identifier (UCI, which is conveniently globally unique, hence also referred to herein as Global Entity Identification (GEID)). Thus, a single identifier is used to uniquely identify the entity which uses any communication systems, e.g. wireless and wire-line telephony, fax, voice over IP (VOIP), short messaging service (SMS), multimedia messaging service (MMS), email, instance messaging (IM), post mail etc. without a need to be related to a certain phone number, IM address, email address, physical location and the like.

[0096] According to an embodiment of the invention, the UCI is a number, wherein according to an embodiment of the invention, the UCI is a number of up to 15 digits. It is noted that the UCI might be extended in the future to include more digits and might also include other characters of any specific language alphabet as more UCIs would be required or if new communication methods would require such characters to be included.

[0097] Comparing to currently used identifiers, today the user (as well as the initiator) may have one or more: (a) telephone numbers (e.g. landline, cellular or facsimile, which may be used for voice calls, SMS, MMS) which conform to a general form such as CCC-AAA- PPPPPPP (with prefixes such as "+","00" etc., wherein CCC is the country code (omitted if within the country), AAA is the area code within the country (omitted if within the area code, usually prefixed with a "0" if within the country), and PPPPPPP is the phone number within the area); (b) email addresses which conform to a general form such as MMMM@DDDD.PPP (wherein MMMM is the mail-box name, DDDD is the domain to which the mail-box belongs, which might be prefixed by more sub-domains, separated by additional dots ".", and PPP is the a post-fix of the domain, e.g. COM, NET, ORG etc.); (c) instant massaging provider identifier conforming to general forms such as an email address, or NNNNNNNNNN (e.g. a 10 or longer digit number), (d) a mail address conforming to a general form such as NNNNNNNNN / AAAAAAAAAA / AAAAAAAAAA / AAAAAAAAAA / SSSSS ZZZZZ / CCCCCCCCCC (wherein NNN... is the name of the user or the initiator, AAA... are the address lines, usually including street address details and city name, SSSSS / ZZZZZ are the state (if exists) and ZIP code, and CCC... is the country name (if sent from outside the destination country); and (e) any other proprietary identifier, conforming to other solutions.

[0098] All of those identifiers are associated with a location, a device, a routing trail etc., as aforementioned, and can not be directly associated to the user or to the initiator. Additionally, temporarily associating such identifiers with the user is complicated and cumbersome, if at all possible, according to prior art solutions.

[0099] Conveniently, when using the UCI for identifying parties in some communication session, specific communication details as well as any other additional information would be matched to the UCI a-priori, so that eventually, the specific call, email, message, mail, and the like, would both identify initiator 110 as no other method can, and would reach the addressed user 120 as needed.

[00100] It is noted that conveniently, each of initiator 110 and user 120 have a previously generated unique communication identifiers (UCIs) associated with whom and that at least user 120 must have the previously generated unique communication identifier associated with user 120.

[00101] System 200 includes at least one unique communication identifier registrar 210 (UCIR); each of the UCIRs 210 includes interface 212 for receiving a unique identifier query, and processor 214 that is adapted to provide at least one communication specific identifier (CSI) in response to the unique identifier query. It is noted that where multiple UCIRs 210 are implemented, conveniently each of the multiple UCIRs 210 is a local UCIRs 210, which is conveniently adapted to serve a geographic locality.

[00102] Conveniently, UCIR 210 is adapted to receive a CSI association request that includes at least the UCI and a currently designated CSI, and to associate the currently designated CSI to the UCI. It is noted that the currently designated CSI may be a CSI of different types (an email address, a phone number, and so on), and that conveniently the currently designated CSI is associated to the UCI according to the type of the currently designated CSI.

[00103] According to an embodiment of the invention, UCIR 210 includes a UCIR API (not illustrated), that implement a series of methods that facilitates the different services offered by UCIR 210. According to an embodiment of the invention, UCIR 210 (or Advertising router 250) includes a UCI web-server (not illustrated, which conveniently includes a UCI web-portal) that is conveniently a secured web-based server which provides a graphic user interface (GUI) for UCI services (e.g. in such cases where the querying device of initiator 110 does not provide a GUI by itself but rather just a "thin client" browser which connects to the UCI Web-Portal), wherein the GUI is utilized to send and to receive information related to UCI and incoming or outgoing communications it commences.

[00104] System 200 is conveniently adapted for associating the UCI with frequently provided currently designated CSIs, as user 120 is expected to have dynamically changing communication needs. User 120 may want to associate different phone numbers (or phone extensions in larger companies) with his UCI, to be able to receive electronic mail to work when at work and to home when at home, and so forth. This aspect stress even more the uniqueness of the herein disclosed invention, and the varied usefulness of the herein proposed systems and methods.

[00105] It should be noted that, according to different embodiments of the invention, and conveniently depending on the type of the currently designated CSI and/or on further association instruction included in the CSI association request, the currently designated CSI may altogether replace a previously associated CSI, temporarily replace the previously associated CSI, or be parallelly associated together with the previously associated CSI.

[00106] As will be discussed below, the CSI association request may be received either from user 120, or from a third party acting on user 120 behalf. In any of those cases, the CSI association request is conveniently received via a UCIR CSI association interface. [00107] It is noted that the currently designates CSI can be provided automatically, without requiring user 120 to enter or to indicate it, such as in an identified call user 120 makes to UCIR 210, in which only the UCI of user 120 needs to be provided by user 120.

[00108] According to an embodiment of the invention which implement multiple UCIRs 210, the UCIR 210 which associates the currently designated CSI with the UCI is conveniently adapted to inform one or more other UCIRs 210 (usually all of which) about said currently made association.

[00109] Conveniently, system 200 includes advertising router 250 that is adapted to receive a currently designated CSI that was associated with a UCI as well as the UCI from a first UCIR 210, and to provide the currently designated CSI and the UCI to a second UCIR 210, and conveniently to all of them. Thus, advertising router is conveniently adapted to connect multiple UCIRs 210 to form network 201, thus facilitating exchange of information (such as, though not limited to, UCI of users, and the currently designated CSIs associated with whom) between the multiple UCIRs 210 connected to advertising router 250.

[00110] It is however noted that the communication between any two UCIRs 210 is not necessarily transmitted via advertising router 250, and that any two UCIRs 210 could communicate also directly, or via other routes, according to different embodiments of the invention. The connecting of advertising router 250 is first and foremost meant to keep the multiple UCIRs 210 up to date with each other as CSI associating occurs continuously by each of the UCIRs 210.

[00111] Thus, a user 120 can create a UCI, and also to associate one or more currently designated CSIs with which, by interacting with a single UCIR 210, while the information is than provided to UCIRs 210 wherever the service is offered. The associating of the currently designates CSI can be done either manually (e.g. calling a local post office 800 and notifying a real-world CSI such as an mail address or phone number relates to his UCI, having local post office 800 enter the information into a UCIR 210), by using a secure internet connection to log into a UCIR CSI association interface, and so forth.

[00112] When initiator 110 send a mail item to user 120, only the UCI should be indicated as address. Conveniently, local post office 800 than queries UCIR 210 to receive the real-world address currently associated with the UCI, and sends the mail item to the local post office 800 corresponding to the real-world address provided by UCIR 210, to be then delivered to user 120. [00113] It is noted that according to an embodiment of the invention, local post office 800 may provide the sender with a cost, if the sender awaits a cost estimation before the actual transmission. Alternatively, a cost scheme indicating different prices for different locations may be provided to the sender. Alternatively, the sender may indicate a limit to a credit card (or other type) charge, wherein the actual charging will be according to the received real world address. It is clear that other types of charging may also be implemented. Similar or different charging methods may naturally be implemented for other communication means as well (e.g. telephony, etc.).

[00114] According to an embodiment of the invention, a system of user 120 includes, is connected to, or is associated with a UCI advertisement agent 122, which is adapted to call, conveniently automatically, a UCIR 210 to provide the CSI association request. According to an embodiment of the invention, UCIR 210 is connected to a local telephony provider, and thus can register the UCI to the currently designated CSI (e.g. a telephone number user 120 can be reached at). Parallelly, according to an embodiment of the invention, UCIR 210 is adapted to receive the CSI association request from an automatic UCI advertisement agent 122.

[00115] It is noted that, according to an embodiment of the invention, UCI advertisement agent 122 is included, connected to, or associated with a communication system via which user 120 wishes to be available, though which does not beloiig to user 120, such as a hotel room telephone, etc.

[00116] For example, user 120 may wear a Bluetooth earplug, and where the UCI advertisement agent 122 automatically recognize the Bluetooth earplug, and associate it with a telephony system (e.g. of the cooperation) and updates UCIR 210 with the new association.

[00117] According to an embodiment of the invention, processor 214 is adapted to provide a telephony specific identifier in response to the unique identifier query.

[00118] According to an embodiment of the invention processor 214 is adapted to provide a uniform resource identifier (URI) specific identifier in response to the unique identifier query. It is noted that the URI may be an internet URL, or other type of URI. For example, a person, group or a company are thus able to change a location of an internet content at this time and provide a UCI enabling access via internet to the resource (similar to a URL), but the content is thus accessible wherever it currently resides with no need to manage old broken links. For example, user 120 may switch to a different blogging website, without causing former readers to loose connection with the blog.

[00119] When an actual telephony call is being made from initiator 110 to user 120 using the UCI, public switch telephone network (PSTN) 900 receives the UCI of user 120, and has to query system 200 for the CSI of user 120. Conveniently, PSTN 900 (usually a local operator thereof) queries a local UCIR 210 for the CSI. As disclosed above, and with adaptation to telephony, system 200 (and especially, according to an embodiment of the invention, UCIR 210) provides the CSl associated with user 120 to PSTN 900. It is noted that, according to an embodiment of the invention, system 200 can provide to PSTN 900 more than a single CSI, so that if user 120 is unreachable in a first CSI, PSTN 900 can try and reach him in another CSI.

[00120] Now with the regular telephone number at hand, PSTN 900 (usually the local telephone operator thereof) can complete the call to user 120 using regular telephony switching. It is noted that when reaching user 120 (or at least the addressed local telephony operator thereof), the incoming call may be accompanied with the UCI of initiator 110. The addressed PSTN 900 then routes the call to user 120.

[00121] According to an embodiment of the invention, system 200 is further adapted to route communication (e.g. a telephone call, an e-mail and so forth) to the currently designated communication specific identifier. According to an embodiment of the invention, system 200, and especially UCIR 210, is further adapted route a call received from PSTN 900 to user 120, wherein PSTN 900 routes the call to UCIR 210 along with user 120's UCI received from initiator 110, UCIR 210 resolves the currently designated CSI of user 120 as disclosed above, and routes the call to the currently designated CSI. Conveniently, system 200 is adapted to handle the call using standard methods of voice over internet protocol (VOIP) for both call control and data flow between initiator 110 and user 120. Conveniently, a local UCIR 210 on user 120's side is adapted to initiate a regular call to the local PSTN 900 of user 120, to complete the call.

[00122] Pertaining to the routing of the communication, it should be made clear that system 200 need not try to reach user 120 at different CSIs (e.g. in order to place a call), but reaches directly to a CSI by which user 120 is currently available, this conveniently facilitating a single, international, always available communication routing ability per communication type per person. [00123] It is noted that conveniently, system 200 is adapted to provide CSIs of different communication types, such as email, telephony, instant messaging, and so forth. According to an embodiment of the invention, interface 212 is adapted to receive a first unique identifier query and a second unique identifier query pertaining to a unique communication identifier, and processor 214 is adapted to provide a first communication specific identifier in response to the first unique identifier query, and a second communication specific identifier in response to the second unique identifier query, wherein the first communication specific identifier is a communication specific identifier of a first communication type (e.g. telephony), and the second communication specific identifier is a communication specific identifier of a second communication type (e.g. email) that is not the first communication type.

[00124] It is noted that conveniently system 200 supports multiple communication types, and that each user 120 can choose to associate currently designated CSIs of one or more of the communication types.

[00125] According to an embodiment of the invention, UCI advertisement agent 122 has standard wireless capabilities, and is adapted to automatically register to a UCI host 260, e.g. when user 120 enters a communication range of UCI host 260. By way of example, UCI host 260 can be connected and enabled by a phone booth at an airport, a business lounge, a hotel room or even at a restaurant. This means, for example, that user 120 can actually walk into a hotel room and immediately get a call to a phone installed in the hotel room.

[00126] Although the description of system 200 elaborated at times on telephony communication, a person skilled in the art would clearly see that analogous solutions could be implemented to other communication types as well.

[00127] According to an embodiment of the invention, system 200 is adapted to further provide user specific communication indication (such as a specific ringtone), so that a system associated with the currently designated CSI of user 120 could use the user specific communication indication to inform user 120 that the incoming communication is designated to user 120. Thus, if multiple users 120 are currently associated with the same CSI (such as a family at home), each user 120 of said multiple user 120 can know to which the incoming communication is designated.

[00128] Some of the communication method which can benefit from implementation of system 200 are: (a) Wireless & Wire-line Telephony Voice & Fax, as any phone call will be routed to a phone line or voice over IP (VOIP) extension currently associated with the UCI of user 120; (b) VOIP, as any VOIP call will be routed to a VOIP extension or a phone line currently associated with the UCI of user 120; (c) SMS / MMS, as the SMS/MMS could be routed to a phone line (assuming it is capable of receiving the message, e.g. it is a cellular phone, a digital phone etc., or to other system that is adapted to receive SMS/MMS) currently associated with the UCI of user 120; (d) e-mail, as any email sent to the UCI of user 120 will be routed to a currently designated email-box; (e) instant messaging (IM), as any presence information and messages will be routed to a currently designated current IM application or account; and (f) mail, as mail items will be delivered to user 120, using the mailing address currently associated with the UCI of user 120.

[00129] It is clear that user 120 can change, add, remove, select and so forth CSI that is associated with the UCI in manners that are transparent to initiator 110, in different communication methods, which may benefit both initiator 110 and user 120.

[00130] According to an embodiment of the invention, user 120, upon changing the CSI may also change other parameters associated with the CSI, wherein an appropriate translation operation may be carried out at the UCI registrar 210 or elsewhere. For example, if user 120 used to associate his UCI with an MSN-messenger CSI, and then decides to associate his UCI with a Google-chat CSI, the UCI registrar 210 may translate chat- communication information received from initiator 110, in a manner transparent to both user 120 and initiator 110.

[00131] It is noted that, according to different embodiments of the invention, user 120 can advertise his UCI using one or more of the following ways:

[00132] Using manual UCI advertisement, which is conveniently for CSI that does not change too frequently, e.g. a mailing address, home phone number, or desk phone extension, the association of those quite stable CSIs could be done at a CSI association station, such as local post office branch 800, which will feed the information to system 200 (via a UCIR 210) on behalf of user 120.

[00133] Using partially automated UCI advertisement, using UCI advertisement agent 122 included in a system of user 120, when reaching a communication unit the CSI of which is to be associated with the UCI of user 120, system 200 is conveniently adapted to receive CSI association request which are made automatically using the communication unit by UCI advertisement agent 122 (e.g. by simply picking up the local phone, and let UCI advertisement agent 122 make a short automated phone call (1-800) to the local UCIR 210 which will identify user 120 on that location). It is noted that according to an embodiment of the invention, neither user 120 nor UCI adveitisement agent 122 should have knowledge of the CSI associated with said communication unit, as it could be automatically recognized by system 200 (e.g. by using CID service).

[00134] Using fully automated UCI advertisement, if the UCI advertisement agent 122 of user 120 is adapted to use a wireless protocol (e.g. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth), user 120 can simply walk into a range of UCI host 260, which automatically identifies UCI advertisement agent 122, and transmits to system 200 CSI association request including a CSI that is associated with UCI host 260. Conveniently, when user 120 leaves the range of UCI host 260, said currently designated CSI associated with CSI host 260 is disassociated from the UCI of user 120. This can be implemented for telephony, for email, for instant messaging, and so forth.

[00135] It is noted that, according, UCI host 260 is adapted to provide the CSI association request in response to identification of user 120 itself, and not of UCI advertisement agent 122 (e.g. by using a biometric identification device).

[00136] According to an embodiment of the invention, processor 220 is further adapted to provide an availability status in response to a unique communication identifier queried for in the unique identifier query, wherein the providing of the availability status precedes a communication attempt to the communication specific identifier. That is, either the user updates an availability status information pertaining to one or more CSI associated with which, or the UCI registrar 210 otherwise gain such information (e.g. checks the availability of the user in different CSI periodically), so that when someone attempts to communicate the user using the UCI, the UCI registrar 210 can provide the availability status of the user (or of some CSI thereof) without actually attempting to reach the user.

[00137] Moreover, According to an embodiment of the invention, processor 220 is further adapted to provide the communication specific identifier in response to the availability status (e.g. if the user is not reachable by his cellular phone, a caller may be directed to leave a voice mail on the user's company voice mail system, etc.).

[00138] It should be noted that, according to an embodiment of the invention, the availability status is conveniently determined between at the UCI registrar 210 (with or without querying advertisement router 250), without querying any user device. For example, if a user sets his availability status as unavailable, a call that is being made to that user may be terminated at the UCI registrar (e.g. giving a busy tone, or forwarding the call to a voice mail box), without priorly attempting to communicate with a mobile phone of the user (for example). [00139] Clearly, if two or more users 120 are using the same device and their UCFs are both registered with a single CSI, a call to one of them may be directed to the device, while a call to the other which is for example indicated as busy, may be terminated at the server.

[00140] Initiating a telephony call to a user 120 via the herein disclosed solution may be implemented in many different ways, some of which are discussed below. According to an embodiment of the invention, initiator 110 may use a service enabled device, which is configured to support calling to a UCI (e.g. using service enable telephony operator, standard telephony operator, etc.). According to an embodiment of the invention, initiator 110 may use an enabled telephony operator, adapted to support different structures of telephone numbers, for example. According to an embodiment of the invention, the initiator 110 may call a dedicated service (e.g. a free 1-800 IVR service), which will enable a communication with the UCI registrar 210.

[00141] According to an embodiment of the invention, a user may have one or more secondary UCI for other purposes, such as directly leaving a phone message, or sending a fax.

[00142] According to an embodiment of the invention, processor 214 is further adapted to receive a query that includes a communication specific identifier that was previously associated with a unique communication identifier, and to provide the unique communication identifier in response to the query. For example, if a previous e-mail address, or a previous web address of a blog of user 120 was known (and possibly if user 120 authorized such an operation), the initiator may query the UCI registrar 210 using such information, and receive the unique communication identifier of user 120.

[00143] According to an embodiment of the invention, processor 214 is further adapted to receive a query that includes a communication specific identifier that was previously associated with a unique communication identifier, and to provide the unique communication identifier in response to the query. For example, if one knows the mobile phone number of user 120, he may be able to query for user 120's UCI (possibly depending on whether user 120 allowed such query).

[00144] Figure 5 illustrates an implementation of unique communication identifier for electronic messaging communication, according to an embodiment of the invention. [00145] Email 810 is an email sent from initiator 110 (the UCI of whom is 111222333444555) to two users 120 (with the UCIs 123451234512345, and 543215432154321), according to an embodiment of the invention.

[00146] It is noted that in order to ease the sending, initiator 110 probably have UCIs stored in a contacts list, so the names of users 120 should be selected as addressees, and not the UCIs themselves. Email 820 is email 810 that is sent from initiator 110 to the two users 120, using the names of the contacts, which are associated with the UCIs of the two users 120.

[00147] According to the teachings of the invention, the UCI enabled email service of initiator 110 would then query system 200, and would receive from system 200 the emails currently associated with the UCIs of the two users 120, as illustrated in email 830.

[00148] At this stage the email message can be delivered using existing email services and protocols (e.g. POP3, SMTP etc.).

[00149] According to an embodiment of the invention, system 200 is further includes an identification information receiver (not illustrated, which may and may not be interface 212), adapted to receive received identification information from a communication initiation system; and wherein processor 214 is connected to the identification information receiver, and is adapted to receive additional identification information in response to the received identification information, and to provide the extended identification information in response to the received identification information and to the additional identification information.

[00150] It is noted that more detailed a description of a system that includes identification information receiver and such a processor is offered in relation to system 300, and that the different embodiments of system 300 could be implemented in different embodiments of system 200.

[00151] Therefore, conveniently upon indication from initiator 110, system 200 is adapted to enrich the email message with extended identification information, as disclosed above. Email 840 is email 810 enriched with extended identification information, according to an embodiment of the invention.

[00152] It is noted that while the replacement of the UCIs to the regular email addresses (or other currently designated CSIs, matching to other communication methods) is conveniently carried out on initiator 110 side, the addition of the extended identification information could be carried out: (a) prior to the sending, conveniently according to an initiator preference, by a local UCIR 210 on initiator 110 side; (b) prior to the delivery, conveniently according to a user preference, by a local UCIR 210 on user 120 side; or (c) on delivery, conveniently according to a user preference, using an extended information providing service embedded in an email client of user 120.

[00153] It is noted that, in general, email clients can be extended to support extended identification information services. They can be used to enrich the received email, but more generally, they can now standardize the presentational aspects of extended identification information data fields, so that instead of the existing: To, From, CC, Email body format, the email clients can show a received email in a much more graphical way, for example, as a "business card", which user 120 can decide to also keep in his contacts.

[00154] Referring to instant messaging (IM), to enable IM UCI service on existing IM applications, each IM application is conveniently extended to include a UCI delivery component, plus, system 200 conveniently includes a delivery component per type of IM application, in order to be able to send/receive IM messages from real IM applications.

[00155] It is noted that according to an embodiment of the invention which incorporate UCIs as well as extended identification information, initiator 110 is conveniently offered to use other parts of the extended identification information (e.g. name, picture etc.) matched to the UCI, so that he will not need to input the full UCI at the beginning of each connection, but rather the more intuitive "ID" (while still requiring uniqueness from that piece of ID).

[00156] According to such an embodiment of the invention, system 200 supports a service of "search a user", wherein user 120 can be traced (if permitted to be included in such a search). Such tracing will be performed using search engines, running on the extended identification information databases 420, and related databases with all extended data fields; providing an ability to make sure a user 120 is found by any of its publicly known characteristics.

[00157] It is note that, according to an embodiment of the invention, in order to provide further security (if needed by user 120), the end result of the search, as opposed to existing searches for people, companies etc. would not lead the searcher to real-life addresses but only to the UCI, through which user 120 can always be found using any communication service enabling UCI routing, but would still keep the privacy of user 120. Conveniently, the search engines running on the data above would be provided using the Internet or through 1- 800- "locate-me" services. [00158] It is clear to a person who is skilled in the art that a single user 120 (be it a person, a company, and so forth) may register multiple UCIs, and to associate multiple UCIs to the same communication device or address. For example, a person can utilize one UCI to business related communication, and to publish that UCI in business related contexts (e.g. on a company's business card and so forth), and to utilize another UCI for private purposes, and to publish the other UCI among friends and family members.

[00159] As both of the UCIs of the entity as herein described could be associated with the same CSI, according to an embodiment of the invention the system or the method as described above may further be adapted to indicate to the user which UCI was used for every received communication. Additionally, according to an embodiment of the invention, such systems or method may further be adapted to the receiving of communication specific identifier association requests that includes a currently designated communication specific identifier and pertain to multiple UCIs, and to associate the currently designated communication specific identifier to the multiple UCIs.

[00160] According to an embodiment of the invention, system 300 and system 200 are further adapted to reside together on the end-user device (e.g. PC, wireless device, wire -line device, setup box etc.) and thus can provide the newly invented personal communication mechanisms and extended personal information on a peer-2-peer basis, removing the need for a central server / apparatus / application. In such cases, all extended information sent and received as part of a communication session (along with a given telephone call, email, MMS, SMS, IM etc.) would originate in one end-user device and sent directly to the second end-user device

[00161] According to an embodiment of the invention, a user-end device (such as a personal computer, a wireless device, a wire-line device, a setup box etc.) is disclosed, that includes both system 300 and system 200, where the user-end device can thus provide the newly invented personal communication mechanisms and extended personal information on a peer-2-peer basis, removing the need for a central server / apparatus / application. In such cases, all extended information that are sent and received as part of a communication session (along with a given telephone call, email, MMS, SMS, IM etc.) originate in the one end-user device and then sent directly to a second end-user device.

[00162] The present invention can be practiced by employing conventional tools, methodology, and components. Accordingly, the details of such tools, component, and methodology are not set forth herein in detail. In the previous descriptions, numerous specific details are set forth, in order to provide a thorough understanding of the present invention. However, it should be recognized that the present invention might be practiced without resorting to the details specifically set forth.

[00163] Only exemplary embodiments of the present invention and but a few examples of its versatility are shown and described in the present disclosure. It is to be understood that the present invention is capable of use in various other combinations and environments and is capable of changes or modifications within the scope of the inventive concept as expressed herein.

Claims

What is claimed is:
1. A system for providing extended identification information, the system comprises: an identification information receiver, adapted to receive the received identification information from a communication initiation system; and a processor that is coupled to the identification information receiver, and which is adapted to receive additional identification information in response to the received identification information, and to provide the extended identification information in response to the received identification information and to the additional identification information
2. The system according to claim 1, further adapted to query an identification information database in response to the received identification information.
3. The system according to claim 2, wherein the processor is further adapted to provide a trust indication in response to the received unique communication identifier.
4. The system according to claim 3, further adapted to verify additional identification information received from a first identification information database by identification information additional identification information received from a second identification information database.
5. The system according to claim 1, adapted to query an internet search engines.
6. The system according to claim 1, further adapted to determine a validity indicator, which pertains to the validity of at least a portion of the additional identification information, and to provide the extended identification information with the validity indicator.
7. The system according to claim 1, wherein the identification information receiver is adapted to receive legacy identification information.
8. The system according to claim 1, wherein the identification information receiver is adapted to receive a unique communication identifier.
9. The system according to claim 1, wherein the processor is adapted to provide the extended identification information in response to logging in information pertaining to the logging in of a user to a network.
10. The system according to claim 1, comprising at least one unique communication identifier registrar, wherein each of at least one unique communication identifier registrar comprises: (a) an interface for receiving a unique identifier query, and (b) a processor that is adapted to provide a communication specific identifier in response to the unique identifier query.
11. The system according to claim 1, wherein the processor is further adapted to process a received extended identification information query, so as to provide a unique communication identifier.
12. A method for providing extended identification information, the method comprises: receiving received identification information; receiving additional identification information in response to the received identification information; processing the received identification information and the additional identification information to provide extended identification information; and providing the extended identification information
13. The method according to claim 12, wherein the receiving of the received identification information comprises receiving a unique communication identifier.
14. The method according to claim 13, wherein the providing of the extended identification information comprises providing a trust indication in response to the received unique communication identifier.
15. The method according to claim 12, wherein the receiving of the additional identification information comprises querying an identification information database in response to the received identification information
16. The method according to claim 12, wherein the receiving of the additional identification information comprises querying an internet search engine.
17. The method according to claim 12, further comprising receiving a unique identifier query, and providing a communication specific identifier in response to the unique identifier query.
18. The method according to claim 12, further comprising processing a received extended identification information query, so as to provide a unique communication identifier.
19. A system for providing connection information, the system comprises at least one unique communication identifier registrar, wherein each of at least one unique communication identifier registrar comprises: (a) an interface for receiving a unique identifier query, and (b) a processor that is adapted to provide a communication specific identifier in response to the unique identifier query.
20. The system according to claim 19, wherein the processor is adapted to provide a telephony specific identifier in response to the unique identifier query.
21. The system according to claim 19, wherein the interface is adapted to receive a first unique identifier query and a second unique identifier query pertaining to a unique communication identifier, and wherein the processor is adapted to provide a first communication specific identifier in response to the first unique identifier query, and a second communication specific identifier in response to the second unique identifier query, wherein the first communication specific identifier is a communication specific identifier of a first communication type, and the second communication specific identifier is a communication specific identifier of a second communication type that is not the first communication type.
22. The system according to claim 19, wherein the unique communication identifier registrar is adapted to receive a communication specific identifier association request that comprises at least the unique communication identifier and a currently designated communication specific identifier, and to associate the currently designated communication specific identifier to the unique communication identifier.
23. The system according to claim 19, wherein the unique communication identifier registrar is adapted to receive the communication specific identifier association request from an automatic unique communication identifier advertisement agent.
24. The system according to claim 19, further adapted to route communication to the currently designated communication specific identifier.
25. The system according to claim 19, wherein the processor is further adapted to provide an availability status in response to a unique communication identifier queried for in the unique identifier query, wherein the providing of the availability status precedes a communication attempt to the communication specific identifier.
26. The system according to claim 25, wherein the processor is further adapted to provide the communication specific identifier in response to the availability status.
27. The system according to claim 19, wherein the processor is further adapted to receive a query that comprises a communication specific identifier that was previously associated with a unique communication identifier, and to provide the unique communication identifier in response to the query.
28. The system according to claim 19, wherein the processor is adapted to provide a uniform resource identifier specific identifier in response to the unique identifier query.
PCT/IL2008/001529 2007-11-22 2008-11-20 Communication systems and methods WO2009066295A2 (en)

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