A ‘pay-to-email’ patent

The concept of a ‘pay-to-mail’ scheme — charge people to send you mail — is patented, it seems. Good, I never liked it anyway ;)

A method and apparatus for determining whether a party sending an email communication is on a list of parties authorized by the intended receiving party. If the sending party is not on the list of authorized parties, an electronic billing agreement is emailed to the sending party indicating a fee that will be charged to the sending party in return for the message being provided to the intended receiving party. Preferably, the present invention is implemented with Internet communications and utilizes a security protocol to enable the electronic transaction to be transacted in a secure manner.

Date: Tue, 01 Jul 2003 15:00:09 -0400
From: “Bob Wyman” (spam-protected)
To: (spam-protected)
cc: “‘Yakov Shafranovich”‘ (spam-protected)
Subject: RE: US Spam patents: Partial list

A new, spam-related, US Patent was issued today. It is a continuation in part of US Patent 6,192,114 which is on the first list of patents I posted to this group.

See: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?patentnumber=6587550

US Patent 6,587,550 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR ENABLING A FEE TO BE CHARGED TO A PARTY INITIATING AN ELECTRONIC MAIL COMMUNICATION WHEN THE PARTY IS NOT ON AN AUTHORIZATION LIST ASSOCIATED WITH THE PARTY TO WHOM THE COMMUNICATION IS DIRECTED

Abstract A method and apparatus for determining whether a party sending an email communication is on a list of parties authorized by the intended receiving party. If the sending party is not on the list of authorized parties, an electronic billing agreement is emailed to the sending party indicating a fee that will be charged to the sending party in return for the message being provided to the intended receiving party. Preferably, the present invention is implemented with Internet communications and utilizes a security protocol to enable the electronic transaction to be transacted in a secure manner.

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Inventors: Council; Michael O. (186 Hurt Dr., Cordele, GA 31015);
Santos; Daniel J. (3525 Roswell Rd., #721, Atlanta, GA 30305) Appl. No.: 783340 Filed: February 14, 2001


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