This patent application is assigned to
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Desktop computing devices, laptop and other portable computers, smartphones and other hand-held devices, and other electronic devices are typically equipped to receive electronic communications, such as electronic mail (e.g. 'email'), text messages, or the like. With the advent of large scale wireless and wireline networks, and a cornucopia of such electronic communication devices in use over the globe, reaching other people has never been easier. Email has become one of the best mediums for individuals, companies, advertisers or other entities to locate a desired audience for advertisement and solicitations. However, it is often the case that the targeted recipients of such communications did not solicit, nor do they want to receive, communications from such entities. The indiscriminate distribution of such electronic communications is colloquially referred to as junk email, 'spam,' unsolicited bulk email, etc.
"Email providers, such as web-based email providers, attempt to manage such unsolicited email on behalf of their registered users. Local email clients may also include software to attempt to identify and filter unwanted email messages. Identifying and properly filtering unsolicited email and other electronic messages has proven to be a substantial task, as the sources of unsolicited email continue to seek ways to make their communications look legitimate, or at least to make them difficult to identify as illegitimate."
In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "Techniques involving identification of electronic messages that are the first contact between the sender identification and addressed recipients. One representative technique includes identifying electronic messages originating from a sender that are first contact electronic messages between the sender and targeted recipients. The sender of the electronic messages may be designated as a source of unsolicited messages if heuristics involving the first contact electronic messages indicate a distribution of unsolicited messages by the sender.
"Another representative technique includes determining a ratio of electronic messages addressed to first contact targeted recipients to a total number of the electronic messages identified as being sent by the sender. If the ratio exceeds a threshold, the sender of the electronic messages is designated as a source of unsolicited messages.
"Another embodiment is directed to an apparatus that includes a processor. A first contact determination module includes instructions executable by the processor that are configured to determine whether an email is a first contact between the email sender and a targeted recipient. A calculation module includes instructions executable by the processor that are configured to calculate a value representative of a quantity of the first contact emails relative to a reference number of emails recognized as being sent by the sender. A compare module includes instructions executable by the processor that are configured to compare the calculated value to a threshold to determine whether the sender will be regarded as a source of unsolicited bulk email.
"One embodiment includes one or more computer-readable media having instructions stored thereon that are executable by a processor. The executable instructions perform various functions, including maintaining a count of a total number of emails sent by a sender and addressed to targeted recipients. Additionally, a respective record of identifiers involved in email communication with each of the targeted recipients is maintained. It is determine whether the sender has previously communicated with each of the targeted recipients based on a comparison of the respective record of identifiers and an identifier of the sender. The functions further include maintaining a count of a number of emails sent to the targeted recipients that represent a first contact between the sender and the respective targeted recipients. A ratio of the count of the number emails sent to the targeted recipients that represent a first contact and the count of the total number of emails addressed to the targeted recipients is derived. The ratio is compared to a threshold value, and further emails from the sender to the targeted recipients are restricted if the ratio exceeds the threshold value.
"In particular embodiments of the functions performed by such executable instructions, the instructions may further establish the threshold value based on at least a category of the sender identified from one or more addresses used by the sender.
"This Summary is provided to introduce a selection of concepts in a simplified form that are further described below in the Detailed Description. This Summary is not intended to identify key features or essential features of the claimed subject matter, nor is it intended to be used to limit the scope of the claimed subject matter.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"FIG. 1 is a diagram generally illustrating a representative manner for identifying and acting on first contact unsolicited messages;
"FIG. 2 is a block diagram of a representative system environment in which the principles described herein may be implemented;
"FIG. 3 is a block diagram depicting a representative message analysis module;
"FIGS. 4A and 4B are flow diagrams illustrating representative manner for identifying senders of electronic messages as sources of unsolicited messages;
"FIG. 4C is a flow diagram illustrating representative variations in the identification of message senders as sources of unsolicited messages;
"FIG. 5 is a flow diagram illustrating representative variations of particular features described herein; and
"FIG. 6 depicts a representative computing system in which the principles described herein may be implemented."
URL and more information on this patent application, see: Vitaldevara, Krishna; Walter, Jason; Vemula,
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