NetNumber holds patents in three primary areas:
Method and Apparatus for Correlating a Unique Identifier, Such as a PSTN Telephone Number, to an Internet Address to Enable Communications of the Internet
This series of issued patents (US Patent 6,539,077, US Patent 6,748,057, European Patent 1142286) and pending applications initially filed in December 1999 describes the use of a shared “Directory Service” (DS) to convert a PSTN telephone number into Internet address information. Such information will allow the creation of a communication link over a data network between two unrelated communications platforms using only standard telephone numbers for addressing. The application contains claims specifically relating to the use of a shared directory to allow real-time voice, voice messaging, and unified-messaging applications over the Internet using standard telephone numbers for addressing.
Method and Apparatus for Identifying and Replying to a Caller
This set of issued patents (US Patent 6,292,799, Chinese Patent ZL 99807952.9, Australian Patent 748758) initially filed in June of 1998 apply a shared Internet directory to global voice messaging services. Specifically, the patent describes the use of a shared directory enabling end-users to utilize an IP network to “reply for free” to voicemail messages. The directory converts a return telephone number into a reply address for any Internet enabled voicemail, e-mail or unified-messaging system. The patent was granted with multiple claims covering various aspects of Internet voice messaging and directory services.
Method and Apparatus for Accessing a Network Computer to Establish a Push-to-Talk Session
This patent (US Patent 7,522,931) granted April 21, 2009 is a continuation-in-part of US 6,539,077, 6,748,057, 6,292,799) that describes a communications architecture where a wireless phone user registered for push-to-talk (PTT) services desires a PTT session with a party on a network computer that is not registered with any PTT service. The wireless phone user initiates a session by entering a unique identifier as a destination address for the network computer. The wireless operator’s PTT server queries a Directory Service, available on the public data network, to obtain a PTT address for the destination computer thus enabling the PTT server to discover any number of push-to-talk enabled PCs available on the public data network.