A company called Mail Registry has received a U.S. patent (number 6,427,164) for the automatic forwarding of e-mail from an old address to a new address, and several associated processes. Bob Reilly, president of the three-year-old development-stage company specializing in e-commerce consulting, said that this patent will revolutionize e-mail mobility, accessibility and availability.
“We do plan to release software for all Mac e-mail clients, but the servers will almost certainly be Unix-based,” he told MacCentral. “Who knows? Mac OS X is Unix-based, maybe that will work. We’ll look into it.”
The patent provides for the automatic delivery of e-mail that has been returned (bounced) with a non-delivery notice (NDR) from the receiving e-mail server, providing that the address was correct at one time, but the account is now inactive or for any other reason not accepting e-mail. Unlike other approaches to this problem, the patent employs a protocol-oriented process to correctly forward this e-mail and requires only that the intended recipient register his new address with Mail Registry, Reilly said.
Each registrant will have complete control over the process, allowing the sender’s request for the new e-mail address to be accepted automatically, denied altogether, or delayed so that the recipient, if she desires, may grant or deny permission for the sender’s access to the new address.
Additional features include automatic address book updating, vacation hold, anti-virus scanning, anti-vandal protection and anti-spam features. Anti-spam is very important inasmuch as Mail Registry will be able to deny old spam from being forwarded to the new address, a leading reason for changing an e-mail address, Reilly said.
The patent also provides the basis for a commercial service: an easy, seamless integration of all new and acquired e-mail systems, regardless of platforms, operating systems, etc., he added. The company is currently exploring joint ventures and development options for several e-mail, directory service and Internet infrastructure solutions, Reilly said.
“Our plan is to make this technology available to the entire Internet,” he explained. “All the software will be free and hopefully, open-source. Only the registration will be charged, and given the scale that we anticipate, we’re looking at less than US$20 per year, with substantial discounts for students, etc.”
is registered, but not yet active.