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AN OVERBROAD PATENT ON Call status - This patent from The National Tech Team patents the idea of...monitoring the status of a telephone call that was initiated by a request from a data network and then passing the status of the call back to the user.

QUESTION - Have you seen anything that was published before April 14, 1997, that discusses:

Receiving a data network request to initiate a phone call on the PSTN (or any voice network), signaling a switch to place the call, then monitoring the phone call and providing a user with an indication of a change in the status of the call.

If so, please submit evidence of prior art as an answer to this question. We welcome multiple answers from the same individual.

EXTRA CREDIT - A reference to anything that meets all of the criteria to the question above AND ALSO involves checking the data network request against a database to find a stored telephone number for the second end-point in the call.

TITLE: Method and apparatus for initiating telephone calls using a data network

Summary: [Translated from Legalese into English] A method for initiating a telephone call between two telephone numbers on the PSTN or another voice network. A user clicks a button on a webpage and inputs a telephone number to request a phone call be made. The system identifies webpage from which the request is coming, identifies a stored telephone number associated with the webpage, and signals a switch to initiate a call between the two numbers. Once the call is established, the system monitors the call and informs at least one user (usually the website user) of the status of the call (i.e. whether the call is active or has been hung up). The only "novel" part of this patent is monitoring the status of the call and letting the website user know the status.

  • Publication Number US6192123 B1
  • Application Number US 08/833,225
  • Assignee:
  • Prior Art Date: Seeking prior art predating April 14, 1997

Claim 1 requires each and every step below:

A method for initiating telephone calls on a voice network in response to requests from a data network comprising the steps, performed by a processor, of:

  • receiving a data network request to initiate a telephone call, including a user telephone number;
  • identifying a stored telephone number corresponding to the request;
  • signaling a switch to make a call on the voice network to an instrument identified by the stored telephone number;
  • monitoring a status of the call; and
  • providing a user with an indication of a change in the status of the call.

Good prior art would be evidence of a system that did each and every one of these steps prior to April 14, 1997.

You're probably aware of ten pieces of art that meet these criteria already . . . separately.

Some preliminary searching has turned up the following items:

  • US Patent Number 5,907,547 - System and Method for establishing internet communications links. This patent discloses every element of Claim #1 above except for monitoring the status of the call and returning the status of the call to a user.

  • US Patent Number 5,999,609 - Computer-telephony system including an electronic call request. This patent may disclose every element of Claim #1 above. We are searching for additional references that might be more explicitly anticipatory.

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