An over-broad, ALLOWED patent attempting to patent all dynamic selection of caller id's when used in any-type of call center.

QUESTION Have you seen anything published prior October 20, 2005 discussing selecting, replacing, or choosing the best caller id for a particular communication, especially when the caller id is selected, replaced or choosen based on other crieteria (such as the destination number or other information known about the person being called).

Title: System and method for modifying communication information (mci)

Summary: A system for sending a call where the caller id is selected based on known information about the caller (either geographic or otherwise).

  • Publication Number: US 20130070918 A1

  • Publication Type: Allowed Patent

  • Application Number: US 13/676,546

  • Assignee: NobelBiz / See their labors here: Justia

  • Seeking prior art pre October 20, 2005

  1. A system for handling an outbound call from a call originator to a call target, the > system comprising:

    • a database storing a plurality of outgoing telephone numbers, each outgoing telephone number having one of two or more area codes; and

    • an information processor controlled by the call originator and configured to:

a. process a trigger comprising at least an area code of a telephone number of the call target;

b. select from the database a telephone number from the plurality of outgoing telephone numbers where the selected telephone number has at least an area code the same as the area code of the telephone number of the call target;

c. set caller identification data of the outbound call to the selected telephone number; and

d. transmit the caller identification data to the call target in connection with the outbound call.

To me this seems like basically a look up table for caller id's based on some parameters.

Note that the patent has been allowed by USPTO. Under the AIA it is not be possible to submit prior art under the pre-grant process used by Ask Patents. Prior art which is found below would need to submitted under the six-month post-grant process or the ex-parte rexamination process. (This could be done by a company or an individual.)

Allowed patent application

  • 1
    The post grant review is expensive and I believe it is only applicable to applications filed after March 15 2013. That is when the first-to-file went into efffect. Although still expensive, a less expensive approach is the ex parte reexamination. It is only $6000 to file, if you are a small entity.
    – George White
    Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 16:23
  • Thanks, George. I have updated the OP question to reflect this comment. Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 21:47

3 Answers 3


Seems like something Asterisk has had for a long time. Found two PDFs from 2004 which describe the feature called "Call Routing":

http://www.junghanns.net/downloads/Asterisk.pdf http://meetings.ripe.net/ripe-46/presentations/ripe46-eof-enum-asterisk.pdf

Extension matching for area codes is describe here, history goes back to 2004: http://www.voip-info.org/wiki/page_history.php?page_id=1113&preview=6

A discussion about MySQL Database queries to fetch numbers (August 2005): http://lists.digium.com/pipermail/asterisk-dev/2005-August/014336.html

Custom MySQL Database queries from the PBX (Jan 2005): http://www.asteriskguru.com/archives/asterisk-dev-shared-asterisk-pbx-for-multiple-companies-vt45388.html

To implement the patent using Asterisk: Point a: Use a Asterisk dialplan to match area codes Point b: Use MySQL plugin to write custom queries Point c&d: Use database result in the dialplain


I agree with @user4857 that this is mostly just standard call center functionality (ala Asterix), however this falls short for aspects C & D. Here the patent outlines what is commonly known as Caller ID Spoofing to set the caller ID to the number of the callee (that it appears he has called himself). The technique to accomplish this was first (as far as I know) published in 2600 Magazine in the Spring 2003 edition Page 6.


I refer you to the GUIDE TO TAKING THE WRITTEN TEST FOR ENTRY-LEVEL TELEPHONE OPERATOR SERIES, published by the New York State Department of Civil Services, Albany NY, dated 1999. http://www.monroecounty.gov/p/dhr-guide-operator.pdf

On page 4, the section entitled "Using a Directory" states "You will be provided with a telephone directory and a list of changes, and you will be asked to incorporate name and/or room changes into the directory. You will be asked to answer questions such as those that would be asked by callers about the information contained in the directory listing."

The Directory is a list of names, room numbers, and extensions. The List of Changes In Effect Today states temporary modifications to the Directory.

The sample question asks, "Given the directory and list of changes shown, to which of the following extensions should a call for Mark Evans be directed?"

That seems very similar to the process of selecting an outbound caller ID based on the phone number of the target.

  • 1
    I think this patent is about automatically making a telemarketer or robo call seem like it is coming from your locality. Nothing like how to look someone up in a comany phone book.
    – George White
    Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 17:36

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