US 6778653 Storing information about a telephony session Abstract

ABSTRACT – A communications system includes nodes and terminals capable of being involved in a telephony session. Telephony cookies may be created in telephony sessions between a calling terminal and a called terminal. The telephony cookies may be created by the called terminal and sent to the calling terminal for storage. Contents of the telephony cookie may include identifiers of the calling terminal and the called terminal. Other contents may include the date and time the cookie was created, expiration data and time of the cookie, and a data field that can store other types of information relating to telephony sessions.


The invention relates to storing information about telephony sessions.

Data networks are widely used to link various types of nodes, such as personal computers, servers, gateways, network telephones, and so forth. Networks may include private networks, such as local area networks and wide area networks, and public networks, such as the Internet. The increased availability of such data networks has improved accessibility among nodes coupled to the data networks. Popular forms of communications across such data networks include electronic mail, file transfer, web browsing, and other exchanges of digital data.

With the increased capacity and reliability of data networks, voice and multimedia communications over data networks have become possible. Such forms of communications include telephone calls over the data networks, video conferencing, and distribution of multimedia data (such as by multicast). Voice communications over data networks are unlike voice communications in a conventional public switched telephone network (PSTN), which provides users with dedicated, end-to-end circuit connections for the duration of each call. Communications over data networks, such as IP (Internet Protocol) networks, are performed using packets or datagrams that are sent in bursts from a source to one or more destination nodes. Voice and multimedia data sent over a data network typically share the network bandwidth with conventional non-voice data (e.g., data associated with electronic mail, file transfer, web access, and other traffic).

Various standards have been proposed for voice and multimedia communications over data networks. For example, a multimedia data and control architecture has been developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). The protocols that are part of the IETF multimedia data and control architecture include the Resource Reservation Protocol (RSVP) for reserving network resources; the Real-Time Transport Protocol (RTP) for transporting real-time data and providing quality of service (QoS) feedback; the Real-Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP) for controlling delivery of streaming media; the Session Announcement Protocol (SAP) for advertising multimedia sessions by multicast; the Session Description Protocol (SDP) for describing multimedia sessions; and the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), which establishes, maintains, and terminates multimedia sessions or calls.

Conventionally, mechanisms have not been provided to describe telephony sessions. Thus, in conventional telephony systems, whether circuit-switched or packet-switched systems, a newly established telephony session proceeds without the benefit of a description of a prior telephony session. A need exists for a method and apparatus to store information describing telephony sessions.


n general, according to one embodiment, a method for use in a telephony communications system includes establishing a telephony session between a first terminal and a second terminal and determining if a record of a prior telephony session between the first and second terminals exist. Information stored in the record is accessed for use in the current telephony session.

Some embodiments of the invention may have one or more of the following advantages. By storing information about a telephony session or sessions in one or more records, the information in the records may be used in subsequent telephony sessions. User convenience may be enhanced and calls may be expedited. For example, user options, account names, passwords, and so forth may be stored in a record so that such information may not need to be re-entered in a subsequent telephony session. Another example is the ability to store notes about a prior call in the record so that a party in a subsequent telephony session may learn about what transpired in a prior call.

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