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(19) 



Europaisches Patentamt 
European Patent Office 
Office europeen des brevets 



IPillllilll 



(12) 



(ID EP 0 772 327 A2 

EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION 



(43) 


Date of publication: 
07.05.1997 Bulletin 1997/19 


(51) Intel. 6 : H04L 12/58, H04B 7/26 


(21) 


Application number: 96308063.5 




(22) 


Date of filing: 05.11. 1996 




(84) 


Designated Contracting States: 
DE FR GB 


(72) Inventor: Kuki, Hikaru 

Yamatokoriyama-shi, Nara 639-11 (JP) 


(30) 


Priority: 06.11.1995 JP 287377/95 


(74) Representative: Brown, Kenneth Richard et al 
R.G.C. Jenkins & Co. 


(71) 


Applicant: SHARP KABUSHIKI KAISHA 
Osaka 545 (JP) 


26 Caxton Street 
London SW1H0RJ (GB) 


(54) 


Electronic mail forwarding system 





(57) An electric mail forwarding system between a 
mail communication terminal and a portable-type wire- 
less communication terminal is disclosed. The mail 
communication terminal serves to receive an electric 
mail via a data communication network. The wireless 
communication terminal serves to transmit a forward- 
ing-request signal for the electric mail to the mail com- 
munication terminal via a wireless data communication 
network. The mail communication terminal includes: a 



mail box lor storing the received electric mail; a forward- 
ing-request signal recognizing section for receiving the 
forwarding-request signal transmitted from the wireless 
communication terminal and for recognizing additional 
information contained in the forwarding-request signal; 
and a wireless data communication processing section 
for sequentially forwarding the electric mail to the wire- 
less communication terminal based on the recognized 
forwarding-request signal. 




Prhted by Jouve, 75001 PARIS (FR) 



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EP 0 772 327 A2 



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Description 

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 

1 . Field of the Invention 

The present invention relates to an electronic mail 
forwarding (transferring) system and, more particularly, 
to an electronic mail forwarding system between a mail 
communication terminal connected to a data communi- 
cation network and a portable wireless communication 
terminal connected to a wireless data communication 
network. 

2. Description of the Related Art 

Recently, systems for forwarding electronic mails 
(herein referred to as mails) have been widely used to 
effect forwarding of messages or informations to individ- 
uals between personal computers or personal terminals 
by utilizing data communication network. There are var- 
ious kinds of electronic mail forwarding systems. 

It is known in the art that, as the most general mail 
forwarding system, a mail communication terminal A 
(host computer) is arrangedto store an address of a mail 
of another mail communication terminal B (wireless 
communication terminal) whereby, when a mail is for- 
warded to the mail communication terminal A through 
the data communication network, the mail is automati- 
cally forwarded to the mail communication terminal B 
via the wireless data communication network This sys- 
tem will be referred to as prior art 1 . 

It is also known that a mail host (host computer) is 
prepared independently of the mail communication ter- 
minals A and B to store a received mail, whereby the 
received mail can be read out from either of the mail 
communication terminals A and B. This system will be 
referred to as prior art 2. 

In addition, an electronic mail system has been pro- 
posed in Japanese Laid Open Patent Application No. 
HEI 3(1991)-274,942 in which the electronic mail sys- 
tem comprises a plurality of mail communication termi- 
nals and a center device (mail server) having a mail stor- 
age exchange function in which individual mail boxes 
are prepared to perform a forwarding function between 
the individual mail boxes. Each of the mail communica- 
tion terminals is arranged to enable polling (vi2., a func- 
tion to read out the mail box) for drawing the mail out 
therefrom. This system will be referred to as prior art 3. 

In the prior art 1 , however, each user is required to 
operate such as setting of the address forforwarding on 
the host computer (herein referred to as the mail com- 
munication terminal A) before his going out in order to 
have the mail forwarded. With this prior art system, the 
mail is forwarded to the wireless communication termi- 
nal (herein referred to as the mail communication termi- 
nal B) at the time of receipt of the mail in the host com- 
puter and the mail forwarding system is not provided 



with a function to set a mail forwarding time. This is re- 
flected by a drawback in that it is difficult to effect set- 
tings to stop forwarding of the mail by the host computer 
A du ring the user's going out time and to restart f orward- 
s ing the mail again at a later time, whereby the wireless 
communication terminal B is required to continue its 
communication function at all times for receiving the 
mail, thereby increasing a power consumption. 

In the prior art 2, further, although it is not required 
10 to effect setting of the mail addressee on the host com- 
puter, it is necessary to confirm the inquiry of the pres- 
ence or absence of the received mail even when there 
exists no unread mail addressed for the user since the 
received mail is stored in the host computer to enable 
is reading out of the mail from the plurality of wireless com- 
munication terminals (which indicates the mail commu- 
nication terminals A and B). In each inquiry, power con- 
sumption is increased by the wireless communication 
terminals A and B and, further, the communication cost 
20 is consequently increased. 

In the prior art 3 of Japanese Laid Open Patent Ap- 
plication No. HEI 3(1991)-274,942, further, a center de- 
vice (a mail server) having a mail storage exchange 
function is provided with a mail box corresponding to 
2S each mail communication terminal (a network terminal) 
and, hence, it is possible to read out the mail from the 
mail box to effect forwarding of the mail, whereby mail 
forwarding efficiency is improved between individual 
communication terminals. 
30 However, although the aforementioned center de- 
vice is arranged to realize the forwarding function be- 
tween the mail box and each of the mail communication 
terminals, the mail drawn from the mail box to the mail 
communication terminal is not arranged to be forwarded 
35 to a wireless communication terminal of the portable 
type via a wireless data communication network. 

For this reason, the mail received at the mail com- 
munication terminal can not be read out by the wireless 
communication terminal of the portable type through the 
40 use of wireless data communication network when the 
user is going out. 

In order to realize a mail forwarding system of this 
type, a remarkable change or modification should be 
widely made not only in softwares in the host computers 
4S and the wireless communication terminals but also in 
softwares in the center device. 

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION 

so The present invention has been made with a view 
to overcoming the above circumstances. It is therefore 
an object of the present invention to provide an electron- 
ic mail forwarding system which is arranged to enable 
reading out a mail received at a mail communication ter- 

55 minal connected to a data communication network with 
the use of a portable wireless communication terminal 
located at outside via a wireless data communication 
network at any convenient time by transmitting a for- 



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25 



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3 



EP 0 772 327 A2 



4 



warding-requsst signal thereto. 

The present invention provides an electric mail for- 
warding system between a mail communication terminal 
and a portable-type wireless communication terminal, 
the mail communication terminal serving to receive an 
electric mail via a data communication network, and the 
wireless communication terminal serving to transmit a 
forwarding-request signal for the electric mail to the mail 
communication terminal via a wireless data communi- 
cation network, in which the mail communication termi- 
nal comprises: 

a mail box for storing the received electric mail; a 
forwarding-request signal recognizing section for 
receiving the forwarding-request signal transmitted 
from the wireless communication terminal and for 
recognizing additional information contained in the 
forwarding-request signal; and 
a wireless data communication processing section 
for sequentially forwarding the electric mail to the 
wireless communication terminal based on the rec- 
ognized forwarding-request signal. 

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS 

Fig. 1 is a block diagram showing a basic arrange- 
ment of an electronic mail forwarding system ac- 
cording to the present invention; 
Fig. 2 is a block diagram showing a preferred em- 
bodiment of a mail forwarding system provided at a 
wireless communication terminal; 
Fig. 3 is a block diagram showing a preferred em- 
bodiment of a mail forwarding system 1 provided at 
a host computer; 

Fig. 4 is a block diagram showing a preferred em- 
bodiment of a mail forwarding system 2 provided at 
the host computer; 

Fig. 5 is a schematic view showing a communication 
processing between the wireless communication 
terminal and the host computer; 
Fig. 6 is a view showing a signal format; 
Fig. 7 is a view showing an example of relationship 
between a kind of signals and an example of various 
values appointed therefor; 
Fig. 8 is a view showing an example of a forwarding- 
request signal; 

Fig. 9 is a flow-chart showing start processing steps 
for mail forwarding at the wireless communication 
terminal; 

Fig. 10 is a flow-chart showing end processing 
steps for mail forwarding at the wireless communi- 
cation terminal; and 

Fig. 11 is a flow-chart showing processing steps for 
mail forwarding at the host computer. 

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS 

The present invention provides an electric mail for- 



warding system between a mail communication terminal 
and a portable-type wireless communication terminal, 
the mail communication terminal serving to receive an 
electric mail via a data communication network, and the 
s wireless communication terminal serving to transmit a 
forwarding-request signal forthe electric mail to the mail 
communication terminal via a wireless data communi- 
cation network, in which the mail communication termi- 
nal comprises: 

10 

a mail box for storing the received electric mail; 
a forwarding-request signal recognizing section for 
receiving the forwarding-request signal transmitted 
from the wireless communication terminal and for 

75 recognizing additional information contained in the 
forwarding-request signal; and 
a wireless data communication processing section 
for sequentially forwarding the electric mail to the 
wireless communication terminal based on the rec- 

20 ognized forwarding-request signal. 

Also, the present invention provides an electric mail 
forwarding system in which the wireless communication 
terminal comprises: a forwarding-request signal gener- 

25 ating section for generating the forwarding-request sig- 
nal for the electric mail received in the mail communica- 
tion terminal; an electric mail processing section for 
transmitting the generated forwarding-request signal to 
the mail communication terminal and for receiving the 

30 electric mail from the mail communication terminal; and 
an electric mail storage section for storing the received 
electric mail. 

In the present invention, the wireless communica- 
tion terminal is composed of a portable information unit 

35 having a wireless communication function. The mail 
communication terminal is composed of a personal 
computer having a communication function. Also, the 
wireless data communication network may, for example, 
comprise a wireless telephone circuit. Further, the data 

40 communication network may, for example, comprise in- 
ternal network, LAN (a Local Area Network) and WAN 
(a Wide Area Network). 

According to the present invention, ft is possible to 
read out the electronic mail received in the mail commu- 

4£ nication terminal connected to the data communication 
network by transmitting the forwarding-request signal 
from the portable wireless communication terminal at 
any place in the network at a convenient time via the 
wireless data communication network. 

50 The forwarding-request signal generating section 
preferably generates the forwarding-request signal in- 
cluding additional information on designation of a for- 
warding time and a lorwarding time interval of a given 
electric mail. 

ss if the forwarding-request signal recognizing section 
recognizes the forwarding-request signal including the 
additional information on designation of a forwarding 
time and a forwarding time interval of a given electric 



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EP 0 772 327 A2 



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mail, the wireless data communication processing sec- 
tion preferably forwards the electric mail to the wireless 
communication terminal at the designated forwarding 
time and for the designated forwarding time interval. 

With the electronic mail forwarding system stated 
above, it is possible to transmit a signal to the mail com- 
munication terminal at the time and lor time interval des- 
ignated for a desired electronic mail to be forwarded to 
the wireless communication terminal and, thus, the user 
does not need to access the mail communication termi- 
nal with a single purpose of inquiring the presence of 
the received mail. Also, since the wireless communica- 
tion terminal is not operated except during the designat- 
ed time interval, it is possible to reduce power consump- 
tion of the wireless communication terminal and, at the 
same time, to minimize the communication cost. 

The forwarding-request signal generating section 
preferably generates the forwarding-request signal in- 
cluding additional information on designation of a name 
of an electric mail sender, a title and an urgency level. 

If the forwarding-request signal recognizing section 
recognizes the forwarding-request signal including the 
additional information on designation of a name of an 
electric mail sender, a title and an urgency level, the 
wireless data communication processing section pref- 
erably forwards the electric mail to the wireless commu- 
nication terminal upon selection of the electronic mail 
sender, the title and the urgency level. 

With the arrangement mentioned above, since it is 
possible to add the name of the sender of the electronic 
mail, the title and the urgency level for designation in 
the forwarding-request signal to be forwarded, it is pos- 
sible to select and forward the desired mail from the 
mails received in the mail communication terminal to the 
wireless communication terminal at user's hand for 
reading-out. 

Further, the wireless communication terminal is 
preferably arranged to transmit the forwarding-request 
signal to the mail communication terminal at the start of 
the mail receiving function and to transmit the forward- 
ing-end signal at the end of the mail receiving function 
whereby the mail communication terminal completes its 
forwarding of the electronic mail. 

In addition, in the electronic mail forwarding system 
which is not provided with the electronic mail forwarding 
function between the mail communication terminal and 
the wireless communication terminal, it is possible to re- 
alize the electronic mail forwarding? unction between the 
mail communication terminal and the wireless commu- 
nication terminal by mere change in software of the mail 
communication terminal (host computer) of the user and 
the wireless communication terminal. 

A preferred embodiment of the present invention 
will now be described in detail with reference to the 
drawings. It is to be noted that the present invention is 
not limited by the detailed description which will be made 
hereinafter. 

Also, it is to be noted that, according to the present 



invention, a portable wireless communication terminal 
to be used by a user who is going out or moving will be 
hereinafter referred to as a wireless communication ter- 
minal and, in addition, a mail communication terminal (a 

s network terminal) connected to a wireless data commu- 
nication network to be used for the user's normal busi- 
ness fortransmitting and receiving an electronic mail will 
be hereinafter referred to as a host computer. 

Fig. 1 is a block diagram showing a basic arrange- 

io ment of an electronic mail forwarding system according 
to the present invention. In Fig. 1, the reference numeral 
100 indicates a wireless communication terminal, the 
reference numeral 200 indicates a mail communication 
terminal (a host computer) having a mail box, the refer- 

is ence numeral 300 indicates a wireless data communi- 
cation network for enabling data communication be- 
tween the wireless communication terminal 100 and the 
mail communication terminal 200, and the reference nu- 
meral 400 indicates a data communication network for 

20 enabling data communication between the host comput- 
ers 200. 

The wireless communication terminal 100 has a 
mail receiver application programme which, when it is 
turned on, transmits the forwarding-request signal to the 

25 host computer 200. The host computer 200 judges the 
forwarding-request signal and sequentially forwards to 
the wireless communication terminal 100 unread mails 
stored in the mail box (the storage device) and subse- 
quent mails delivered to the mail box of the host com- 

30 puter 200. 

The forwarding-request signal is additionally pro- 
vided with the designation of the forwarding time interval 
(e.g., five minutes or ten minutes) and, therefore, it be- 
comes unnecessary to operate the communication 

35 function at all times so that energy saving of the wireless 
communication terminal 100 becomes possible. Fur- 
ther, an arrangement may be made to forward the mail 
from the host computer 200 after th e forwarding-request 
signal has been once transmitted to the host computer 

40 200. This arrangement makes it unnecessary to make 
inquiry about the presence or absence of the received 
mail in the mail box, thereby enabling reduction of data 
communication cost due to the inquiry. In addition, the 
forwarding-request signal may be modified such that an- 

45 other wireless communication terminal is designated by 
completing the data forwarding and changing the ad- 
dressee. 

Fig. 2 is a block diagram showing one example of 
a mail forwarding system of the wireless communication 

so terminal according to the present invention. In Fig. 2, the 
wireless communication terminal 100 comprises a con- 
trol section 101 , an input section 102, a display section 
1 03, an electronic mail storage section 1 04, a clock sec- 
tion 105, a forwarding-request signal processing section 

55 (forwarding-request signal generating section) 106, an 
electronic mail processing section 107 and a wireless 
data communication processing section 108. 

The control section 1 01 , the electronic mail storage 



4 



7 EP0 7 

section 104, the clock section 105, the forwarding-re- 
quest signal processing section 1 06, the electronic mail 
processing section 107 and the wireless data commu- 
nication processing section 108 are usually composed 
of a micro-computer including CPU, ROM, RAM, timer 
and I/O port. 

The input section 102 is composed of smaller panel 
switch or keyboard. The display section 103 is com- 
posed of a liquid crystal display (LCD) or EL display. 

The input section 102 functions to start a mail re- 
ceiving application programme to input a mail forward- 
ing-request signal, and control information on mails to 
be forwarded. Further, the input section 102 serves as 
a timing information designation means for designating 
timing information such as forwarding time and forward- 
ing time interval of a desired mail in the forwarding-re- 
quest signal or an additional information designation 
means for designating an additional information such as 
address of the electronic mail sender, title and the de- 
gree of urgency in the forwarding-request signal. 

The display section 103 functions to display the in- 
put mail or the received mail in the picture. The electron- 
ic mail storage section 104 stores the mails which are 
received. The clock section 1 05 functions to effect clock- 
ing of time for receiving the received mail for a certain 
time interval or at a certain time. 

The wireless data communication processing sec- 
tion 108 is connected to a wireless data communication 
network 300 and functions to control communication 
protocol for wireless data communication such as mod- 
ification of the wireless data and data communication 
control. 

The wireless data communication processing sec- 
tion 108 makes it possible to select and use a suitable 
one of a plurality of communication protocols which are 
currently used as a standard. 

Also, the wireless communication processing sec- 
tion 108 functions to effect judgement related to change- 
over of the mail forwarding and receiver processing and 
communication means in response to the input signal. 

The wireless data communication network 300 may, 
for example, be performed by utilizing a wireless packet 
communication and wireless telephone or by the meth- 
od of transmitting data instead of voice or by the utiliza- 
tion of infrared rays. 

The forwarding-request signal processing section 

1 06 serves to transmit a mail forwarding-request signal 
and a mail forwarding-end signal to the host computer 
200, or to receive an acknowledgement (response) sig- 
nal from the host computer 200 for judgement of the con- 
tent thereof. 

Also, the adjusting method in the forwarding-re- 
quest signal processing section 106 is achieved by an 
optional method which is mostly suited at the time of ad- 
justing. For example, it may be possible to employ the 
same method as the electronic mail processing section 

107 in respect of signal transmitting or receiving meth- 
od, or to utilize "a short message communication f unc- 



2 327 A2 8 

tion" which is a subsidiary function of the digital portable 
telephone system. 

Further, the mail forwarding-request signal may be 
provided with an appointment designation such as the 

s time interval of the mail forwarding and the requested 
time for next mail forwarding, and a designation of the 
sender who intends to effect the mail forwarding, the title 
and the degree of urgency, etc. 

The electronic mail processing section 107 serves 

10 to transmit or receive the normal electronic mail. 

The electronic mail processing section 107 is se- 
lected arbitrarily depending on the electronic mall sys- 
tem employed by the user. However, the electronic mail 
processing section 107 should be able to receive the 

1S forwarded mail from the host computer 200. 

The mail forwarding system of the host computer 
200 will now be described in detail hereinafter. The mail 
forwarding system of the host computer 200 may be ar- 
ranged in one of the two systems according to the con- 

20 nection method relative to the wireless data communi- 
cation network 300 and the host computer 200 of the 
data communication network 400. 

In one system, the host computer 200 is directly 
connected to the wireless data communication network 

2S 300 and data communication network 400, respectively. 
In this instance, the host computer 200 is arranged in a 
manner as shown in the block diagram of Fig. 3. 

In the other system, the wireless data communica- 
tion network 300 is connected to the data communica- 

30 tion network 400 as shown in a manner of block diagram 
of Fig. 4. 

Fig. 3 is the block diagram showing a preferred em- 
bodiment of the mail forwarding system 1 of the host 
computer. In Fig. 3, the host computer 200 comprises a 

35 control section 201 , an input section 202, a display sec- 
tion 203, an electronic mail storage section 204, a clock 
section 205, a forwarding-request signal processing 
section (forwarding-request signal recognizing section) 
206, a first electronic mail processing section 207, a 

40 wireless mail communication processing section (wire- 
less data communication processing section) 208, a 
second electronic mail processing section 209 and a 
network communication processing section 210. 

The control section 201 , the input section 202, the 

45 display section 203, the electronic mail storage section 
204, the clock section 205, the forwarding-request sig- 
nal processing section 206, the first electronic mail 
processing section 207, the wireless mall communica- 
tion processing section (wireless data communication 

so processing section) 208, the second electronic mail 
processing section 209 and the network communication 
processing section 210 are composed of a micro-com- 
puter including CPU, ROM, RAM and I/O part. The elec- 
tronic mail storage section 204 comprises RAM, a hard 

ss diskdrive, afloppy disk drive or an optical-magnetic disk 
drive etc. 

The input section 202 comprises a keyboard or a 
mouse etc. The display section 203 comprises a CRT 



5 



9 EP0 7 

display or a liquid crystal display (LCD) etc. The control 
section 201 is connected to the display section 203 serv- 
ing as the mail display means, the input section 202 
serving as the information input means and the clock 
section 205 which provides time. 

The first electronic mail processing section 207 
should be designed to enable forwarding of the mail to 
the electronic mail processing section 107 of the wire- 
less communication terminal 100. 

The host computer 200 is provided with the wireless 
data communication processing section 20B which 
serves to process data communication relative to the 
wireless data communication network 300 which for- 
wards the mail to the wireless communication terminal 
100, and the network communication processing sec- 
tion 210 which serves to process data communication 
relative to the data communication network 400 which 
transmits or receives the mail to or from outside 

In addition, the data communication network 400 is 
composed of an interval network, LAN (a Local Area 
Network) and WAN (a Wide Area Network) etc. 

The mail is received via the network communication 
processing section 210 and the second electronic mail 
processing section 209 and, thereafter, stored in the 
electronic mail storage section 204. At this instant, if the 
host computer 200 is in use by the user, the mail can be 
read out on the host computer 200. 

When the forwarding-request signal is transmitted 
from the wireless communication terminal 100, the for- 
warding-request signal is delivered to the forwarding- 
request signal processing section 206 via the wireless 
data communication processing section 208. When the 
forwarding-request signal is confirmed by the forward- 
ing-request signal processing section 206, the unread 
mail stored in the electronic mail storage section 204 is 
transmitted to the first electronic mail processing section 
207 in accordance with conditions of the forwarding-re- 
quest signal and forwarded to the wireless communica- 
tion terminal 1 00 through the use of the same system 
as the normal electronic mail transmitting system. 

If there exists no unread mail in the mail storage 
section 204 when the forwarding-request signal is re- 
ceived, the acknowledgement signal is transmitted by 
the wireless data communication processing section 
208. 

Thereafter, unread mails received in the electronic 
mail storage section 204 are kept being watched in ac- 
cordance with the conditions of the forwarding-request 
signal until the forwarding-request signal is received, 
and are transmitted to the wireless communication ter- 
minal 100 via the first electronic mail processing section 
207. 

When the forwarding-end request of the electronic 
mail is transmitted from the wireless communication ter- 
minal 100, this signal is transmitted to the forwarding- 
request signal processing section 206 via the wireless 
data communication processing section 208. When the 
forwarding-end signal is confirmed by the forwarding- 



'2 327 A2 10 

request signal processing section 206, the transmitting 
operation of the unread mails stored in the electronic 
mail storage section 202 relative to the wireless com- 
munication terminal 100 is completed, and theforward- 
5 ing-request signal processing section 206 transmits the 
acknowledgement signal to the wireless communication 
terminal 100 via the wireless data communication net- 
work 300. 

Fig. 4 is a block diagram showing a preferred em- 

10 bodiment of the mail forwarding system 2 of the host 
computer. In Fig. 4, the wireless data communication 
network 300 is connected to the data communication 
network 400. In this embodiment, the mail receivedfrom 
the external data communication terminal is forwarded 

is to the wireless communication terminal 100 via the wire- 
less data communication network 300 so that the elec- 
tronic mail processing section 21 7 and the network com- 
munication processing section 218 can be provided in 
common. The other constituents of the mail forwarding 

20 system are similar to those of the other embodiments. 
The electronic mail transmitted from outside via the 
network communication processing section 218 and the 
electronic mail processing section 217 is stored in the 
electronic mail storage section 214. When the forward- 

25 ing-request of the electronic mail is received, the unread 
mail is read out from the electronic mall storage sectbn 
214 and forwarded to the wireless communication ter- 
minal 1 00 via the electronic mail processing section 21 7, 
the network communication processing section 218, the 

30 data communication network 400 and the wireless data 
network 300. 

At present, the data communication network 400 
may comprise either one of various networks such as 
the internal network, LAN (Local Area Network) and 

35 WAN (Wide Area Network) etc., which have different ad- 
dress system (viz., an address for electronic mail or an 
address for network), or different data forwarding sys- 
tem. 

The terminal which performs the data communica- 
40 tion with the use of the data communication network is 
arranged to employ the communication protocol de- 
pending on the kind of the terminal. Each of the com- 
munication processing sections described in this patent 
specification enables to use a plurality of communica- 
45 tion protocols which are currently used as standard de- 
pending on the network to be connected. Describing the 
protocol in accordance with OSI (Open Systems Inter- 
connection: International Standard Network Architec- 
ture) models defined by ITU-TS (Electric Communica- 
tion Standardization Sector which is originated from 
CCITT (International telephone and Telegram Consult- 
ative Committee) and ISO (International Standardiza- 
tion Organization), each communication processing 
section comprises a first layer (a physical layer) to a 
ss fourth layer (a transport layer), and the electronic mail 
processing sectbn and the forwarding-request process- 
ing section belong to fifth to seventh layers (applicatbn 
layers). 



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EP 0 772 327 A2 



12 



Each terminal and the host computer have a net- 
work address for 'its identification when the communica- 
tion is performed on the data communication network 
and, normally, the address is principally defined by the 
third layer. 

The electronic mail processing sections 207 and 
217 may vary depending on the electronic mail forward- 
ing system utilized by the operator, but may be any de- 
vice as long as the device has a function to transmit or 
receive the mail to the terminal or the host computer. 

In the present embodiment, a mail address is em- 
ployed in order to designate a specific individual, with 
the mail address being different from the network ad- 
dress to designate the terminal on the network. 

In a case where the forwarding function of the 
present invention is added to the existing electronic mail 
systems, the mail systems are further provided with the 
forwarding-request signal processing section, the elec- 
tronic mail storage section serving to store the unread 
mails received therein, and the electronic mail process- 
ing section which serves to confirm the presence or the 
absence of the mail in the electronic mail storage section 
for forwarding the received mail to the communication 
processing section. 

Fig. 5 is a diagram showing the communication 
processing steps to be carried out between the wireless 
communication terminal and the host computer. 

In Fig. 5, a plurality of processing steps are indicat- 
ed as follows, 

Step a: normal mail transmitting and receiving, reading 
out and storing step. 

The operator is able to read out the mail on the mail 
display application programme of the host computer 200 
when the host computer 200 receives the mail during 
operation of the host computer 200 normally located in 
his office etc. The received mail is stored in the electron- 
ic mail storage section (the mail box) and the operator 
is able to draw the mail at any time to read the same on 
the mail display application programme. 

Step b: a step in which the wireless communication 
terminal starts its application programme. 

When the operator goes out from his office, he is 
able to forward the unread mail to the wireless commu- 
nication terminal 100 from the host computer 200 at any 
time and to read out the mail on the wireless communi- 
cation terminal 100. 

When the electronic mail receiving application pro- 
gramme of the wireless communication terminal is start- 
ed, the forwarding-request signal is transmitted to the 
host computer 200 from the wireless communication ter- 
minal 100 via the wireless data communication network 
300. When the host computer 200 receives that signal, 
the host computer 200 forwards the mail stored therein 
to the wireless communication terminal 100. 



At this time, even if there exists no stored mail, the 
host computer 200 sends the acknowledgement signal 
to indicate a situation of absence of the mail for inform- 
ing the operatorthatthe host computer 200 has received 
s the signal from the wireless communication terminal. 

Step c: mail lorwarding step. 

Forwarding of the mail is always performed by the 
10 host computer. The host computer employs the mail for- 
warding protocol specifically suited for the network as 
the mail transmitting protocol. 

In a case where the lorwarding-request signal is 
generated from the wireless communication terminal 
is 100, the mail stored in the electronic mail storage sec- 
tion is forwarded to the wireless communication terminal 
1 00 depending on the conditions (viz., time setting, time 
interval setting, operator designation, urgency level and 
title designation) until the host computer receives the 
20 forwarding-end signal. 

Step d: a step in which the forwarding is impossible or 
in which an error has occurred. 

25 In a case where no acknowledgement of data trans- 
mitted from the host computer 200 or 1rom the wireless 
communication terminal 100 is found, or in which an er- 
ror has occurred, the forwarding of data is repeatedly 
tried at certain time intervals and the forwarding of data 

30 is repeated for certain times until it succeeds. If the for- 
warding of data does not succeed, the forwarding of da- 
ta is slopped and, in a case in which there is the time 
designation or the time interval designation , the forward- 
ing of data is tried again at the next designated time. 

35 

Step e; a step for changing the forwarding condition. 

The wireless communication terminal 1 00 enables 
the designation of the condition for forwarding the mail 

40 to the host computer 200. The condition to be designat- 
ed includes a mail forwarding time interval designation, 
a forwarding time setting, a desired transmitter, title and 
urgency level, etc. 

In order to change the forwarding condition, a new 

45 forwarding-request signal including condition to be 
changed is transmitted and the same steps as those 
performed at the start of forwarding are repeated. 

Step f: a step in which the forwarding of data is 
so interrupted and a resuming step is performed. 

When it is required to temporarily interrupt the for- 
warding of data from the wireless communication termi- 
nal 100, the user is required to operate the same step 
55 as that ol the forwarding-end. In order to resume the 
temporary interruption of forwarding the data, the for- 
warding-request signal is transmitted and the user op- 
erates the same steps as those performed at the start 



7 



EP 0 772 327 A2 



Step g: a step for ending the application programme. 

The wireless communication terminal 100 enables 
to transmit the forwarding-end signal to the host com- 
puter 200 for ending the forwacding of the mail. In this 
instance, the host computer 200 sends the acknowl- 
edgement signal to the wireless communication termi- 
nal 100. 

Fig. 6 is a diagram which shows a signal format. 
The signal format shown in Fig. 6 is for the application 
layers in OSI model described above, and, in the actual 
forwarding of data, the data is forwarded to the address- 
ee after the modification process or the adding process 
of the data format is performed by the lower layer. 

The signal format is composed of a service identifi- 
cation number 501, a transmitter number 502, a for- 
warding address number 503, a signal identification 
number 504, a forwarding number 505, an option 
number 506 and an option value 507. 

The signals 501 to 507 are previously decided with 
respect to an appropriate data size. However, the sig- 
nals related to the option have no constant data size to 
provide an end signal. 

The service identification number 501 is intended 
to indicate a signal related to the forwarding-request for 
the wireless communication terminal 100 and the com- 
munication processing section of the host computer 
200. The data communication processing section deliv- 
ers the data to the forwarding-request signal processing 
section when the signal has a certain value. 

The sender number 502 is used for specifying the 
sender who uses the host computer 200. For example, 
when the host computer 200 has received mails from a 
plurality of senders, the sender number 502 is needed 
. for forwarding only the mail requested by the user. 

The addressee number 503 is used for specifying 
the user who uses the wireless communication terminal 
1 00. For example, when one company employs a plu- 
rarity of wireless communciation terminals 100, the ad- 
dressee number 503 is needed for forwarding the mail 
to the wireless communication terminal 100 which is re- 
questing for forwarding of the data. 

The signal identification number 504 is used for 
identifying a kind (viz., the forwarding-request signal, 
the forwarding-end signal and the acknowledgement 
signals etc.) of the forwarding-request signal. This iden- 
tification is performed in the forwarding-request signal 
processing section. 

The forwarding number 505 is a serial number for 
numbering the forwarding-request signals and the for- 
warding-end signals and the same forwarding number 
is used for the acknowledgement signal corresponding 
to fhe request signal. 

The option identification number 506 indicates that 
the data following subsequently is an option and also 
indicates a kind of option. 



The option value 507 is described by formats suited 
for respective options to be set. 

Fig. 7 is a diagram showing one example of a kind 
of the signals and their respective values. In Fig. 7, an 
5 actual assignment of the number is performed at the 
most effective method at the time of setting data. 

The signal identification number 504 is composed 
of the forwarding-request signal 504a, the forwarding- 
end signal 504b and the acknowledgement signal 504c, 
10 with each of the signals having a value assigned for 
identification. 

The forwarding-request signal 504a is used for 
starting the forwarding of the mail from the wireless com- 
munication terminal 1 00 to the host computer 200 and, 
is also, to set the forwarding condition in the host computer 
200. 

The forwarding-end signal 504b is used to complete 
forwarding of the mail from the wireless communication 
terminal 100 to the host computer 200. 

so The acknowledgement signal 504c is used to ena- 
ble the host computer 200 to inform the wireless com- 
munication terminal 100 that the host computer 200 has 
received the forwarding-request signal 504a or the for- 
warding-end signal 504b. 

25 The option identification number 506 has a plurality 
of kinds of items to be set, such as a time interval des- 
ignation 506a, a time designation 506b, a transmitter 
designation 506c, a title designation 506d, an urgency 
level 506e, the operator's name 506f who receives the 

30 mail at the wireless communication terminal 100, a 
password 506g, a message 506h and a check sum 506i 
etc., with the respective signals having their respective 
values assigned for identification. Among these signals, 
only the desired signal is selscted and forwarded. 

3S The option identification number 506 has specifical- 
ly appointed values for canceling the previously input 
setting, with the appointed values being commonly used 
in each of the option signals. 

The time interval designation 506a enables to set 

40 the time interval during which the host computer 200 for- 
wards the mail to the wireless communication terminal 
1 00. The reference time is set to be equal to the time at 
which the signal is forwarded in a case in which there is 
no special time designation. 

45 The time designation 506b enables the designation 
of time for forwarding the mail to the wireless communi- 
cation terminal 1 00 from the host computer 200 for the 
next time. If it is necessary, a plurality of times can be 
set. 

so The transmitter designation 506c is used to forward 
only one of the unread mails received from the certain 
transmitters to the host computer. 

The title designatbn 506d is used for designating 
so as to forward only the mail having a certain title. 

55 The urgency level 506e is used for forwarding only 
the mail having a designation of urgency in a header of 
the mail. In a case where the mail system has grades in 
the information of the urgency on the header, the des- 



8 



15 



EP 0 772 327 A2 



16 



ignation is made to the mails of which urgency level is 
above certain grade. 

The user address 506f is used for specifying the us- 
er at the wireless communication terminal 100. This ad- 
dress is, for example, used for specifying one of a plu- 
rality of users who are assigned to single wireless com- 
munication terminal 100. 

The password 506g is used for maintaining a secu- 
rity in the forwarding-request signal. This password is 
checked for verification at the forwarding-request signal 
processing section and the forwarding process is per- 
formed only when the password is correct. 

The message 506h is mainly used as an acknowl- 
edgement signal which enables the host computer 200 
to send information of absence of forwarded mails or 
information of impossible forwarding of the data to the 
wireless communication terminal 100 with respect to the 
forwarding-request signal. 

The check sum 506i indicates a value equal to the 
count of the check sum of whole the transmitted data 
and the use of this signal enables the confirmation of 
validity of the data. 

Also, when all of the conditions with respect to the 
operator designation 506c, the title designation 506c, 
the urgency level 506e are simultaneously designated, 
the mail satisfying all of the conditions is forwarded from 
the host computer 200. 

Further, it is possible to set a plurality of conditions 
with the same items with respect to the time designation 
506b, the operator designation 506c, the title designa- 
tion 506d and the urgency level 506e for thereby ena- 
bling the forwarding of the mail which satisfies either one 
of the conditions. 

Fig. B is a view showing one example of the forward- 
ing-request signal. In Fig. B, the forwarding-request sig- 
nal has an option such as designation of forwarding time 
interval setting and urgency level. 

Fig. 9 is a flow chart showing a starting process 
steps of the mail forwarding of the wireless communica- 
tion terminal. In Fig. 9, when the communication appli- 
cation programme is turned on, the forwarding-request 
signal is transmitted (see step S101) and the reception 
of the forwarded mail is waited for certain interval (see 
step S102). In a case where the mail is not received 1or 
the certain time interval (see step S103), the second for- 
warding is tried and, if there is no acknowledgement 
even when repeated forwarding is made more than cer- 
tain times (see step SI 04), an error message is returned 
to indicate the state of no connection with the host com- 
puter (see step S106). When the mail is received within 
the certain time interval (see step S103), the wireless 
communication terminal is kept under the state of wait- 
ing for reception of mails (see step S104). 

Under the state of waiting for reception of mails, the 
terminal remain! in its normal mail reception waiting 
condition. If the forwarding time interval and the forward- 
ingtime are designated, the mail reception is waited only 
for time interval during the data forwarding. 



When the mail is not received at the forwarding 
time, it may be arranged so as to start a special process 
or to display non-arrival of the message. 

When it is required to change the message f orward- 
5 ing condition, the contents to be changed are designat- 
ed in the forwarding-request signal and the same steps 
are taken as in the starting step. 

Further, when it is required to urgently receive the 
message, the same process is performed as in the start- 
70 ing step. 

Also, the message forwarding step may be made at 
any time irrespective of waiting operation for the data 
forwarding. 

Fig. 10 is a flow chart showing a mail forwarding- 

75 end processing step of the wireless communication ter- 
minal. In Fig. 10, when the communication applicatbn 
programme is turned off, the forwarding-end signal is 
transmitted (see step S201 ), and the acknowledgement 
signal reception is awaited for a certain interval (see 

20 step S202). When the acknowledgement signal is not 
received within the certain time interval (see step S203), 
the forwarding-end signal is transmitted again and, if 
there is no acknowledgement even after repeated trans- 
missions above a certain number of times (see step 

2S S205), an error message is returned to indicate no con- 
nection with the host computer 200. It is arbitrary to proc- 
ess after sending the error message. 

When the acknowledgement signal is received with- 
in the certain time interval (see step S203), the operation 

30 is normally ended (see step S204). 

Fig. 11 is a flow chart indicating the mail forwarding 
process of the host computer. In Fig. 11, the host com- 
puter 200 stores the unread mails received in the ab- 
sence of the operator in the mail storage section. Also, 

3S the host computer 200 remains waiting for the forward- 
ing-request signal from the wireless communication ter- 
minal (see step S301). 

When a signal related to the forwarding-request sig- 
nal is received from the wireless communication termi- 

40 nal 100, the kind of this signal is checked (see step 
S302). 

If the signal is not the forwarding-request signal, the 
host computer 200 checks whether that signal is the for- 
warding-end signal (see step S303) and, if that signal is 
45 the forwarding-end signal, the forwarding mode for 
stored mails is endedfsee step S304). The host compu- 
ter 200 then transmits an acknowledgement signal irre- 
spective of the state of the host computer (see step 

5305) . 

so When the forwarding-request signal is received, the 
value contained in that signal is drawn out(see step 

5306) . 

If there exists the check sum designation in the for- 
warding-request signal (see step S307), the host com- 
55 puter 200 confirms whether the check sum is correct 
(see step S308), and invalidates the received signal if 
the check sum is not correct(see step S309). When the 
check sum is correct, the user from whom the forward- 



17 



EP 0 772 327 A2 



18 



ing-request was sent \e confirmed (see step S310) and, 
subsequently, if the host computer 200 requests the 
password for security maintenance (see step S311), the 
host computer 200 invalidates the received signal when 
the forwarding-request signal does not include the pass- 
word or when an incorrect password is included in the 
forwarding-request signal (see step S313). If the pass- 
word is correct, the forwarding address (such as host 
address and mail address) of the mail is stored and set 
(see step S314). 

Subsequently, the option of the forwarding-request 
signal is checked (see step S315). When the sender is 
designated, the host computer 200 is set so as to for- 
ward only the mails received from that sender (see step 
S316). 

Next, when the title of the mail to be forwarded is 
designated (see step S317), the host computer 200 is 
set to forward only the mails having the specified title 
(see step S318). 

Also, when the urgency level designation exists 
(see step S31 9), the host computer 200 is set to forward 
only the mails having a designated urgency level (see 
step S320). 

After these conditions have been set, the mail sat- 
isfying these conditions is searched for whithin the 
stored mails and transmitted to the terminal. If the mail 
satisfying the conditions is not found, the message in- 
dicative of no forwarded mails is transmitted (see step 

5321) . 

Subsequently, the option of the request signal is 
checked (see step S322). If there is a forwarding time 
designation, the forwarding time is stored (see step 

5322) . Also, if there is a forwarding time interval desig- 
nation (see step S324), the forwarding time interval is 
set (see step S325). 

Thereafter, the forwarding mode is initiated and the 
mail is forwarded in accordance with the required con- 
ditions (see step S326). At the same time, the operation 
of waiting for the forwarding-request signal and the for- 
warding-end signal is continued and, when these sig- 
nals are received, the same process will be repeated in 
a manner described above. 

It will now be appreciated that the present invention 
has the following advantages: 

(1) By transmitting a forwarding-request signal to a 
mail communication terminal via a wireless data 
communication network with the use of a portable 
wireless communication terminal at any place in the 
network, it is possible to forward and read out a mail 
received at the mail communication terminal from 
the wireless communication terminal at any con- 
venient time; 

(2) The wireless communication terminal enables 
the forwarding-request signal having the designa- 
tion such as mail forwarding time and forwarding 
time interval to be transmitted so that a mail is trans- 
mitted to the mail communication terminal in ac- 



cordance with that designation whereby it becomes 
unnecessary to regularly access the mail commu- 
nication terminal with the only prupose of inquring 
for the received mail from the wireless communica- 

s tion terminal and the operation of a wireless data 
communication processing section is not needed 
except during the time designated by the forward- 
ing-request signal, thereby reducing electric power 
consumption of the wireless communication termi- 

10 nal while minimizing the communication costs; 

(3) The wireless communication terminal enables 
the transmission of the forwarding-request signal 
designating an electronic mail sender, a title and ur- 
gency level etc, so that it is possible to forward and 

is read out an intended mail among mails received in 
the mail communication terminal with the use of the 
wireless communication terminal on hand; and 

(4) A modification may be made in the electronic 
mail forwarding system which has no electronic mail 

20 forwarding function between the mail communica- 
tion terminal and the wireless communication termi- 
nal by only changing the software in the user's mail 
communication terminal (viz., host computer) and 
the wireless communication terminal, thereby real- 

25 izing an electronic mail forwarding function between 
the mail communication terminal and the wireless 
communication terminal. 



30 Claims 

1. An electric mail forwarding system between a mail 
communication terminal and a portable-type wire- 
less communication terminal, the mail communica- 

35 tion terminal serving to receive an electric mail via 
a data communication network, and the wireless 
communication terminal serving to transmit a for- 
warding-request signal for the electric mail to the 
mail communication terminal via a wireless data 

40 communication network, in which the mail commu- 
nication terminal comprises: 

a mail box for storing the received electric mail; 
a forwarding-request signal recognizing sec- 
4S tion for receiving the forwarding-request signal 

transmitted from the wireless communication 
terminal and for recognizing additional informa- 
tion contained in the forwarding-request signal; 
and 

so a wireless data communication processing sec- 

tion for sequentially forwarding the electric mail 
to the wireless communication terminal based 
on the recognized forwarding-request signal. 

55 2. An electric mail forwarding system as claimed in 
claim 1, in which, if the forwarding-request signal 
recognizing section recognizes the forwarding-re- 
quest signal including the additional information on 



10 



19 



EP 0 772 327 A2 



20 



designation of a forwarding time and a forwarding 
time interval of a given electric mail, the wireless 
data communication processing section forwards 
the electric mail to the wireless communication ter- 
minal at the designated forwarding time and for the * 
designated forwarding time interval. 

An electric mail forwarding system as claimed in 
claim 1, in which, if the forwarding-request signal 
recognizing section recognizes the forwarding-re- 10 
.quest signal including the additional information on 
designation of a name of an electric mail sender, a 
title and an urgency level, the wireless data com- 
munication processing section forwards the electric 
mail to the wireless communication terminal upon * £ 
selection of the electronic mail sender, the title and 
the urgency level. 

An electric mail forwarding system between a mail 
communication terminal and a portable-type wire- zo 
less communication terminal, the mail communica- 
tion terminal serving to receive an electric mail via 
a data communication network, and the wireless 
communication terminal serving to transmit a for- 
warding-request signal for the electric mail to the ss 
mail communication terminal via a wireless data 
communication network, in which the wireless com- 
munication terminal comprises: 

a forwarding-request signal generating section so 
for generating the forwarding-request signal for 
the electric mail received in the mail communi- 
cation terminal; 

an electric mail processing section for transmit- 
ting the generated forwarding-request signal to 3S 
the mail communication terminal and for receiv- 
ing the electric mail from the mail communica- 
tion terminal; and 

an electric mail storage section for storing the 
received electric mail. 40 



a mail box for storing the received electric mail; 
a forwarding-request signal recognizing sec- 
tion for receiving the forwarding-request signal 
transmitted from the wireless communication 
terminal and for recognizing additional informa- 
tion contained in the forwarding-request signal; 
and 

a wireless data communication processing sec- 
tion for sequentially forwarding the electric mail 
to the wireless communication terminal based 
on the recognized forwarding-request signal. 

8. An electronic mail forwarding system, comprising: 

a mail communication terminal which includes 
an electronic mail box, and which is arranged 
to store incoming electronic mail received via a 
data communication network in said electronic 
mail box, said mail communication terminal al- 
so having means for detecting a forwarding re- 
quest signal received from a portable wireless 
communication terminal, and means for con- 
trolling the forwarding ol mail from said mail box 
to said portable wireless communication termi- 
nal in accordance with the detected forwarding 
request signal. 



An electric mail forwarding system as claimed in 
claim 4, in which the forwarding-request signal gen- 
erating section generates the forwarding-request 
signal including additional information on designa- 
tion of a forwarding time and a forwarding time in- 
terval of a given electric mail. 

An electric mail forwarding system as claimed in 
claim 4, in which the forwarding-request signal gen- so 
erating section generates the forward-request sig- 
nal including additional information on designation 
of a name of an electric mail sender, a title and an 
urgency level. 

55 

An electric mail forwarding system as claimed in 
claim 4, in which the mail communication terminal 
comprises: 



EP 0 772 327 A2 




12 



EP 0 772 327 A2 




EP 0 772 327 A2 




EP 0 772 327 A2 




EP 0 772 327 A2 



FIG. 5 



Wireless 

communication 

terminal 



Host computer Mail from sender 

(mail communication (other mail 



i. Normal mall reception 



b. Start of application 
programme of wireless 
communication terminal 
( Example:forwarding 
interval 5 MJN, ) 



:. Mail forwarding processing 



d. Processing at error 
generation 



a. Change ot forwarding 
condition (Example: : 
forwarding interval 20MfN.J 



f. Interruption of mail 
application programme 
of wireless 

communication terminal 



Restart of mail application 
programme of wireless 
communication terminal; 
(mail forwarding time: setting) 



g. End of mail application 
programme of; wireless 
communication terminal 



Reading at host computer 



Forwarding-request signal 
|5 MIN.intervatt 



Forwarding of mail 2 



Response signal 
(No mail to be forwarded) 



Forwarding of mail 3 



Failure of mail 4 forwarding 



Reforwardihg of mail 4 



Forwarding-request signal 
?20MIN. interval) 



Acknowledgement signal 



Forwarding of mails 5.6 



Mail forwarding-end signal 



Acknowledgement signal 



Forwarding-requestsignal 
(Time setting) ; 



Forwarding of mail 7,8 



Forwarding-end signal 



Acknowledgement signal 



communication terminal) 



First mail Irom 
outside sender 



16 



EP 0 772 327 A2 




17 



EP 0 772 327 A2 



FIG.7 





Kind of signal 


Value (example) to be assigned 


Signal format 


to signal 


Sevice 


Forwarding-request 


0 1 


identification 


identification signal 


number 501 


Other signal 


00 


Sender number 502 




(example:) name @ abc.com 


Addressee 




(example 1:) 1002.144.2.33 


number 503 




(example 2:) name @ abc.com 


Signal identification 


Forwarding-request signa 


01 


number 504 


Forwarding-end signal 


02 




Acknowledgement signal 


03 


Transmission 


Serial number 


0-255 


number 505 


assigned to each 






signal transmission 




Option identification 


Time interval 


01 


number 506 


designation 






Time designation 


02 




Sender designation 


03 




for forwarding 






Title designation for 


04 




forwarding 






Urgency level for 


05 




forwarding 






Name of operator 


06 




Password 


07 




Message 


08 




Check sum 


09 


Option value 507 


Time interval, Time 


-1 :Common value for 


setting, Name of 


cancellation 




sender etc. 





18 



EP 0 772 327 A2 




19 



EP 0 772 327 A2 



F1G.9 




20 



EP 0 772 327 A2 



FIG. 10 



ST/ 


^RT 






Transmit forv 
sig 


varding -end 
nal 



S201 




Error 



EP 0 772 327 A2 




(19) 



Europaisches Patentamt 
European Patent Office 
Office europeen des brevets 



(12) 



) Date of publication A3: 
17.02.1999 Bulletin 1999/07 



(n) EP 0 772 327 A3 

EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION 

(51) intci.": H04L 12/58, H04B 7/26 



(43) Date of publication A2: 

07.05.1997 Bulletin 1997/19 



(21) Application number: 96308063.5 

(22) Date of filing: 06.11.1996 



(84) 


Designated Contracting States: 


(72) 


Inventor: Kuki, Hikaru 


DE FR GB 




Yamatokoriyama-shi, Nara 639-11 (JP) 


(30) 


Priority: 06.11.1995 JP 287377/95 


(74) 


Representative: Brown, Kenneth Richard et al 






R.G.C. Jenkins & Co. 


(71) 


Applicant: SHARP KABUSHIKI KAISHA 




26 Caxton Street 


Osaka-shl, Osaka-fu 545 (JP) 




London SW1H0RJ (GB) 



(54) Electronic mail forwarding system 

(57) An electric mail forwarding system between a 
mail communication terminal and a portable-type wire- 
less communication terminal is disclosed. The mail 
communication terminal serves to receive an electric 
mail via a data communication network. The wireless 
communication terminal serves to transmit a forward- 
ing-request signal for the electric mail to the mail com- 
munication terminal via a wireless data communication 
network. The mail communication terminal includes: a 



mail box for storing the received electric mail; a f orward- 
ing-request signal recognizing section for receiving the 
forwarding-request signal transmitted from the wireless 
communication terminal and for recognizing additional 
information contained in the forwarding-request signal; 
and a wireless data communication processing section 
for sequentially forwarding the electric mail to the wire- 
less communication terminal based on the recognized 
forwarding-request signal. 



FIG.1 




Printed by Jouve, 75001 PARIS (FR) 



EP 0 772 327 A3 



EUROPEAN SEARCH REPORT 



DOCUMENTS CONSIDERED TO BE RELEVANT 



Citation of document wftti im 



WO 94 08419 A (MOTOROLA INC) 14 April 1994 
page 2, line 29 - page 3, line 18 * 

* page 7, line 19 - page 8, line 6 * 

WO 90 14726 A (HATTON LESLIE) 
29 November 1990 

* page 1, line 20 - page 2, line 2 * 

* page 3, line 21 - line 26 * 



H04L12/58 
H04B7/26 



TECHNICAL FIELDS 



The present search report has been dr 



8 December 1998 



CATEGORY OF 




lie underlying the Invention 
isument, but published on. or 



□ : document cited In the application 



2 



EP 0 772 327 A3 



ANNEX TO THE EUROPEAN SEARCH REPORT 
ON EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION NO. 



EP 96 30 8063 



The European Patent Office Is in no way liable for these particulars which ar 



or the purpose of information. 

08-12-1998 



WO 9408419 A 14-04-1994 



WO 9014726 A 29-11-1990 



CA 2145874 A 

CN 1088034 A,B 

EP 0746936 A 

US 5487100 A 



69006500 D 
69006500 T 
473638 T 
0473638 A 
4507482 T 



14- 04-1994 

15- 06-1994 
11-12-1996 

23- 01-1996 

17-03-1994 
15-09-1994 
06-06-1994 
11-03-1992 

24- 12-1992 



lb For more details about this annex : see Official Journal of the European Patent Office, No. 12/B2 



3