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1. (WO2001095222) METHOD OF DIRECT COMMUNICATION BETWEEN A BUSINESS AND ITS CUSTOMERS
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CLAIMS
What is claimed is:
1. A method for distributing at least one of branding, advertising, marketing, and service (BAMS) data from a business entity to electronic devices of a plurality of consumer-users, each of the electronic devices comprising at least a display, a memory, and a processor, the method comprising the steps of:
establishing and maintaining by the business entity a venture server for providing the at least one BAMS data to the plural electronic devices and for controlling usage and display of the at least one BAMS data at the plural electronic devices;
preparing by the business entity a client application capable of being run on the processors of the plural electronic devices, the client application being configured for performing a function that requires a graphical user interface (GUI) to be displayed in the display, for receiving the at least one BAMS data, for storing the at least one BAMS data in the memory, and for displaying the at least one BAMS data in the GUI;
distributing the client application to each of the plurality of consumer-users;
assigning a unique identifier to the client application of each of the plurality of consumer-users ;
installing the distributed client application in the electronic devices of the plurality of consumer-users ;
establishing a communication link between the at least one venture server and the client application installed in the electronic devices of the plurality of consumer-users; and distributing via the established communication link the at least one BAMS data to the installed client application in the electronic devices of the plurality of consumer-users.

2. The method as recited in claim 1, wherein each of the plural electronic devices comprises one of a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) , a cellular telephone, a personal computer (PC) , and a laptop computer.

3. The method as recited in claim 1, further comprising the step of :
storing records comprising the unique identifier and demographic data of a consumer-user of the installed client application to which the at least one unique identifier was assigned.

4. The method as recited in claim 3 , wherein said step of distributing the at least one BAMS data further comprises the step of :
selecting at least one of a consumer-user and a group of consumer-users of the plurality of consumer-users for receiving the at least one BAMS data via the established communication link based on the demographic data in the stored records .

5. The method as recited in claim 3 , wherein the demographic data in the stored records comprises zip codes of the plural consumer-users .

6. The method as recited in claim 3 , wherein the stored records further comprise data concerning at least one of a product and a service of the business entity, said at least one of a product and a service being utilized by the user.

7. The method as recited in claim 3, further comprising the steps of:
tracking electronic device behavior of individual one of the plural consumer-users using the unique identifier assigned to the installed client application on the electronic devices of the individual users of the plural consumer-users; and
storing the tracked electronic device behavior of the individual ones of the plural consumer-users in the stored records;
wherein the distribution of the at least one BAMS data is optionally based on the tracked electronic device behavior.

8. The method as recited in claim 7, wherein the tracked electronic device behavior of an individual one of the plural consumer-users comprises at least one of usage of the client application, browsing on the World Wide Web (WWW) , purchase of articles, application usage of the electronic device, and frequency of usage of the electronic device.

9. The method as recited in claim 1, wherein the unique identifier is hard-coded in the client application.

10. The method as recited in claim 1, wherein the distributed client application is configured to prevent tracking by the client application of electronic device behavior of a consumer-user .

11. The method as recited in claim 1, wherein said step of distributing the client application is performed by an affiliate of the business entity.

12. The method as recited in claim 1, wherein said step of distributing the client application comprises the step of:
mailing to each of the plural consumer-users computer-readable media on which the client application is stored for installation from the computer-readable media to the electronic device of the each consumer-user.

13. The method as recited in claim 12, wherein the computer-readable media mailed to the each consumer-user is accompanied by a product of the business entity.

14. The method as recited in claim 1, wherein the client application comprises an application related to an activity of the business entity.

15. The method as recited in claim 1, wherein the at least one BAMS data comprises a service message from the business entity to at least one of an individual one of the plural consumer-users and a group of the plural consumer-users, said service message comprising information concerning at least one of a service and a product of the business entity, said at least one of a service and a product being utilized by the at least one of an individual one of the plural consumer-users and a group of the plural consumer-users.

16. The method as recited in claim 1, wherein the at least one BAMS data comprises an electronic coupon.

17. A method for distributing at least one of branding, advertising, marketing, and service (BAMS) data from a business entity to electronic devices of a plurality of consumer-users, each of the electronic devices comprising at least a display, a memory, and a processor, the method comprising the steps of:
establishing and maintaining by the business entity a venture server for providing the at least one BAMS data to the plural electronic devices and for controlling usage and display of the at least one BAMS data at the plural electronic devices;
preparing by the business entity a client application capable of being run on the processors of the plural electronic devices, the client application being configured for performing a function that requires a graphical user interface (GUI) to be displayed in the display, for receiving the at least one BAMS data, for storing the at least one BAMS data in the memory, and for displaying the at least one BAMS data in the GUI;
distributing to each of the plural consumer-users computer-readable media on which the client application is stored for installation from the computer-readable media to the electronic device of the each of the plural consumer-users;
storing records each comprising at least one of a unique identifier, demographic data of particular one of the plural consumer-users of the client application to which the unique identifier was assigned, and consumer data concerning at least one of a product and a service of the business entity, said at least one of a product and a service optionally being utilized by the particular one of the plural consumer-users;

installing from the distributed computer-readable media the client application in the electronic devices of the plurality of consumer-users;
establishing a communication link between the venture server and the installed client applications in the electronic devices of the plurality of consumer-users; and
distributing by the business entity via the established communication link the at least one BAMS data to the installed client application in the electronic devices of the plurality of consumer-users,- wherein the business entity optionally selects at least one of one of the plural consumer-users and a group of the plural consumer-users for receiving the at least one BAMS data based on the data in the stored records .

18. The method as recited in claim 17, wherein each of the electronic devices comprises one of a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) , a cellular telephone, a personal computer (PC) , and a laptop computer.

19. The method as recited in claim 17, further comprising the steps of:
tracking electronic device behavior of individual ones of the plural consumer-users using the unique identifier assigned to the installed client application on the electronic devices of the plurality of consumer-users; and storing in the stored records data regarding the tracked electronic device behavior of the individual ones of the plural consumer-users .

20. The method as recited in claim 19, wherein the tracked electronic device behavior of an individual one of the plural consumer-users comprises at least one of usage of the client application, browsing on the World Wide Web (WWW) , purchase of items, application usage of the electronic device, and frequency of usage of the electronic device by the individual one of the plural consumer-users .

21. The method as recited in claim 17, wherein said step of distributing the client application is performed by an affiliate of the business entity, the distributed computer-readable media is accompanied by a product of the business entity, and the client application comprises an application related to an activity of the business entity.

22. A system for distributing at least one of branding, advertising, marketing, and service (BAMS) data from a business entity to a plurality of consumer-users, the system comprising:
a venture server established and maintained by the business entity for providing the at least one BAMS data and for controlling usage and display of the at least one BAMS data;

a plurality of electronic devices for the plurality of consumer-users, each of said electronic devices comprising at least a display, a memory, and a processor capable of running a client application, wherein the client application is configured for performing a function that requires a graphical user interface (GUI) to be displayed in the display, for receiving the at least one BAMS data from the venture server, for storing the at least one BAMS data in the memory, and for displaying the at least one BAMS data in the GUI; and
a network for establishing at least one communication link between the venture server and the plurality of electronic devices;
wherein a unique identifier is assigned to a client application installed in an individual one of the plurality of electronic devices.

23. The system as recited in claim 22, wherein each of the plural electronic devices comprises one of a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) , a cellular telephone, a personal computer (PC) , and a laptop computer.

24. The system as recited in claim 22, further comprising:
a database for storing records comprising the unique identifier and demographic data of a consumer-user of the installed client application to which the unique identifier was assigned.

25. The system as recited in claim 22, wherein the venture server provides the at least one BAMS data by selecting at least one of a consumer-user and a group of consumer-users of the plural consumer-users for receiving the at least one BAMS data via the at least one communication link based on the demographic data in the database records .

26. The system as recited in claim 22, wherein the demographic data in the database records comprises zip codes of the plural consumer-users .

27. The system as recited in claim 22, wherein the database records further comprise data concerning at least one of a product and a service of the business entity, said at least one of a product and a service being utilized by the user.

28. The system as recited in claim 22, wherein the system tracks electronic device behavior of individual ones of the plural consumer-users using the unique identifier assigned to the installed client application on the electronic devices of the individual ones of the plural consumer-users, stores the tracked electronic device behavior of the individual ones of the plural consumer-users in the database records, and optionally distributes the at least one BAMS data based on the tracked electronic device behavior .

29. The system as recited in claim 28, wherein the tracked electronic device behavior of an individual one of the plural consumer-users comprises at least one of usage of the client application, browsing on the World Wide Web (WWW) , purchase of articles, application usage of the electronic device, and frequency of usage of the electronic device.

30. The system as recited in claim 22, wherein the unique identifier is hard-coded in the client application.

31. The system as recited in claim 22, wherein the at least one client application is configured to prevent tracking by the client application of electronic device behavior of a consumer-user .

32. The system as recited in claim 22, wherein the network comprises at least one of the Internet, a telephone system, a wireless system, and a cable broadcast system.

33. The system as recited in claim 22, wherein the client application is distributed to the plurality of consumer-users by mailing to each of the plural consumer-users computer-readable media on which the client application is stored for installation from the computer-readable media to the electronic device of the each consumer-user.

34. The system as recited in claim 33, wherein the computer-readable media is mailed to the each consumer-user accompanied by a product of the business entity.

35. The method as recited in claim 22, wherein the client application comprises an application related to an activity of the business entity.

36. The method as recited in claim 22, wherein the at least one BAMS data comprises a service message from the business entity to at least one of an individual one of the plural consumer-users and a group of the plural consumer-users, said service message comprising information concerning at least one of a service and a product of the business entity, said at least one of a service and a product being utilized by the at least one of an individual one of the plural consumer-users and a group of the plural consumer-users .

37. The method as recited in claim 22, wherein the at least one BAMS data comprises an electronic coupon.

38. A system for distributing at least one of branding, advertising, marketing, and service (BAMS) data from a business entity to a plurality of consumer-users, the system comprising: a venture server established and maintained by the business entity for providing the at least one BAMS data and for controlling usage and display of the at least one BAMS data;
a plurality of electronic devices for the plurality of consumer-users, each of said electronic devices comprising at least a display, a memory, and a processor capable of running a client application, wherein the client application is configured for performing a function that requires a graphical user interface (GUI) to be displayed in the display, for receiving the at least one BAMS data from the at least one venture server, for storing the at least one BAMS data in the memory, and for displaying the at least one BAMS data in the GUI;
a database for storing records each comprising at least one of a unique identifier, demographic data of a particular one of the plural consumer-users of the client application to which the unique identifier was assigned, and consumer data concerning at least one of a product and a service of the business entity, said at least one of a product and a service optionally being utilized by the particular one of the plural consumer-users; and
a network for establishing at least one communication link between the venture server and the plurality of electronic devices;
wherein the business entity optionally selects at least one of one of the plural consumer-users and a group of the plural consumer-users for receiving the at least one BAMS data based on the data in the stored records .

39. The system as recited in claim 38, wherein each of the electronic devices comprises one of a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) , a cellular telephone, a personal computer (PC) , and a laptop computer.

40. The system as recited in claim 38, wherein the system tracks electronic device behavior of individual ones of the plural consumer-users using the unique identifier assigned to individual ones of client applications installed on the electronic devices of the individual ones of the plural consumer-users, and stores in the database records data regarding the tracked electronic device behavior of the individual ones of the plural consumer-users .

41. The system as recited in claim 40, wherein the electronic device behavior of an individual one of the plural consumer-users comprises at least one of usage of the client application, browsing on the World Wide Web (WWW) , purchase of items, application usage of the electronic device, and frequency of usage of the electronic device by the individual one of the plural consumer-users.

42. The system as recited in claim 38, wherein an affiliate of the business entity distributes the client application on computer-readable media accompanied by a product of the business entity and the client application comprises an application related to an activity of the business entity.