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1. US20080201430 - System and method of wireless instant messaging

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Claims

1. A method relating to instant messaging clients that are configured to transmit, to a server, presence information indicating that the respective client is in a communicative state in which the client is receptive to communicating with the other clients, the clients including first and second clients, the method comprising the following steps performed by the server:
determining, for each client, that the respective client is in a communicative state if presence information was received from the client over a preceding predetermined time period, and that the client is in an unknown state if presence information was not received from the client over the preceding predetermined time period, the communicative state and the unknown state being possible presence states of the clients;
transmitting a notification to the second client of the presence state of the first client when both the first client and the second client are in a communicative state; and
refraining from transmitting the notification to the second client when the first client is in the unknown state.
2. The method of claim 1, further comprising:
refraining from transmitting the notification when the second client is in the unknown state.
3. The method of claim 1, wherein the server repeats the transmitting step periodically at a uniform time interval.
4. The method of claim 3, further comprising:
in response to each repetition of the transmitting step, the second client updating a record of the presence state of the first client that is stored on the second client.
5. The method of claim 1, further comprising:
the server refraining from transmitting any communication to the first client when the first client is in the unknown state.
6. The method of claim 1, further comprising:
refraining from transmitting the notification to the second client when the instant messaging application of the first client is turned off.
7. The method of claim 1, further comprising:
the first client notifying the second client directly of the first client's presence state.
8. The method of claim 7, wherein said notifying includes notifying the second client of the first client's presence state even when the first client is in the unknown state.
9. The method of claim 7, wherein said notifying includes the first client specifying whether the first client is in an available state or a chatty state.
10. The method of claim 1, wherein the transmitting step includes specifying to the second client whether the first client is in an available state or a chatty state.
11. The method of claim 1, wherein the first and second clients are in the same buddy list, the buddy list being stored on the server.
12. A method relating to instant messaging clients, including first and second clients, the method comprising the following steps performed by the server:
determining whether each client is in a communicative state, in which the client is receptive to communicating with the other clients, or in an unknown state;
notifying the second client which of the states the first client is in when both the first client and the second client are in a communicative state; and
refraining from notifying the second client which of the states the first client is in when the first client is in the unknown state.
13. The method of claim 12, wherein the clients are configured to transmit, to the server, presence information indicating that the respective client is in the communicative state, and the determining step includes:
determining that the respective client is in the communicative state if presence information was received from the client over a preceding predetermined time period and that the client is in the unknown state if presence information was not received from the client over the preceding predetermined time period.
14. A server comprising:
means for communicating with instant messaging clients that are members of a common buddy list;
means for determining whether or not each of the clients is in a communicative state in which the respective client is receptive to communicating with the other clients; and
means for notifying each client that is in a communicative state which other clients are also in a communicative state but not which other clients are not in a communicative state.
15. The server of claim 14, wherein the means for determining includes means for determining whether or not each of the clients is in a communicative state based on whether or not presence information was received from the client over a preceding predetermined time period.
16. The server of claim 14, wherein the means for notifying is a means for notifying periodically at a uniform time interval.
17. The server of claim 14, wherein the means for refraining includes means for refraining from further data transmission to any client that is not in a communicative state.
18. The server of claim 14, wherein the communicative state includes an available state and a chatty state, and the means for notifying includes means for specifying to each client that is in a communicative state whether another client is in the available state and the chatty state.
19. The server of claim 14, further including means for storing the buddy list.