Title of Invention

A METHOD AND A GROUP OF ASSOCIATED SUBSCRIBER UNITS IN A COMMUNICATIONS

Abstract A controller in a communications system for controlling communications with a group 125 of associated subscriber units and method thereof are disclosed. The controller comprises a receiver operable to receive a request for a subscriber unit to communicate with the group of associated subscriber units (703); and a processor coupled to the receiver and operable as a comparator 619 to provide a comparison of a first association constraint corresponding to the subscriber unit and a second association constraint corresponding to the group (709); and a decision function 621 that allows, only when the comparison is favorable, communications between the subscriber unit and any other subscribers of the group of associated subscribers that also have such communications allowed or enabled (717).
Full Text A METHOD AND A CONTROLLER FOR CONTROLLING
COMMUNICATIONS WITH A GROUP OF ASSOCIATED
SUBSCRIBER UNITS IN A COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates in general to communication systems and more
specifically to methods and apparatus for controlling communications between
subscriber units in a communications system.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Communications systems and communications between subscriber units
operating therein are known. Cellular systems and subscriber units operating therein
are one example of a wireless communications system. Other systems that provide
cellular like services and in addition offer a service known as Group Call are available.
For a group call the group has identified members of the group and when a group call
is originated by one member all other members of the group that can be reached are
called and can participate in the call. No choice is left to the user or subscriber once
they become a member of the group, other than disabling their subscriber unit.
Additionally a non-member is not able to participate in a conventional group call.
Another service that has been contemplated for systems is a "chat" room where all
subscribers that have access, e.g. are allowed to communicate, communicate to all
other members. Often access is controlled by an access code, which must be
provided by the service provider, remembered, and entered by the subscriber in order
to access the service. A need exists for a more flexible way of controlling
communications in a communications system.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE ACCOMPANYING DRAWINGS
The accompanying figures, where like reference numerals refer to identical or
functionally similar elements throughout the separate views and which together with
the detailed description below are incorporated in and form part of the specification,
serve to further illustrate various embodiments and to explain various principles and
advantages all in accordance with the present invention.
FIG. 1 depicts, in a simplified and representative form, a communications
system suitable for controlling communications among subscribers or groups of
associated subscribers;
FIG. 2 - FIG. 5 illustrates in exemplary and tabular form various associate
identifiers, association constraints, and subscriber and group relationships for use in
the communications system of FIG. 1;
FIG. 6 depicts a block diagram of a preferred embodiment of the controller for
controlling communications in the communications system of FIG. 1;
FIG. 7 depicts a flow chart of a preferred method embodiment of controlling
communications among groups of subscribers in the communications system of FIG.
1; and
FIG. 8 depicts another flow chart of a method embodiment of controlling
communications among subscriber units in the communications system of FIG. 1.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
In overview form the present disclosure concerns systems, methods, and
equipment or apparatus that provide communications services to users of such
systems and equipment and specifically techniques for controlling communications
among subscriber units or groups of subscriber units in a communications system.
More particularly various inventive concepts and principles embodied in system
controllers and methods therein or subscriber units or devices for controlling
communications in a communications system within a group, such as a chat group
and the like as well as among subscriber units in a reasonable fashion taking into
consideration various relevant factors regarding the service provider and users thereof
all for the convenience and advantage of users or consumers and providers of services
are discussed and described. The systems, equipment, and the like rely on some form
of connectivity, thus network that may be any combination of wired and wireless
networks. Networks of particular interest may be organized on a wide area network
(WAN) or local area network (LAN) basis generally in a structured manner and
should be suitable for modest bandwidth communications. It is expected that a
preferred form of access to this network by user equipment and associated users
thereof is via a wireless protocol or extensions thereof such as may be found in
systems such as an integrated digital enhanced network, commercially known as an
iDEN™ communications system available from Motorola Inc. or more conventional
cellular networks.
As further discussed below various inventive principles and combinations
thereof are advantageously employed to control communications and selectively and
dynamically allow certain communications, thus alleviating various problems
associated with known systems that ignore problems or rely on fixed inflexible
approaches, thereby advantageously facilitating a fair and reasonable approach to
controlling communications from and among subscribers or users, provided these
principles or equivalents thereof are utilized.
The instant disclosure is provided to further explain in an enabling fashion the
best modes of making and using various embodiments in accordance with the present
invention. The disclosure is further offered to enhance an understanding and
appreciation for the inventive principles and advantages thereof, rather than to limit in
any manner the invention. The invention is defined solely by the appended claims
including any amendments made during the pendency of this application and all
equivalents of those claims as issued.
It is further understood that the use of relational terms, if any, such as first and
second, top and bottom, and the like are used solely to distinguish one from another
entity or action without necessarily requiring or implying any actual such relationship
or order between such entities or actions. Much of the inventive functionality and
many of the inventive principles are best implemented with or in software programs
and instructions. It is expected that one of ordinary skill, notwithstanding possibly
significant effort and many design choices motivated by, for example, available time,
current technology, and economic considerations, when guided by the concepts and
principles disclosed herein will be readily capable of generating such software
instructions with minimal experimentation. Therefore, in the interest of brevity and
ininimization of any risk of obscuring the principles and concepts according to the
present invention, further discussion of such software, if any, will be limited to the
essentials with respect to the principles and concepts used by the preferred
embodiments.
Referring to FIG. 1, a simplified and representative system level diagram
depicting a communications system arranged and constructed and suitable for
controlling communications among subscribers or groups of associated subscribers
will be discussed and described. The communications system shown in FIG. 1, while
indicative of or representative of a wide variety of differing systems and evolutions of
such differing systems, is operable as a dispatch communications system or system
suitable for supporting dispatch calls and services typically found in dispatch systems.
One such exemplary system is an iDEN™ communications system, available from
Motorola Corporation. However, the system may be any dispatch system such as a
QCHAT™ system, available from QUALCOMM, a GSM Pro from Ericsson, TETRA
from Nokia, or any cellular, specialized mobile radio (SMR) or enhanced specialized
mobile radio (ESMR) system that provides or desires to provide control of
communications among subscribers or groups of subscribers, such as group calls or
phone conferences over the public switched telephone network or text based chat
groups over the Internet provided the concepts and principles described herein are
adhered to as further described below in detail.
The diagram shows a system including a controller or digital application
processor (DAP) 103 and voice replicator 104 APD (Audio Packet Duplicator) that
are cross-coupled and further coupled to a database 105 and distribution network 107.
The distribution network 107 is coupled to one or more radio access networks 109,
111 that support distribution or communications with one or more subscriber units
113,115 such as wireless cellular or iDEN™ handsets or devices. The distribution
network 107 is further depicted with wire line distribution capability, via the
subscriber unit or Internet phone 117 and a subscriber unit or software based phone
on a personal computer 119 as well as IEEE 802.11 capability, via an 802.11 access
point (AP) 121 coupled in an ad hoc local area network configuration to an 802.11
subscriber unit 123. Note there may be one or more gateways and the like (not
shown) that facilitate interfaces between one or more of the r 802.11 APs 121 and the
network 107, and so on. Generally the network elements are known with the
controller responsible, for example, for scheduling communications and resources
such as radio access networks, traffic channels, and controlling access to or through
the network by the various subscriber units. The controller 103 is preferably a fault
tolerant redundant multi-processor based computer platform, such as, for example, a
Compaq Tandem computer platform on which appropriate application software
including, for example, dispatch application software all modified according to the
concepts and principles herein is integrated and executing. The APD duplicates or
replicates the audio or traffic from a transmitting or talking subscriber unit and makes
it available to each of the other subscriber units that should be involved in a
communications or call. However, as we will discuss, various modifications to
known controllers according to the principles and concepts herein discussed and
explained will be required in order to advantageously control communications as
herein contemplated.
Note that the plurality of communications or subscriber units, or devices are
exemplary only and may include a plurality of cellular handsets or such handsets with
dispatch capabilities, messenger devices, personal digital assistants (PDA), portable
computers, voice over IP phones and the like, each with voice or data
communications capabilities and each with a corresponding user (not depicted).
These subscriber units or devices and associated users thereof are coupled in various
generally known manners to the network 107 along with various other entities or
resources or units not shown. The subscriber units 115,117,119, and 123 are shown
as an associated group of subscriber devices or chat group 125. Note that many such
groups may exist and that any one subscriber may be associated with multiple groups
or chat rooms and may as well be a more or less static member of other groups for
group calls. Of course in a text-based chat room, the communications device are
normally a personal computer, laptop computer, two way messaging device, text-
enabled phone, PDA, and so forth.
Generally a group call is a call that may only be placed by a member of a
group and all other members of the group are part of the call, assuming in some
instances they respond to an invite message. The group may be defined in various
known fashions but typically will include a membership list stored at some database
either within the subscriber unit or within the infrastructure, such as the database 105.
Generally the group call, while it could be a full duplex call, is better implemented as
a dispatch call in a half duplex manner wherein one user or subscriber unit is able to
(transmit) at any one time with all other units listening (receiving) at that instant in
time. This dispatch group call is usually set up and managed via the controller 103.
A user that wants to talk sends in a request to talk on a control channel. The
controller at the proper time issues or grants a right to talk via the control channel.
Usually the proper time includes a time after a current talker has released the channel
via discontinuing a transmission. Typically the request to talk is initiated via
activation of a push to talk (PTT) button by the user at one of the subscriber units, a
grant or notification of a right to talk will include an audible signal at the user's unit
or device and the unit will thereafter be allowed to begin a transmission. A release of
the PTT button will release the traffic channel. The half duplex mode provides
certain advantages such as the same channel at radio access network 109 can be used
for multiple subscriber units at that location.
A chat room or chat type of call to an associated group is different in that, a
subscriber unit must first join the chat room or call and once joined will receive all
transmissions from other subscriber units that have also joined and will ordinarily be
allowed to transmit to all units that have likewise joined. In the end this amounts to
the controller selectively allowing or enabling communications from and to a
subscriber unit, respectively, to and from any other subscriber units that have joined
the chat room or call. The chat call or chat room is often handled in a half duplex
mode as explained above, provided the system is dispatch equipped or capable of
supporting half duplex, but can be handled as a full duplex call. A subscriber unit
joins the chat room or chat call by indicating a desire to do so by, for example,
selecting a chat room name and sending a corresponding request. If the chat room is
an open or public chat room the controller will hence forth route communications
traffic, voice and data, to and from the subscriber unit making the request to the other
subscriber units that have joined the chat room. Historically, non-public chat calls or
chat rooms have additionally required a subscriber unit via a user to enter and supply
a password or access code that the controller can compare to an access code for the
chat room and if a match is found the unit is allowed access or allowed to
communicate. Another approach is the maintenance of a list of units allowed to join
(white list) or list of units not allowed (black list). For large chat rooms with many
potential subscriber units the issuing and informing of proper users of the correct
access codes or maintenance of the lists is a major burden for a service provider or
group or chat room administrator. The concepts and principles disclosed herein may
be advantageously applied to reduce or eliminate these burdens.
Referring to FIG. 2 - FIG. 5, various illustrations, in exemplary and tabular
form, of associate identifiers, association constraints, subscriber and group
relationships for use in the FIG. 1 system will be discussed and described. FIG. 2
shows a novel entity, referred to as an associate identifier (ID) 203 with four such IDs
listed, namely 1001,1002,1003, and 1004. These are dimensionless identities that
may be stored with or at particular subscriber devices but, preferably, are retained or
stored at a database, such as database 105 along with other system and subscriber
information. These associate IDs may include other information, such as a
descriptive name or ID name 205 as depicted. FIG. 3 shows a listing of subscriber
unit identifiers 303, namely A - J, together with, respective, association constraints
305. For example the subscriber unit designated D has an association constraint
defined as associate IDs 1001,1002 and subscriber unit F has a corresponding
association constraint comprising associate IDs 1001, and 1003. For example,
subscriber unit D may be utilized by a company employee (1001) that is or is
identified as a designer (1002), while subscriber unit F may correspond to an
employee (1001) that is identified as an architect (1003).
Note that subscriber unit J does not have any listed associate IDs. Depending
on conventions adopted this could be indicative, as it seems to suggest, of no
association constraints, e.g. sort of a wild card associate ID, allowing the unit to
participate in any controlled communications, such as might be the case for the chief
executive officer or the like for an organization. More likely, given the
administrative practicalities, it signifies no associate IDs and thus no participation
allowed. For example, perhaps a subscriber unit corresponding to a contract
employee of the company that is not allowed to participate in either group or chat
calls where communications is controlled although, the unit would presumably have
access to public chat calls or rooms. In any event and although not shown it is likely
that certain blanket association constraints would be identified or defined, such as
9999 for a wild card, etc.
FIG. 4 illustrates in tabular and exemplary form a listing of groups or chat
rooms 403 together with corresponding association constraints 405 and a descriptive
title or theme 407 for the group or chat room. For example, chat room X has an
association constraint comprised of associate IDs 1002,1004 and concerns design
processes while chat room or group Z has an association constraint comprised of
associate ID 1001 and concerns the company rumor mill. Note that certain
subscribers have an association constraint that matches vis-a-vis one or more
associate IDs the association constraint, specifically associate IDs corresponding to a
group or chat room. This observation will be used advantageously to control
communications among the various subscriber units or associated groups thereof as
will explain in further detail below.
FIG. 5 illustrates another listing of Group ID/group name 503, specifically
100/Service group Y together with a membership list 505 comprising members SP1,
SP2, and SP3 as well as an association constraint corresponding to the group, namely
2001. This will be shown to facilitate a communications exchange with the group
100 by a subscriber unit that is not a member of the group.
Referring to FIG. 6, a block diagram of a preferred embodiment of the
controller 103 for controlling communications with a group of associated subscriber
units or among subscriber units in the communications system of FIG. 1 will be
discussed and described. The controller 103, as noted above, is for use in a
communications system including specifically a dispatch communications system or
system with dispatch-like capabilities and is arranged and constructed for controlling
communications under various circumstances in the communications system. The
controller includes, coupled to and from the network 107, a transceiver 603
comprising a receiver and transmitter that is further inter coupled to a processor 605.
The transceiver 603 is preferably a wire line transceiver such as an Ethernet
transceiver suitable for packet data communications as well as an audio transceiver.
The processor 605 is inter coupled to an operator input output 607, such as a
conventional computer monitor and keyboard. The processor includes a conventional
reasonably high capacity fault tolerant microprocessor based unit 609 with one or
more microprocessors.
The processor 605 further includes a memory 611 that includes various
software routines and instructions and data that when executed by the processor based
unit 609 results in the controller controlling and managing the communications
system and implementing a method, discussed further below, of controlling
communications as appropriate in a group or chat call or in one on one
communications between subscriber units. The memory includes various known
RAM, ROM, EPROM, and magnetic memory elements such as hard drives and the
like and may include the database 105 and in any event at least has access to the
database via the processor, etc. The software routines within the memory include an
operating system 613, various operating variables, parameters, and date 615,
scheduling routines 617, a comparator routine 619, a decision function or routine 621,
as well as various other software routines and information 623 not here relevant but
obvious to one of ordinary skill.
In operation the controller 103, specifically processor 605, cooperatively with
the transceiver 603 or receiver, operates to control communications with or among a
group of associated subscriber units. The receiver (part of the transceiver 603) is
operable to receive a request for a subscriber unit to communicate with the group of
associated subscriber units. This request may come from another subscriber unit and
result more or less in an invite to the subscriber unit for such communication,
however it is likely to come from the subscriber unit, such as subscriber unit 115,
119, etc. In any event the processor 605 that is inter coupled to the receiver is further
operable: as a comparator, by virtue of the comparator routine etc., to provide a
comparison of a first association constraint corresponding to the subscriber unit (see
FIG. 3) and a second association constraint corresponding to the group (see FIG. 4);
and as a decision function, by virtue of routine 621, that allows, only when the
comparison of the first association constraint and the second association constraint is
favorable, communications between the subscriber unit and any other subscribers of
the group of associated subscribers that also have such communications allowed.
As noted when FIG. 3 and FIG. 4 were discussed one of the first association
constraint or the second association constraint may include, respectively, a plurality
of first associate identifiers (IDs) and second associate IDs in which case the
comparator will provide the comparison that is favorable or a favorable comparison
when any one of the plurality of first associate IDs matches any one of the second
associate IDs. Thus the decision function allows the communications when any one
of the first associate IDs matches any one of the second associate IDs. By way of
example referring to FIG 3 and FIG. 4, suppose subscriber A requests to
communicate with the group of associated subscribers, known as group or chat room
X. The first association constraint corresponding to subscriber A is the plurality of
associate IDs, 1001,1002 and the association constraint corresponding to chat room
X is the associate IDs 1002,1004. Since both association constraints include the
same associate ID, 1002, the communications would be allowed and subscriber A
could now communicate with any subscriber that has also been allowed to and has
joined group X.
In order to compare the respective association constraints, these constraints
must be obtained. One may obtain the first association constraint from the subscriber
unit by, for example, the receiver further receiving the first association constraint
from the subscriber unit. This may occur together with receiving the request to
communicate, for example, from the first subscriber unit or as a result of a query to
the first subscriber unit if the request to communicate has been forwarded from
another subscriber unit. Preferably, however the association constraint is stored in a
database that includes information for the subscriber unit including the first
association constraint and that includes information for the group of associated
subscriber units including the second association constraint. The database may be
stored in the memory of the controller 103 or a memory associated with the controller
such as the database 105 or another database that may be co-located or otherwise with
respect to the controller 103. Such information is likely to be permanently stored for
each subscriber unit in a home database often referred to as a home location register
and this database is likely maintained by the respective subscriber unit's service
provider, which may or may not correspond to the controller 103. In summary, the
various association constraints may be stored in a plurality of databases in a plurality
of locations. In any event the association constraints is obtained and stored in the
memory 611 in order for the comparison to be made. As noted above, dependent on
system conventions, the first association constraint may include a wild card identifier
that operates to enable communications between the subscriber unit and any group of
associated subscriber units.
Also it should be noted that association constraints and associate IDs can be
used in conjunction with access codes or lists of allowed and disallowed subscriber
units. In that event the receiver is further operable to receive an access code and the
decision function further enables the communications only when a code comparison
between the access code and a group access code is favorable, e.g. matches. The
request to communicate received by the receiver may be a request to join an ongoing
communications, such as chat room, among the many other subscribers of the group
of associated subscribers that also have such communications allowed.
The controller 103 operating as above noted may also be used to allow
communications from a non member subscriber with a group such as discussed with
reference to FIG. 5 above. In that case the group of associated subscribers would
have a group identifier (ID) such as 100, each of the associated subscriber units, such
as SP1, SP2, and SP3 would be a member of the group, the subscriber unit requesting
the communications would not be a member of the group, the second association
constraint, for example 2001 would corresponds to the group ID, and all of the
members of the group have the communications allowed for communications within
the group and thus from the non member subscriber unit provided association
constraints favorably compare. In this instance the decision function allows the
subscriber unit that is not a member of the group to communicate with the group
when the first association constraint compares favorably to the second association
constraint, 2001. E.g. if the association constraint for the subscriber unit includes an
associate ID equal to 2001 it will be allowed to communicate, thus allowing a non
member of the group to communicate with the group. The communication with the
group may be limited, such as, having the decision function limit the communications
with the group to communications from the subscriber unit to the group or wherein
the decision function allows the communications with the group including
communications from a member of the group to the subscriber unit as well as other
members of the group.
In another important aspect the controller 103 operates in a communications
system for controlling communications among subscriber units. The receiver, part of
transceiver 603, is operable to receive, from a first subscriber unit, a request for one
on one communication with a second subscriber unit; and the processor 605 is
operable as: a comparator to provide a comparison of a first association constraint
corresponding to the first subscriber unit and a second association constraint
corresponding to the second subscriber unit The processor 605 is further operable as
a decision function that allows, only when the first association constraint compares
favorably to the second association constraint, one on one communication between
the first subscriber unit and the second subscriber unit.
The first association constraint and the second association constraint each
define, respectively, arbitrary associations between the first subscriber unit and first
other subscriber units and between the second subscriber unit and second other
subscriber units. Note that this arbitrary association defined by the association
constraints as herein contemplated is distinct from known Fleet Identifiers or system
identifiers, for example, where there was nothing arbitrary about the fleet or system
identities. If a subscriber unit was purchased by or as part of a fleet or if a subscriber
unit was using a system as the home system, the fleet ID or system ID associated with
the subscriber unit was predetermined and inflexible. In contrast the association
constraints define associations amongst small groups of subscriber units and these
constraints are readily updated or changed as circumstances for a particular unit
change.
In any event, as above either the first association constraint or the second
association constraint may include, respectively, a plurality of first associate IDs and
second associate IDs and the comparator may provide a favorable comparison when
any one of the plurality of first associate IDs matches any one of the second associate
IDs. The receiver that is operable to receive the request from the first subscriber unit
may further receive the first association constraint from the first subscriber unit.
Alternatively and preferably the controller further includes or has access to a memory
for storing a database that includes information for the first subscriber unit and the
second subscriber unit, the information including, respectively, the first association
constraint and the second association constraint. Even when there is a favorable
comparison the decision function may be arranged to allow only limited
communications. For example, the decision function may only allow the first
subscriber unit to initiate communications with the second subscriber unit when a
comparison of the first association constraint with the second association constraint is
favorable while the first subscriber unit is allowed to be the recipient of
communications regardless of a comparison result between any association constraint
and the first association constraint. Or the decision function may only allow the
second subscriber unit to be the recipient of a communications when an other
comparison of another association constraint with the second association constraint is
favorable while the second subscriber unit can originate communications regardless
of the other comparison.
Referring to FIG. 7, a flow chart of a preferred method embodiment of
controlling communications, by a controller such as controller 103, among groups of
subscribers in the communications system of FIG. 1 will be discussed and described.
Note that this method is similar to the method practiced by the controller as discussed
above and thus this discussion will be at an overview level. FIG. 7 depicts a method
700 of controlling communications with a group of associated subscriber units in a
communications system. The method begins at 703 with receiving a request for a
subscriber unit, possibly from the subscriber unit, to communicate with the group of
associated subscriber units. The request may comprise a request to join an ongoing
communications such as a chat room or as may be encountered in a chat room or a
dispatch group or the like. At 705 the method shows obtaining the first association
constraint either from the subscriber unit and the request or, preferably, from a
database 105 within the infrastructure such as the controller 103 or database 105 that
includes information for the subscriber unit. At 707 the method shows obtaining the
second association constraint from a database that includes information for the group
of associated subscriber units. In each case obtaining the first association constraint
and obtaining the second association constraint may further include, respectively,
obtaining a plurality of first associate identifiers (IDs) and second associate IDs.
In any event 709 depicts comparing the first association constraint
corresponding to the subscriber unit to the second association constraint
corresponding to the group. If the comparison is not favorable, at 711 the request for
communication is not allowed unless the subscriber unit's association constraint is a
wild card ID or the group is a public group e.g. one without these limitations on
association. If the comparison is favorable, optional process 713 shows comparing an
access code preferably received together with the request to a group access code. If
the comparison is not favorable, the request is disallowed at optional process 715. If
the comparison is favorable process 717 shows enabling, only when the first
association constraint compares favorably to the second association constraint,
communications between the subscriber unit and any other subscribers of the group of
associated subscribers that also have such communications enabled. A favorable
comparison results when any one of the plurality of first associate IDs matches any
one of the second associate IDs or when a wild card ID is found.
The method 700 may be used to allow a novel communication between a non-
member subscriber unit and a dispatch group of subscriber units. To do so requires:
the group have a group identifier (ID); each of the associated subscriber units be a
member of the group; the subscriber unit corresponding to the request not be a
member (i.e. non-member) of the group; the second association constraint
corresponds to the group ID; and all of the members of the group have
communications enabled among the group which by definition is the case for a
dispatch group. Under these circumstances, the subscriber unit that is not a member
of the group may be allowed to communicate with the group when the first
association constraint corresponding to the subscriber unit compares favorably to the
second association constraint corresponding to the group ED. The communication
with the group may be limited to communications from the subscriber unit to the
group or the communications with the group may include communications from a
member of the group to the subscriber unit and other members of the group.
Referring to FIG. 8, another flow chart of a method 800 embodiment of
controlling communications among subscriber units in the FIG. 1 system will be
discussed and reviewed. The method 800 begins at 803 with receiving, from a first
subscriber unit, a request for one on one communication with a second subscriber
unit. Then, 805 shows obtaining association constraints that correspond to the first
and second subscriber units. The first association constraint may be received with the
request from the first subscriber unit. Preferably as has been discussed, the first
association constraint and the second association constraint are obtained from a
database that includes information for the first subscriber unit and the second
subscriber unit. Note that either the first association constraint or the second
association constraint may include, respectively, a plurality of first associate
identifiers (IDs) and second associate IDs. Here and as earlier discussed the first
association constraint and the second association constraint, respectively, define
arbitrary associations between the first subscriber unit and first other subscriber units
and between the second subscriber unit and second other subscriber units.
At 807, the method shows comparing the first association constraint
corresponding to the first subscriber unit to the second association constraint
corresponding to the second subscriber unit. A favorable comparison results when
any one of the plurality of first associate IDs matches any one of the second associate
IDs. If the comparison is unfavorable, 809 shows disallowing the requested
communications. If the comparison is favorable, 811 indicates allowing or enabling,
only when the first association constraint compares favorably to the second
association constraint, one on one communication between the first subscriber unit
and the second subscriber unit. The extent of the communications may be further
constrained or limited. For example, the first subscriber unit may be only allowed to
initiate communications with the second subscriber unit when a comparison of the
first association constraint and the second association constraint is favorable, while
the first subscriber unit may be the recipient of communications regardless of a
comparison result between any association constraint and the first association
constraint. Or, by way of another example, the second subscriber unit may only be
the recipient of a communications when a comparison of another association
constraint with the second association constraint is favorable while the second
subscriber unit may be able to originate communications regardless of the
comparison.
The apparatus, processes, and systems described and discussed above and the
inventive principles thereof are intended to and will alleviate problems caused by
prior art communications control techniques that used relatively fixed inflexible
approaches such as access codes or list of allowed or disallowed subscriber units
ignoring all else to the disadvantage and dismay of users of the systems. Using the
above discussed principles and concepts of controlling communications among chat
groups or dispatch groups only under appropriate circumstances will facilitate
services and calls that are effective, efficient and friendly thus contributing to user
satisfaction and lowering time wasted by large groups of people with inappropriate
participants. It is expected that one of ordinary skill given the above described
principles, concepts and examples will be able to implement other alternative
procedures that are situation dependent and that will also offer additional quick and
efficient communications control procedures. It is anticipated that the claims below
cover many such other examples, such as telephony conferences and text-based chat
groups.
This disclosure is intended to explain how to fashion and use various
embodiments in accordance with the invention rather than to limit the true, intended,
and fair scope and spirit thereof. The foregoing description is not intended to be
exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed. Modifications or
variations are possible in light of the above teachings. The embodiment(s) was chosen
and described to provide the best illustration of the principles of the invention and its
practical application, and to enable one of ordinary skill in the art to utilize the
invention in various embodiments and with various modifications as are suited to the
particular use contemplated. All such modifications and variations are within the
scope of the invention as determined by the appended claims, as may be amended
during the pendency of this application for patent, and all equivalents thereof, when
interpreted in accordance with the breadth to which they are fairly, legally, and
equitably entitled.
WE CLAIM :
1. A method of controlling communications with a group of associated subscriber
units in a communications system, the method comprising:
receiving a request for a subscriber unit that is not one of the group of
associated subscriber units to communicate with the group of associated subscriber
units;
obtaining a second constraint corresponding to the group from a database that
includes information for the group of associated subscriber units;
comparing a first association constraint corresponding to the subscriber unit to
the second association constraint corresponding to the group; and
enabling, only when the first association constraint compares favorably to the
second association constraint, communications between the subscriber unit and any
other subscriber unit of the group of associated subscriber units that also have such
communications enabled.
2. The method as claimed in claim 1, wherein:
the group has a group identifier (ID), each of the associated subscriber units is
a member of the group and the subscriber unit is not a member of the group, the
second association constraint corresponds to the group ID, and all of the members of
the group have the communications enabled; and
the subscriber unit that is not a member of the group is allowed to
communicate with the group when the first association constraint compares favorably
to the second association constraint.
3. The method as claimed in claim 1 wherein the first association constraint and
the second association constraint further comprises, respectively, one or more first
associate identifiers (IDs) and second associate IDs and a favorable comparison
results when any one of the plurality of first associate IDs matches any one of the
second associate IDs.

4. The method as claimed in claim 1 wherein the first association constraint
comprises a wild card identifier that operates to enable communications between the
subscriber unit and any group of associated subscriber units, and wherein enabling
the communications occurs in response to the first association constraint comprising
the wild card identifier.
5. A controller in a communications system for controlling communications with a
group of associated subscriber units, the controller comprising:
a receiver operable to receive a request for a subscriber unit that is not one of
the group of associated subscriber units to communicate with the group of associated
subscriber units;
a database for storing group information, including a second association
constraint corresponding to the group of the associated subscriber units and
a processor inter coupled to the receiver and the database and operable as:
a comparator to provide a comparison of a first association constraint
corresponding to the subscriber unit and the second association constraint
corresponding to the group; and
a decision function that allows, only when the comparison of the first
association constraint and the second association constraint is favorable,
communications between the subscriber unit and any other subscriber unit of the
group of associated subscriber units that also have such communications allowed.
6. The controller as claimed in claim 5, wherein:
the database stores the group information which includes a group identifier
(ID), identification of each of the associated subscriber units and indication that each
of the associated subscriber units is a member of the group, wherein the second
association constraint corresponds to the group ID, and wherein all of the members of
the group have the communications allowed; and

the decision function allows the subscriber unit that is not a member of the
group to communicate with the group when the first association constraint compares
favorably to the second association constraint.
7. The controller as claimed in claim 5 wherein the first association constraint and
the second association constraint further comprises, respectively, one or more first
associate identifiers (IDs) and second associate IDs and the comparator provides the
comparison that is favorable when any one of the plurality of first associate IDs
matches any one of the second associate IDs.
8. The controller as claimed in claim 5 wherein the first association constraint
comprises a wild card identifier that operates to enable communications between the
subscriber unit and any group of associated subscriber units, and wherein the
comparator provides the comparison that is favorable for any second association
constraint in response to the first association constraint comprising the wild card
identifier.
— x —
A controller in a communications system for controlling communications with a
group 125 of associated subscriber units and method thereof are disclosed. The
controller comprises a receiver operable to receive a request for a subscriber unit to
communicate with the group of associated subscriber units (703); and a processor
coupled to the receiver and operable as a comparator 619 to provide a comparison of
a first association constraint corresponding to the subscriber unit and a second
association constraint corresponding to the group (709); and a decision function 621
that allows, only when the comparison is favorable, communications between the
subscriber unit and any other subscribers of the group of associated subscribers that
also have such communications allowed or enabled (717).

Documents:

839-kolnp-2005-abstract.pdf

839-kolnp-2005-assignment.pdf

839-kolnp-2005-claims.pdf

839-kolnp-2005-correspondence.pdf

839-kolnp-2005-description (complete).pdf

839-kolnp-2005-drawings.pdf

839-kolnp-2005-examination report.pdf

839-kolnp-2005-form 1.pdf

839-kolnp-2005-form 18.pdf

839-kolnp-2005-form 3.pdf

839-kolnp-2005-form 5.pdf

839-kolnp-2005-pa.pdf

839-kolnp-2005-reply to examination report.pdf

839-kolnp-2005-specification.pdf


Patent Number 236198
Indian Patent Application Number 839/KOLNP/2005
PG Journal Number 41/2009
Publication Date 09-Oct-2009
Grant Date 07-Oct-2009
Date of Filing 09-May-2005
Name of Patentee MOTOROLA, INC.
Applicant Address 1303 EAST ALGONQUIN ROAD, SCHAUMBURG, IL
Inventors:
# Inventor's Name Inventor's Address
1 ELLIS, JOHN T. 9627 S. 50TH COURT, OAK LAWN, IL 60453
2 KRAKORA, JAMES, P 1446 W. KEY HARBOR DRIVE, GILBERT, AZ 85233
3 DORENBOSCH, JHEROEN P. 594 CR 3585, PARADISE, TEXAS 76073
PCT International Classification Number G06F 15/16
PCT International Application Number PCT/US2003/036294
PCT International Filing date 2003-11-13
PCT Conventions:
# PCT Application Number Date of Convention Priority Country
1 10/294,128 2002-11-14 U.S.A.