Moen Technologies's Patent

U.S. Patent No. 5,438,615 “Method of providing message service for pinless limited access telecommunications” was issued January 26, 1999 and has a priority date of May 20, 1994. The invention covered by this patent provides a limited access massage service to a plurality of end-users and uses existing telecommunication lines with a switching network and a computerized central switching station to establish a billing system for sponsors and to form an account for each sponsor purchasing subsequent usage relating to at least one third party telephone number, the usage being based on a predetermined bulk rate for consumption of user time over a preset time period. It also includes distributing a user unit to each of a plurality of end users for calling the at least one third party telephone number. Each end-user is given the third party telephone number, and must provide to the system at least one unique identification number. In connection with the billing system, the computerized central switching station is programmed to permit a call of a preset message limit to be made by each end user to the third party phone number provided, based on the distributed user unit, accessed only by the end user providing to the computerized central switching station a unique identification number. In response to an end user calling the third party telephone number, a predetermined message is provided with a preset limit, the call is terminated and an appropriate time amount is charged to the account of the sponsor. The messages record of each consumed user unit is captured by the system and may be used by the sponsor for database marketing. Click here for a .pdf of the patent.

U.S. Patent No. 5,592,537 “Method of providing message service for limited access telecommunications” was issued on January 7, 1997 and has a priority date of May 20, 1994. The invention covered by the patent is a method of operating a telecommunication system for providing a limited access message service to a plurality of end users. Existing telecommunication lines with a telecommunication switching network and a computerized central switching station are used to establish a billing system for sponsors and to form an account for each sponsor purchasing subsequent usage relating to one third party telephone number, the usage being based on a predetermined bulk rate for consumption of user time over a preset time period. It also includes distributing a user unit to each of a plurality of end users for calling the one third party telephone number. Each end-user is given the third party telephone number, and at least one unique personal identification number. In connection with the billing system, the computerized central switching station is programmed to permit a call of a preset message limit to be made by each end user to the third party phone number provided, based on the distributed user unit, accessed only by the unique personal identification number provided. In response to an end user calling the third party telephone number, a predetermined message is provided in accordance with a preset limit, and the call is terminated and an appropriate time amount is charged to the account of the sponsor. The message record of each consumed user unit is captured by the system and may be used by the sponsor for data base marketing. Click here for a .pdf of the patent.

U.S. Patent No. 5,864,604 “Method of providing message service for limited access telecommunications” was issued January 26, 1999 and has a priority date of May 20, 1994. The invention covered by the patent is directed to a method of operating a telecommunications system for providing a message service to a plurality of end users. Existing telecommunications lines in conjunction with a telecommunications network system such as the Internet, Intranet, Extranet or similar environment is utilized. A computerized system can be used to establish a billing system for sponsors and to form an account for each sponsor purchasing subsequent usage relating to a site address. The method also includes distributing a user unit to each of a plurality of end users for accessing the site address. Each user unit is given the site address, and at least one unique personal identification number. In connection with said billing system, the computerized system is programmed to permit a call of a preset message limit to be made by each end user to the site address provided. This is based on the distributed user unit and accessed only by the unique personal identification number provided to the end user. In response to an end user accessing the site address, a predetermined message is provided in accordance with the preset message limit. The messages record of each consumed user unit is captured by the computerized system and can be used by the sponsor for database marketing. The session is terminated and an appropriate amount is charged to the account of the sponsor. Click here for a .pdf of the patent.