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Verizon Patent No: 6,104,711 [1] Filing date: Mar 6, 1997

Abstract An enhanced name translation server, for use on a packet data network such as the Internet, executes a conditional analysis in response to at least some queries or requests for name translations. For example, the server may return a different destination address at different times or in response to translation requests from different terminals. The server also can query a primary destination terminal device, and condition the response to the calling terminal on the status of the primary terminal. For example, if the primary terminal is `live` the server forwards the address of that terminal to the calling terminal device to set up communications. Otherwise, the server returns alternate destination address information. The server also supports a wide variety of different types of translations, including domain name to address, domain name to telephone number, and telephone number to address.

What is claimed is: 1. A server, comprising:

an interface for coupling the server to a system of interlinked packet data networks using packet addresses defined in a first protocol; a central processing unit coupled to the interface; a data storage system accessible by the central processing unit; and software running on the central processing unit for processing a query for translation of a name specified in a second protocol received via the interface to generate a reply message for transmission via the interface, wherein: the software controls the central processing unit to include an address conforming to the first protocol and relating to a first destination in the reply message if parameters relating to the query satisfy a first criteria defined in a routing control record stored in the data storage system, and the software controls the central processing unit to include information relating to a second destination in the reply message if parameters relating to the query satisfy a second criteria defined in the routing control record. 2. A server as in claim 1, wherein the first and second criteria relate to time windows.

3. A server as in claim 1, wherein the first and second criteria relate to status of a predetermined destination terminal device.

4. A server as in claim 1, wherein the data storage system stores at least one translation table and a plurality of conditional analysis routing control records.

5. A server as in claim 1, wherein the wherein the information relating to the second destination comprises an address of the second destination conforming to the first protocol.

6. A server as in claim 1, wherein the wherein the information relating to the second destination comprises a telephone number.

7. A domain name server, comprising:

an interface for coupling the domain name server to a system of interlinked networks using Internet Protocol (IP) addresses; a central processing unit coupled to the interface; a data storage system accessible by the central processing unit; and software running on the central processing unit for processing a translation query received via the interface to generate a reply message for transmission via the interface, wherein: the software controls the central processing unit to include an IP address used to communicate with a first destination in the reply message if parameters relating to the query satisfy a first criteria defined in a routing control record stored in the data storage system, and the software controls the central processing unit to include routing information relating to a second destination in the reply message if parameters relating to the query satisfy a second criteria defined in the routing control record. 8. A domain name server as in claim 7, wherein the first and second criteria relate to time windows.

9. A domain name server as in claim 7, wherein the first and second criteria relate to status of a predetermined destination terminal device.

10. A domain name server as in claim 7, wherein the data storage system stores at least one translation table and a plurality of conditional analysis routing control records.

11. A server, comprising:

an interface for coupling the server to a system of interlinked packet data networks using packet addresses defined in a first protocol; a central processing unit coupled to the interface; a data storage system accessible by the central processing unit; and software running on the central processing unit, causing the server to respond to a query for translation of a name specified in a second protocol received via the interface by transmitting a status query via the interface to a destination terminal device associated with the name, wherein the software controls the central processing unit to include an address of the destination terminal device conforming to the first protocol in a reply to the query for translation only if the server receives a predetermined reply to the status query from the destination terminal. 12. A server as in claim 11, wherein the data storage system stores at least one translation table and a plurality of conditional analysis routing control records.

13. A domain name server, comprising:

an interface for coupling the domain name server to a system of interlinked networks using the Internet Protocol (IP) addresses; a central processing unit coupled to the interface; a data storage system accessible by the central processing unit; and software running on the central processing unit, causing the domain name server to respond to a query for translation of a name specified in a second protocol received via the interface by transmitting a status query via the interface to a destination terminal device associated with the name, wherein the software controls the central processing unit to include an IP address of the destination terminal device in a reply to the query for translation only if the central processing unit receives a predetermined reply to the status query from the destination terminal. 14. A domain name server as in claim 13, wherein the data storage system stores at least one translation table and a plurality of conditional analysis routing control records.

15. A method comprising:

receiving a name translation request at a server coupled to a public packet data network; executing a conditional analysis in response to the name translation request; if the conditional analysis produces a first result, translating a name included in the name translation request into a first destination address; if the conditional analysis produces a second result, translating the name included in the name translation request into a second destination address; and transmitting a response message containing the first or the second destination address to a calling device for use in establishing communication at least partially through the public packet data network. 16. A method as in claim 15, wherein the name is a textual domain name comprising a plurality of words.

17. A method as in claim 15, wherein the name comprises a telephone number.

18. A method as in claim 15, wherein one of the first and second destination addresses relates to a numeric Internet Protocol address.

19. A method as in claim 15, wherein one of the first and second destination addresses relates to call routing via the public switched telephone network.

20. A method as in claim 15; wherein:

the first and second destination address includes a numeric Internet Protocol address; and the second destination address further includes information relating to call routing via a public switched telephone network.

21. A method as in claim 15, wherein the calling device is a terminal device.

22. A method as in claim 21; wherein the terminal device is a computer having two-way audio communication capabilities.

23. A method as in claim 15, wherein the calling device is a telephone gateway coupled between the public packet data network and a switched telephone network.

24. A method comprising:

receiving a name translation request at a server coupled to a public packet data network; transmitting a status query from the server through the public packet data network to a terminal device associated with a name included in the name translation request; and if the terminal device provides a predetermined answer to the status query, formulating and transmitting a reply to the name translation request, said reply containing address information associated with the terminal device. 25. A method as in claim 24, wherein the address information comprises a telephone number.

26. A method as in claim 24, wherein the address information comprises an address of the public packet data network.

27. A method as in claim 26, wherein the address of the public packet data network comprises an Internet Protocol (IP) address.

28. A method as in claim 24, wherein the name included in the name translation request comprises a textual domain name.

29. A method as in claim 24, further comprising the step of formulating and transmitting a reply containing address information associated with an alternate destination, if the terminal device does not provide the predetermined answer to the status query.

30. A method as in claim 29, wherein the address information associated with an alternate destination comprises a telephone number.

31. A method as in claim 29, wherein the address information associated with an alternate destination comprises an address of the public packet data network.

32. A method as in claim 31, wherein the address of the public packet data network comprises an Internet Protocol (IP) address.

33. A method comprising:

receiving a name translation request at a server coupled to a public packet data network; translating a name included in the request into destination address information if the server receives the request within a predetermined time window; transmitting a reply containing the destination address information to a calling device; and translating the name included in the request into alternate destination address information, if the server receives the request within another predetermined time window. 34. A method as in claim 33, wherein the alternate destination address information comprises a telephone number.

35. A method as in claim 33, wherein the alternate destination address information comprises an address of the public packet data network.

36. A method as in claim 35, wherein the address of the the public data network comprises an Internet Protocol (IP) address.

37. A method as in claim 33, wherein the name included in the request comprises a textual domain name.

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