The duo was awarded patent 9306887 B1 on April 5 by the U.S. Patent Office for “systems and methods for implementing email delivery” and received the physical patent on Thursday. Brunetti unveiled the patent via his Instagram account.
“The invention relates to systems and methods for managing emails where an email server that may comprise one or more computer systems, and which may be part of an email system, receives an email addressed to a specified first user,” the abstract reads. “The email server may analyze the received email and access one or more electronic databases, which may comprise information related to one or more respective registered users of the email system. The databases may be stored on one or more computer-readable storage media operatively connected to the email server.”
Brunetti told Variety that the patent is aimed at providing a way for screening and managing non-authorized emails.
“It is like having a digital doorman at a velvet rope,” he said. “It allows in only the ones it knows or whoever is on the list and sends the others away with a message telling them they’re not approved. If they’ve been given a PIN or other access they can approve themselves. If they’ve been emailed by the user they’re pre-approved so their replies can get through and they won’t know the difference, but anyone can always be unapproved at any time.”
Brunetti said the idea emerged for several reasons — the first being Spacey’s frustration of having to change his email all the time when someone would forget to bcc a group of people and suddenly everyone on that list would have his email.
“With this system he could put his email address on the side of a building and still get emails only from people he wanted,” Brunetti added. “I also have my own frustration of people I don’t know easily contacting me at any time. Everyone has their phones attached to them now and I feel it is intrusive for anyone to be able to get a message freely to anyone at any time as long as they have their address.”
Brunetti also believes there are plenty of business applications covered by the patent.
“Just for this business alone it could help agents, attorneys, managers, etc. to stop getting unsolicited submissions or other unwanted contact from people like stalkers of client,” he explained. “Venture capitalists could use this as they get inundated with proposals seeking funding, and frankly everyone gets some sort of email contact that they don’t want that this would prevent. It could be as simple as contact from an ex or crazy neighbor, but the biggest thing this eliminates is spam.”
It’s the first patent for Spacey and for Brunetti.
After Spacey won acting Oscars for “The Usual Suspect” and “American Beauty,” he brought on Brunetti at Trigger Street Productions. It’s been a production company on “The Social Network,” “Captain Phillips,” “Fifty Shades of Grey” and the Netflix series “House of Cards,” in which Spacey stars as the President of the United States.
Brunetti and Spacey also agreed earlier this year for Trigger Street to be acquired by Relativity Media with Brunetti becoming production president. Spacey opted out of being chairman in March.