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U.S. Patent 5,826,241 - Abstract:

A method and apparatus for transferring state information between a server computer system and a client computer system. In one embodiment of the method, an http client requests a file, such as an HTML document, on an http server, and the http server transmits the file to the http client. In addition, the http server transmits a state object, which describes certain state information, to the http client. The http client stores the state object, and will typically send the state object back to the http server when making later requests for files on the http server. In a typical embodiment, the state object includes a domain attribute which specifies a domain or network address, and the state object is transmitted from the http client to a server only when the http client makes an http request to the server and the server is within the domain. In one embodiment, the apparatus includes a processor and memory and a computer readable medium which stores program instructions. In the case of the client system, the instructions specify operations such as receiving and storing the state information; in the case of the server system, the instructions specify operations such as sending the state information to a client system.