- Xerox has been awarded a patent by the US patent office for a document changes tracker
- The Blockchain-based software allows changes to digital documents to be tracked and stored
- The software has potential use in law enforcement and finance
Xerox has scored a new win as they have secured a patent for a blockchain-based system that tracks changes made to electronic documents, as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) dated the 13th of November. This patent, while approved this month, is over a year in the making as the patent was first filed in August 2017.
Transparency in editing
Digital documents are adjusted and saved all the time for various reasons. However, the changes made are usually known only to the person who made them and whoever they choose to inform. All these changes with this new technology that will tell when a digital document has been changed.
It will also provide a historical record of what changes have been made to documents. Because this is a blockchain-based software, this record cannot be destroyed or removed. The software will also make use of Blockchain nodes that will approve or deny the changes to be made to the document.
Technology like this will greatly aid in keeping track of the changes made to documents and will also help prevent document forgery and tampering and could be used in a large number of organizations in various sectors.
In the patent, Xerox mentions a number of industries that could benefit from the technology such as the medical industry and the financial sector.
One very interesting potential application is in the law enforcement sector for the recording of evidence in criminal cases. Evidence tampering is a very hard-hitting issue and a controversial one. The success of technology such as this could very well mitigate this problem globally.
The patent arms race
The number of large firms that are applying for Blockchain related patents has spiked significantly in the last few years, with IBM holding almost 100 of them in total.
This goes to show the growing confidence in the potential of Blockchain and the possible profits to be gained from it.