Xerox has filed a pair of patent applications with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a method that utilizes Blockchain technology to securely revise electronic documents. Based on the new records issued by the USPTO as of mid-2017, the company filed the applications in February 2016.
The documents also showed that the concepts filed by Xerox propose a network of nodes that can create and update documentary records. All the nodes in the network can share their data using Blockchain technology.
One part of the patent applications reads:
"In one embodiment, the auditing system uses an encryption process, such as public key cryptography, to sign all record changes in an electronic document (with the private half of a key pair) and to verify that records have not been altered (with the public half of the key pair). This is important in ensuring the security of record changes before they are fixed in the blockchain. The security of the disclosed system and method may improve as the system becomes larger."
According to the company, the proposed system can be used by regional hospital organizations and multinational corporations to improve their operations.
Xerox’s focus on healthcare
Ritesh Gandotra, Xerox India’s director of global document outsourcing, stated in a July 2017 blog post that Blockchain technology can be a possible means for the storage and exchange of electronic health records (EHR) and other purposes in the medical sector.
“In other words, adopting the Blockchain structure to EHRs will help manage authentication, confidentiality, accountability and data sharing while allowing medical researchers to access insights into medical treatment – potentially revolutionising how data is gathered and accessed for research purposes.”
In a race to win the patent game
Xerox is not alone in its efforts to procure the necessary patent with its Blockchain-related operations.
In fact, various financial institutions have long been in the race to secure Blockchain-related patents including Bank of America and Goldman Sachs. The US Patent Office has seen an increase of more than 50 percent in Blockchain-related patent applications this year. Many applications come from big technology firms, suggesting that major corporations may be making long-term bets on the very same technology that powers Bitcoin.