Xerox’s application claims it will securely audit any revisions made to an electronic document and detect if a file has been changed. The application will also be able to track the history of the alterations made.
The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has revealed that Xerox (NYSE:XRX) has been awarded a blockchain patent to track revisions made to electronic documents.
In the patent filing published on Tuesday (November 13), Xerox’s application claims it will securely audit any revisions made to an electronic document and detect if a file has been changed. The application will also be able to track the history of the alterations made.
According to the documents, Xerox first filed for the patent in August 2017.
Xerox describes that an electronic device that makes changes to an electronic file can then transfer the change to the network. From there, an audit log chain is placed on the network and made available to what Xerox says are nodes on the network.
“A node on the network can verify a change of document made by other nodes and add a new block to the chain using one-way hashes, making the chain resistant to tampering,” the document reads. “If an invalid block is detected, the system can send an auditing alert to the network.”
In other words, the various nodes can approve or dismiss the proposed changes.
Xerox claims the audit long can be “strongly resistant” to tampering, which makes it dependable on providing evidence in audit compliance, investigations, business and court record keeping.
“Electronic document files, which may include documents, programming files and data records change over time,” Xerox says in the filing, adding that tracking the changes so that any previous version of a documents can be recreated is called version or source control.
The document goes on to say that when a new version is created, the difference (the diff) between the new and old version is created. Following that, any version can be recreated by combining any and all the diffs up to that specific version, or deducting diffs from the most current version.
Xerox claims the patented blockchain technology will benefit a number of different areas, including: reviewing medical records and how treatment mistakes happen for educational purposes or potential lawsuits; financial records and audit potentials for laws and regulations; criminal investigations, which includes interview notes, crime scene photos and DNA test results.
This isn’t Xerox’s first blockchain patent. The printing and digital document solutions company filed a patent in 2016 for a blockchain-based timestamp protocol for copies and pictures.
Shares of Xerox decreased 1.3 percent from Tuesday’s open to US$27.10 as of 1:39 p.m. EST on Wednesday (November 14). The company currently has a “Moderate Buy” ranking on TipRanks based off one analyst rating with a price target of US$34.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Jocelyn Aspa, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.