Microsoft Wants Patent For Secure On-line Voting

from the who-needs-secure-online-voting? dept

theodp writes “The USPTO has voted no on Microsoft’s just-published patent application for a Method for secure on-line voting, although the software giant can appeal the decision.”

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Comments on “Microsoft Wants Patent For Secure On-line Voting”

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discojohnson says:

After actually reading the thing..

whew that was a lot of actual reading, but the interesting part is the specifics of the rejection. many of the “claims” are rejected because the reviewer seems to have just not liked how it was done. not due to pre-existing systems (like one by someone by the name of McClure) having a better implementation, but the reviewer is poking at the flaws in the submitted invention (or at least percieved flaws). to me, the rejection is without merit.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: After actually reading the thing..

I’m not sure I agree with that — it seemed to me that every claim was rejected because it failed the obviousness test. The reviewer included many different patent cites (Chung, McClure, Biddulph) as well as some instructional programming cites (Petersen, Clasham). Nearly every rejection’s last paragraph opens with “Therefore, it would have been obvious to one of ordinary skill in the art at the time of invention to..”.

Red1JackFoster says:

Re: No Subject Given

Citizens of the world, I give you the supreme world dictator… Bill Gates, who won with no votes against him! … What was that? …You voted against him? …Well, the numbers didn’t show that! …Of course the results are accurate! We used the Microsoft application to count them! …No, I’m sure it was just a coincidence that the owner of the company that made the software won, dispite the fact that he wasn’t on the ballet.

john says:

Re: As opposed to the current level of fraud ...

Given the level of voter fraud that has been going on for years (the most notable was Richard Daly’s giving the election to Kennedy) … and the 100% turn out in the some districts that traditionally had less than 5% (that amazingly enough voted 100% for Gore) … electronic voting can’t be much worse than the fraud prone system we have now that doesn’t even require ID in order to cast your vote.

Anonymous Coward says:

Talk about poor quality patents!

There are two mistakes in just the single-paragraph abstract:

“A voting application on a computing device of a voter sends a challenge including data identifying and verifying the voter, the challenge is validated to ensure that the identified voter [is] allowed to vote, and a response is sent with a vote identification value identifying the voter as being activated. A ballot is then sent to the voting application and presented thereby to the voter based on which voting information is gathered from the voter. The voting application then sends a vote package with the vote identification value and the gathered voting information, and the vote package is validated to ensure that the vote identification value matches the vote identification value matches. The voting information from the vote package is then tallied.”

As for the main content, this is be an utterly obvious way of using pre-existing security mechanisms to implement secure voting, albeit with mistakes such as not confirming the vote back to the voter after tallying.

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