Proof of Xerox? Copier Giant Pursues Blockchain Time-Stamping Strategy

Xerox may be looking to use blockchain to create digital proofs for documents and other forms of data, according to a patent filing.

Sep 5, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 6:53 a.m. UTC

A technology company best known for its eponymous copier machines may be looking to use blockchain to create digital proofs for documents and other forms of data.

Just last week, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a new patent filed by Xerox in which it outlines a method by which a blockchain (either a public option or a permissioned alternative) could be used to tie types of data (naming images and video as examples) to a certain period in time.

After detailing the use of the bitcoin blockchain for time-stamping purposes – mentioning the Proof of Existence project by name, the application goes on to state:

"According to an aspect of the embodiments of the present invention, there is provided an information processing apparatus comprising: an acquisition unit that acquires feature information of a latest block in a block chain when target data is generated; and a registration unit that registers proof information indicating that the generated target data is correlated with the feature information acquired by the acquisition unit when the target data is generated to a time proof service."

Interestingly, the filing shares a name with another Xerox patent application submitted in 2015, though the text of that application makes no reference to blockchain.

As previously reported by CoinDesk, Xerox has already submitted at least two other blockchain-related patents, both of which hinted at the use of the tech for a record-keeping system.

Copier image via Shutterstock

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