Re: [NoElectronicBallots] Diebold, ES&S and Sequoia sued for infringing on Avante's VVPAT and optical scan patents

From: Douglas W. Jones <jones_at_cs_dot_uiowa_dot_edu>
Date: Thu Jul 13 2006 - 09:16:10 CDT

On Jul 12, 2006, at 11:15 PM, Jim March wrote:

> THIS is simply delicious.

I think it's stupid. The idea of equipping a voting machine to
record a paper record of each vote cast at the same time it records
those votes inside its mechanism was first patented over a century
ago. See patent number 620,767. Sure, it was a mechanical voting
machine with a VVPT, but it was a VVPT built in such a way that the
voting machine could be used without it, if the jurisdiction wanted
to, but that offered additional assurance if it was used with it.
That's exactly what Diebold and ES&S offer today.

The 620,767 patent lets the voter take the voter verified ballot
(printed with candidate names and punched to record each vote) to
the ballot box. That would seem to cover the VVPT without glass
model.

The Global AccuVote TS and the ES&S Votronic were fully functional,
without VVPT, as of the filing date of the Avante patent. Therefore,
it is unlikely that the infringements being claimed will involve
anything other than recent additions such as their crummy VVPT
systems. Rebecca Mercuri claims (although I've never seen the
documentation to back this up) to have publically described the
Mercuri method years before this. That covers VVPT under glass.

I think Avante's legal tactics are questionable. Their patent is
extraordinarily broad and hard to read, and their suit mentions
no specifics infringements. They've thrown the spaghetti at the
wall, and now they want to see what sticks.

                Doug Jones
                jones@cs.uiowa.edu

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Received on Mon Jul 31 23:17:04 2006

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