Re: patent for AutoMARK issued on 25 July...

From: Arthur Keller <voting_at_kellers_dot_org>
Date: Sun Jul 30 2006 - 23:13:07 CDT

Note that this patent is for electronic devices that mark a
"hand-markable physical (i.e., paper) ballot." Fortunately, the
Dechert architecture does not appear to be subject to patent
restriction. The AutoMARK patent doesn't apply and no one involved
in the Dechert architecture has filed a patent. And there are no
patents granted to Populex.

Because optical ballot scanners can be built that can scan both
hand-marked paper ballots and Dechert architecture printed summary
ballots, limited licensing of the AutoMARK patent will not prevent
high quality, secure, and reliable systems from being developed and

The printed summary ballot approach is much simpler to implement and
electronic ballot printers should be more reliable and cheaper to
build than the AutoMARK device. I would expect the visually impaired
to find electronic ballot printers easier to use than electronic
ballot markers.

As far as I can tell, the main benefits of the electronic ballot
marker over the electronic ballot printer is the use of the same
ballot stock for hand marking as for machine marking, and that
existing scanners can be used.

Best regards,

At 1:10 PM -0700 7/29/06, Joseph Lorenzo Hall wrote:
>Patent 7,080,779 for a ballot marking device was issued to Eugene M.
>Cummings of AutoMARK Technical Systems, LLC on 25 July 2006 (filed 11
>Dec. 2003).
>This will make it much more difficult for other vendors to develop
>their own similar ballot marking device and could pose problems for
>non-profit groups which might be developing ballot-marking devices or
>devices based on similar architectures. I hope they are open to
>licensing their technology, and hopefully at reduced royalties for
>non-profit groups.
>Here is the patent images turned into a 5.1MB PDF:
>Here is the patent's page on the USPTO's site:
>(or in a shorter URL: <> )

Arthur M. Keller, Ph.D., 3881 Corina Way, Palo Alto, CA  94303-4507
tel +1(650)424-0202, fax +1(650)424-0424
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Received on Mon Jul 31 23:17:09 2006

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