VOTER VERIFIED, INC. v. ELECTION SYSTEMS & SOFTWARE, 17-1930, decided April 20, 2018


U.S. Reissue No. RE40,449, directed to auto-verification of voting ballot.

The claims require voting using a computer and temporary storage of the votes, printing the votes from storage, comparing by the voter the stored and printed votes, and acceptance (pages 12-13).  Humans have performed these basic activities of voting, verifying the vote, and submitting for hundreds of years, so the claims are directed to an abstract idea (page 14).  Since a general purpose computer is used, there is no transformation to patent-eligible subject matter (pages 14-15). 

Hindsight: The “how” is missing from the claims.  Surely to get the computer to do these things, there had to be some implementation detail other than generic storing and printing.  While narrower, it may have avoided loosing the patent to 101.  The facts supporting past activities are to voting in general, not a process of inputting in one media, printing to another media, and cross checking.  Thus, the Federal Circuit appears to believe that additional detail is either common without citation or ignores this.