Journal of Intellectual Property Law


The novel corona virus turned life upside down throughout the world in 2020. One of its many impacts was the fear it gave people of going out in public as doing such could increase the likelihood of contraction. This disease happened to come about during an election year in the United States and this raised many questions about how voting could be safely conducted. A hot topic debate took over America as to whether or not mail-in voting would suffice. The United States Postal Service sought to find a reliable way to conduct mail-in voting and filed for a patent to use blockchain technology in conjunction with the mail system to deliver a safe and secure voting platform. This note dives into the patentability of a blockchain mail-in voting system and examines whether or not such a system meets the requirements to be issued a patent. In particular, the United State’s Postal Service application is measured against the backdrops of the Mayo test, a two-part patentability test used in instances for technology patents such as blockchain systems. This note is timely as the patent is still pending and mail-in voting is still a hot topic issue. Additionally, after the patent is decided upon, this note’s research will still be useful for analyzing the likelihood for the granting of other software patents as the tests that are laid out apply to more than just blockchain technology.