USPTO releases Apple's patent application covering the selling and borrowing of digital content

USPTO releases Apple's patent application covering the selling and borrowing of digital content
The USPTO on Friday released a patent application filed by Apple covering the selling and loaning of pre-owned digital content such as eBooks, music and movies. The release of the application comes on the heels of an actual patent that was granted to Amazon for a solution to the same problem. The only difference is that Amazon's patent details the creation of a second-hand marketplace that would allow those with MP3 downloads that they never user, or eBooks and even apps to list and sell them in an online market that could use Amazon coins as currency. After a certain number of downloads, an item would be considered suspended and unable to have its ownership rights moved anymore.

Apple's plan differs, which is why its patent application was apparently accepted. Instead of the end user setting the terms as with Amazon's idea, the original content owner such as the record label or movie studio, would set some of the criteria of the transfer. For example, a certain eBook might be restricted to a sale price of no less than $5 with no re-sales allowed for at least 6 months, The restrictions that the original content owner can set include the price, the number of times the content can be transferred and to whom the transfer is made.

The patent also states that the original content holder could end up getting paid from subsequent transfers, unlike the second hand market that Amazon envisions. Considering that you have both Apple and Amazon working on the legalities involved in DRM transfers, this looks like something that will build up momentum in the near future.

Apple divided its application, titled, "Managing access to digital content items," in three parts with two parts filed in September 2011 and one filed in June 2012. As an example of how Apple's plan works, let's assume that a buyer of an eBook wishes to sell his rights to the content. He can contact the iBookstore and let them know that he is selling. Once certain criteria is met, the rights are transferred to the new owner and the first owner would no longer have the ability to access the sold content. The content itself could be on a device or be cloud based, and the original content provider and the store could receive part of the proceeds.

source: USPTO via AppleInsider

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18 Comments

1. rodkurt

Posts: 128; Member since: Nov 29, 2012

why don't they just focus on making good phones...

5. procopiojose

Posts: 132; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

apple don't care if ios is the most stupid os ever because people who buys iphones and think it is highend material are more stupid anyway..

6. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Because they already have that part down packed.

13. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

It's down pat. Hopefully you're not the product of their quality control. Otherwise bad news for them.

14. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

Well you can never blame quality of their programming. It just works ... like Myxtyxpyx ... :D

10. NexusKoolaid

Posts: 493; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

Because good phones are only part of the equation. Love 'em or hate 'em, Apple is where they are because of the ecosystem they have built, and this patent application is intended to build upon that ecosystem.

2. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

how many times are we going too see their USELESS B.S. PATENT?

3. sorcio46

Posts: 435; Member since: Jul 27, 2011

How they are able to patent 4 circles with words inside?

4. procopiojose

Posts: 132; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

apple must must patent the word "iDiot". so no one can use it against them..

15. ZeroCide

Posts: 813; Member since: Jan 09, 2013

I'll still use it against them. Mxyzptlk is one of the biggest ones.

7. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Sigh, no this is just getting ridiculous. They need to crack down on all of these submissions. They should probably look into only filing a certain amount every 3 years. And they should have a penalty in place for submitting a patent that isn't approved.

8. fuzzybear

Posts: 2; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

LOL I could not help but laugh my A** off at "sorcio46" comment & I agree with "rodkurt" comment.

9. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

Anybody else smell bullsh!t?

16. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

Patent on "Borrowing" ... any Patent on "Stealing" and "Robbing" in place? I think USPTO should call applications for Stealing and Robbing also.

17. Zero0

Posts: 592; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

Apple is the greatest inventor of the millennium. Their creation of selling things will revolutionize the entire universe.

18. WHoyton1

Posts: 1635; Member since: Feb 21, 2013

You are a special one arent you...

20. Zero0

Posts: 592; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

That depends. In what way, exactly? Was my sarcasm not up to par?

19. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Apple should just purchase the USPTO, the US government is probably dumb enough to outsource the operations to Apple. Or the USPTO should just change that eagle logo to an Apple logo.

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