Amazon has been granted a patent that would allow members of the world's largest online retailer to sell or trade their digital items to other users.
On January 29, the patent, entitled "Secondary Market for Digital Objects," was granted to Amazon. It refers to an electronic marketplace that would allow users to sell or swap digital items.
Users can see their purchased digital goods such as music, videos, apps and e-books being stored in their own online storage space. You can then move such items to another user's storage space, with the moved items subsequently being deleted from a user's own space.
The patent said that Amazon would apply a limit to the number of times a digital item could be transferred to another user. When the limit is reached, the retail giant will suspend or permanently stop the ability to move a given item.
The seller would receive an unspecified type of credit in return for moving the item. The buyer, meanwhile, will have to pay a certain amount, while Amazon would charge a fee for the transaction. The latter can be collected from the buyer, the seller or both.
"A secondary market, which allows users to effectively and permissibly transfer 'used' digital objects to others while maintaining scarcity, is therefore desired," reads the patent. "A 'used' digital object is one to which a user has legitimately obtained access or ownership rights (hereinafter 'access rights'), and to which the user may permissibly transfer to another user."