TECH
06/01/2012 12:50 pm ET | Updated Jun 01, 2012

Amazon Patents 'Electronic Gifting'

Congratulations, Amazon. You now own the act of online gift-giving. Sort of.

According to GeekWire, the web's largest online retailer has just been granted a patent for "electronic gifting," which may seem like a familiar concept to anyone who's ever done his or her holiday shopping online.

What sets Amazon's electronic gift-giving system apart from other services is a feature that allows digital gift-givers to wait until a recipient has accepted their present before paying for it. In addition, if a recipient hasn't accepted and downloaded a digital gift within a certain period of time, the gift-giver will be able to cancel the order. (You can read the patent in full here.)

As Business Insider points out, Amazon's now-patented gift-giving system works in a way similar to Karma, a gift-giving app that Facebook just recently purchased.

And this isn't the first time Amazon has stepped on the toes of other electronic gift-giving services; in 2010, the company patented a different system that allows people to exchange bad gifts for items they want, before even receiving the gift.

What do you think of Amazon's idea? Let us know in the comments!

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