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Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) filed a patent application on March 7 which outlines its vision for a used digital goods marketplace for its products. Apple’s patent application comes close on the heels of a patent granted to Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) for a similar used digital content marketplace in February.
Although labeled with the uninspiring title of “Managing Access to Digital Content Items,” Apple’s patent application outlines some interesting methods it would use if it were to move ahead with a second-hand digital content marketplace. As stated in the patent application, the marketplace would be a place where original purchasers of a “digital content item (such as an ebook, music, movie, software application)” could be sold from one user to another.
Although the system outlined in the patent allows for original purchasers of digital content to make some money off the transfer, Apple’s system also allows for the original publisher of the digital content to get a slice of the profits from the secondary sale. The patent application outlines several different methods for calculating the amount of profit that the original publisher gets. One possible method is for the publisher to take a percentage based on the passage of time, another is to take an incrementally decreasing percentage of each resale that occurs after the original sale…
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