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Intellectual Property Law

Amazon Patents Gift-Return Process

Posted Dec 28, 2010 11:05 AM CDT
By Martha Neil

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For those who find certain gifts frightful rather than delightful, relief may be on the way for a future holiday season.

Amazon has quietly patented a process for returning unwanted gifts from your nearest and dearest, reports the Washington Post. Depending on the rules the recipient sets, gifts could be automatically returned if they come from a certain sender, or contain unwanted material, such as wool.

The idea could potentially save retailers big bucks and recipients a lot of time, by returning a gift before it even leaves the store. But not everyone is a fan of the concept.

"This idea totally misses the spirit of gift giving," says Anna Post. A great-great-granddaughter of the famous manners maven, she is a spokeswoman for the Emily Post Institute.

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