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Apple looking at greeting/gift card combos?

updated 11:40 am EDT, Thu May 22, 2008

iTunes greeting cards?

An Apple patent application, newly published by the US Patent and Trademark Office, suggests that the company may be interested in expanding the reach of its gift cards. Most of its iTunes cards use generic images, concentrating primarily on music; future cards, however, could depict specific artists, albums, games, movies and TV shows, something it has already begun in a limited fashion with its $50 cards. Two of these present montages of albums and TV shows.

More original however may be the carriers for the gift cards, which have traditionally only served as packaging. Apple's filing makes specific reference to the possibility of greeting cards, in which the gift card is hidden inside, and the front uses a more personalized message. The concept is designed to make cards "appear more gift like," and "make the recipient feel better about their gift," leading to increased sales overall.

The patent application was originally submitted in 2007, and attributes James Roberts of San Francisco as the inventor.

by MacNN Staff



  1. elroth

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Didn't some company file a lawsuit against Apple a while back over those $50 gift cards using specific artist images? It looked like an obvious idea then, and it still does.

  1. mexicali100

    Joined: Dec 1969


    You got to be kidding me!

    That qualifies as a patentable idea? I've been an Apple fan probably longer than most, but my opinion of the company is becoming increasingly negative primarily due to their patents and what they consider their own intellectual property.

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969


    a normal voucher...

    ...would be nice! Why the h*** don't Apple provide the facility for normal gift tokens redeemable against anything and not just effing iTunes.

  1. Eldernorm

    Joined: Dec 1969


    WOW getting weird

    Wow, the replys are getting weird here today. :-)
    "but my opinion of the company is becoming increasingly negative primarily due to their patents and what they consider their own intellectual property."

    I guess you are not looking at the newspapers today. All kinds of people are patenting everything under the sun and then suing everyone else for it..... and winning. Its totally stupid but the government is backing it with its stupid patent office people so Apple is protecting itself. Just business.

    And as for wanting Apple gift certificates to be for anything not just Apple iTunes etc, well....... no that one is just not worth commenting on. Shhheeeeezzzzeeee. Maybe your mom does not want you buying porno with your Apple iTunes card!!! LOL

  1. drole.homme

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Ummm...ok? This is how gift cards come when you order them online and request a message. They come in an envelope and card to pass on. You guess must be really bored at MacNN...

  1. jdonahoe

    Joined: Dec 1969


    They're gonna get sued..

    They're gonna get sued big time by Hallmark or American Greeting. Just look at the illustration, it's a XXXXX(fill in the blank) card. It could easily be confused with a Hallmark card. And think about it, which would you rather get for your birthday? Hallmark must be pissed.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Wait a minute! You mean when I gave a friend a gift card in his birthday card last month, I was violating Apple's patent? Oh c***!

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