Folks, Amazon just can't win. First the infamous "one-click patent" and now an uproar of negativity and accusations surrounding their new patent, which is "a system and method of determining the age of an item recipient, such a gift recipient." Again, we can see that the USPTO's focus is utility, novelty, and non-obvious -- not possible social or moral implications of a patent.
According to this article:
[Karen Coyle, a spokesperson for Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility] explained that the system outlined in the patent allows Amazon to track the age-appropriateness of gifts to a recipient over time in order to make suggestions for future gifts.
Gathering information about children for an online retailer like Amazon can be dicey because that practice is regulated by federal law, the Children's Online Privacy and Protection Act, or COPPA.
"That law states that you cannot gather personal identification information about a child without a parent's permission," Coyle said. "It looks like there's a good chance that if they were to implement this patent, which they claim they haven't, that they could come up against U.S. law."