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February 09, 2017

Patents Issued for Sex Tech Devices Fall by 11 percent

CHICAGO––Unzipped Media Inc., publisher of the Unzipped Sex, Tech and the Law blog, released the Sex Tech Patent IndeXXXTM bulletin for the second half of 2016 and the full year of 2015 and found that utility patents issued on sex tech devices fell by 11 percent in 2016 as compared to 2015. But that dip, some say, is nothing to be concerned about. “Although time will be the judge, I believe that innovation in sex tech is generally on the rise,” said Maxine Lynn, Chicago patent attorney and publisher at Unzipped Media Inc.  “A lot of factors can cause a fluctuation like that shown here. More data is needed to establish an actual trend line, and we are working on compiling it.” The Sex Tech Patent IndeXXX bulletin measures the number of patents issuing in thirteen categories of sex devices, including clitoral stimulation devices, penis erection devices, sex furniture, and condoms, among others.  Medical devices are excluded, although the line between sex tech and medical devices is sometimes a gray area.  The bulletin lists a total of 53 U.S. utility patents issued in 2015 for Sex Tech devices, and 47 in 2016, working out to about an 11 percent drop. The results for the first half of 2016 was released this past January.  The Sex Tech Patent IndeXXX bulletin is published as part of the Unzipped Sex, Tech and the Law blog where Lynn comments on legal issues relating to tech and the adult industry.  The bulletin includes links to various newly issued sex tech patents, along with categorizations and summary information.  Using a proprietary search formula and unique categorization algorithm, the bulletin provides a trend-monitoring resource, not previously available, for people in the sex tech industry or those just curious to learn about it.  Over time, the bulletin will be expanded to include information and statistics about Sex Tech patents in Europe in addition to the United States.  As the bulletin works its way forward, it will also be extended backward to include previous years.  The content is evolving, and results will be reported on a quarterly basis in future editions. “In order for a patent to issue, the disclosed invention must be novel, as well as non-obvious, based on what came before it,” said Lynn. “Measuring the amount of patents being granted, therefore, is a solid way to gauge rate of innovation.”  The Sex Tech Patent IndeXXX bulletin can be accessed on the Unzipped Sex Tech & the Law website, SexTechLaw.com, or directly via SexTechPatentIndex.com.

 
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