Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Like a What? Sex Inventions and the USPTO

Dear Rich: Does the USPTO frown on sex toys receiving design patent protection? I have seen no restrictions, unlike the Lanham TM act, which has the "immoral and scandalous" language in the statute. You're correct that U.S. trademark law has a prurient streak (scroll down). By contrast, design and utility patents have been issued for terrifyingbizarre, and strange sex inventions. (All it takes is novelty and nonobviousness). For more on the subject check out Hoag Levins' American Sex Machines: The Hidden History of Sex at the U.S. Patent Office.

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