Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Patenting the Kiss
As writers we all love our romantic scenes. The hero leans in, the heroine is breathless, anticipation fills the air, their lips almost meet and….wait! Does this violate some patent law? Can you patent a kiss, especially a romantic kiss?
In one of the smartest marketing moves I have seen since the Chick-Fil-A cows, Harlequin has filed a seven-page patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. How brilliant is that? I was floored when I read it on AOL Weird News. According to the article, Harlequin’s application sets forth a three-step process to the romantic kiss. Step one – the kissers “deploy the muscles around the mouth…to shape their lips in a manner conducive to kissing.” Step two – “The Approach” is where the kissers bring their faces into “close proximity.” Step three – “The Seal” involves the lips touching in “varying degrees of pressure and intensity.” The application went on to note that the lips may “remain attached for an indeterminate period of time.” The article quoted Michelle Renaud, senior manager of Public Relations at Harlequin, as saying the intent of this application is to remind lovers of the lost art of romance. According to experts interviewed in the article, the application won’t get past the “novelty” stage because it doesn’t contain a new or interesting take on an existing invention. Harlequin states unequivocally that the “romantic kiss”, if they are granted the patent, will remain in the public domain, free to users everywhere!
This is a diagram of the romantic kiss taken from Harlequin's patent application. Aren't they a cute couple!
I applaud them on this. In these times when sex and love are equated everywhere, the public should be reminded about ROMANCE. Harlequin simply wanted to bring that to the attention of people – we could all use a little romance in our lives. Besides, it was so very savvy to do this. Just imagine what will happen if they are granted the patent! Kisses everywhere will have to have the Harlequin logo on them. Only kidding. If the kiss remains in the public domain, there is no need for that. But they could if they wanted to…
What do you think about patenting the romantic kiss? What other marketing ploys have you noticed lately, like my all-time favorite black and white cows?