CHICAGO –– A new study shows that there was an 11 percent decrease in the number of sex-device patents filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2016.
The study, commissioned by Unzipped Media Inc., measured the number of patents issuing in 13 categories of sex technologies, including clitoral stimulation devices, penis erection devices, sex furniture and condoms, among others. Medical devices were excluded from the study.
In 2016, 47 U.S. utility patents were issued for such devices, compared to 53 in 2015.
“Although time will be the judge, I believe that innovation in sex tech is generally on the rise,” said Maxine Lynn, a Chicago patent attorney and publisher at Unzipped Media. “A lot of factors can cause a fluctuation like that shown here.
“In order for a patent to issue the disclosed invention must be novel, as well as non-obvious, based on what came before it,” Lynn said. “Measuring the amount of patents being granted, therefore, is a solid way to gauge rate of innovation.”
Unzipped Media publishes the Sex Tech Patent IndeXXX bulletin, which disseminated the findings. The bulletin includes links to various newly issued sex tech patents, along with categorizations and summary information, as well as a column by Lynn.