With the teledildonics patent now cleared from the path, it’s likely that new companies will enter the gates and make more wet dreams come true, Lynn said.
"Manufacturers should be very excited as this is a game-changer for the industry,” Lynn told XBIZ today. “Going forward, companies will be able to innovate teledildonic devices without being in the direct line of fire of an issued patent.
“They'll still have to watch out for issues with other patents, but they can now put worrying about this one to bed, so to speak."
Utility patents, such as the teledildonics patent covering the technology of internet-controlled sex toys filed in 1998, last for 20 years.
In the past two decades, Lynn said that the teledildonics patent embroiled many pleasure products companies in infringement lawsuits, stopping them in their tracks as they attempted to create high-tech pleasure devices.
“For those who couldn’t pay licensing fees, there would be no pleasure. The suits were the end of the road, pushing them out of business,” Lynn said.
U.S. Patent No. 6,368,268 was initially owned by listed inventors Warren Sandvick and two others.
The patent was transferred to Hassex Inc. and most recently to Tzu Technologies LLC. Tzu is considered as a “non-practicing entity,” or “patent troll,” because it produces no product itself; it only enforces its rights as an intellectual property owner.
Tzu brought several lawsuits against scores of pleasure products makers in 2015, including RealTouch, Comingle, Holland Haptics, Vibease, Frixion and Winzz. It also sued LELO in 2017.
Some of the cases were either settled or dropped, with unknown numbers of dollars changing hands through settlements.
“As you can see from this history, many patent infringement suits were brought over the teledildonics patent against companies unable to license the technology,” Lynn said. “The patent’s expiration will open the gates for entrepreneurs to be able to innovate in teledildonics without fear of the same fate as their predecessors.
Now that the teledildonics patent is cleared as an obstacle, Lynn noted, it is likely that new companies will enter the gates.
“These innovators will probably even obtain patents of their own,” Lynn said. “The race will be on to create the most fantastic orgasmic experience imaginable over an internet connection. As the use of sex toys is becoming more accepted by mainstream, the demand for products is exploding.”