The “Sextech” Patent Has Finally Expired

Since 1998, a patent on “teledildonics”—the connection of sexual-stimulant devices to computers, phones, or tablets has stunted innovation in the sector. The patent strictly protected the—arguably overly broad—idea behind the “method and device for interactive virtual control of sexual aids using digital computer networks.” The owners of the patent, in the eyes of analysts and competitors, seemed to own it solely to troll smaller companies that infringed on the idea. But now that the patent has expired (these sorts of utility patents have a 20-year lifespan) the industry could experience an unmanageable boom—quicker innovation and production will hopefully precede privacy invasions or clunky interfaces. Read more about the sudden switch on Motherboard.

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