Talk about lip service: Harlequin Enterprises, renowned publisher of pulp romance novels, has applied for a patent on the romantic kiss.
The application, if granted, leaves open the possibility that we may one day have to pay a licensing fee to lock lips with the ones we covet.
Don’t start worrying yet. Harlequin, which releases 110 novels a month and publishes in 115 countries around the world, said it would keep any patented kisses in the public domain.
“Should this patent be approved and registered by the U.S. Patent Office,” the Toronto publisher announced in its seven-page patent application, “we will immediately make the method freely available to all persons everywhere in the interests of enhancing romantic love and generally making the world a better place.”In an interview with AOL News, Michelle Renaud, senior manager of public relations for Harlequin, emphasized that Harlequin hadn’t considered charging for kisses. When asked whether the company’s stance may one day change, Renaud gave a succinct “No.”
The application, filed last week with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, provides a summary of the “invention,” as well as six diagrams demonstrating what Harlequin calls the “Essential Romantic Kiss” or “The Kiss.”
In a move likely intended to strengthen its case, Harlequin – whose recent titles include “Roughneck Cowboy” and “The Nanny and the CEO” – numbered and titled three steps to carrying out The Kiss.
In the first step, called “The Prelude,” kissers “deploy the muscle around the mouth … to shape their lips in a manner conducive to kissing.”
Step 2 involves “The Approach,” where couples bring their faces into “close proximity” while Step 3, or “The Seal,” occurs when lips touch with “varying degrees of pressure and intensity.”
The lips may then “remain attached for an indeterminate period of time,” the application noted. …