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News Link • Sexuality: Sex and the Law

The 20-Year Patent on Teledildonics Has Expired

• https://motherboard.vice.com, by Samantha Cole

On August 17, 1998, three men applied for a patent that envisioned how the future might fuck, before we even had the technology to apply it. Today, it's officially expired, ending a complicated 20-year relationship between teledildonics and patent law.

Warren J. Sandvick, Jim W. Hughes, and David Alan Atkinson called their patent "Method and device for interactive virtual control of sexual aids using digital computer networks," or U.S. Patent No. 6,368,268. Sandvick is the president of a Texas company called HasSex, which seems to exist mostly to hold this patent. Since the patent was filed, it's commonly been referred to as "the teledildonics patent." In 11 incredible diagrams, it outlines how computers could connect to a device, that connects to another device, that connects to someone else's setup and voilà: Everyone's getting off, through the internet.

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