Harlequin wants to patent “the kiss”—whatever that means

Harlequin wants to patent “the kiss”—whatever that means

Harlequin Enterprises, part of Torstar Corp., dominates the romance fiction market, publishing inspired titles such as Mail Order Cowboy, The Nanny and the C.E.O. (what could that be about?) and Vampire Sheikh. Now, the company wants to patent what it is describing as “The Essential Romantic Kiss.” Confused? So were we.

The patent application explains that “people have been engaging in unpatented kissing since the dawn of human history.” Harlequin Enterprises wants to promote and celebrate all that kissing, they said in a recent press release, by registering “The Kiss” with the U.S. Patent Office—then making the patent freely available to everyone to enhance romantic love and make the world a better place.

The application itself is an inspired piece of work: not only does it employ the knowledge of unnamed “kissologists” (their word, not ours), reference Romeo and Juliet and quote Wikipedia all in one go, but it also provides a four-step approach to kissing that appears to be written for those who have never engaged in physical contact with another human being. On the same site as the application are some other cute romance-themed links to explore, including a contest to win a trip to Las Vegas, a romance report with fun kissing facts (did you know one in three people have kissed a co-worker?) as well as a quiz to determine which kind of kiss best describes you.

We suspect that this is all a pre-Valentine’s Day gimmick, but we enjoyed sifting through the “explore kisses” option, a sort of a PG version of the Karma Sutra for kissing scenarios. Our favourite: “Palpable Romance,” a cheesy embrace on a dock at sunset that reminds us of Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling’s rain-soaked smooch from The Notebook.

• A kiss is just a kiss, but Torstar wants to patent it [Globe and Mail]