The most romantic patents from the past 20 years

13 February 2018

Valentine’s Day is a holiday dedicated to the celebration of love and in honour of the occasion, we will explore some weird and wonderful romantic-themed patent applications filed within the last 20 years. 

1) “Will you marry me?” patent application (2007)

There is nothing more romantic than a marriage proposal via an official government document.

US 2007/0078663 discloses an ‘improved’ method of marriage proposal, written by Ryan Grace from Nebraska, USA. In the background of the patent, traditional methods of proposal are deemed to lack novelty or inventiveness. His method of proposal is outlined in the figure below, along with some quite unique claims.

Unfortunately, the patent application was rejected by the US patent office for being too abstract. Even after some further attempts to amend the claims and argue his case, the patent application was ultimately abandoned.

US 20070078663

Claim 25. The method of claim 1 wherein at least one claim of the offer to marry recites:
“Ellie I've been in love with you for the last five years. I've known this since the day we met and the time we've spent together since that day has only made me realize this fact more. You have been by my side in every way a person could possibly hope and I would like nothing more than to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you please marry me?”

Claim 26. The method of claim 25, wherein at least one claim of the offer to marry recites “Ellie if you will marry me, after reading the remainder of this patent application, open the other envelope and tell the limousine driver to take you to the airport.”

2) Innovative Valentine’s Day Gifts

There are many alternative Valentine’s Day gifts that differ from the typical flowers and box of chocolates. 

Aroma-generating greeting card (1998)

US6024386A discloses an inventive Valentine’s Day card which supplies an aroma of roses to the recipient. This is achieved by embedding a fragrance into a plastic material that forms part of the card. The inventors consider a conventional greeting card to ‘fall short of a proper romantic expression of affection’.

US6024386A

Roses into diamonds (2002)

CA 2497961 discloses a method of making synthetic diamonds from roses. The organic-matter within roses is firstly reduced to elemental carbon and then transformed into diamonds using pressure and heat. The result is a gift that can be enjoyed for much longer than flowers!

Digital mixtape (2015)

Traditionally, a compilation of hand-picked songs on CD or cassette was a lovely romantic gesture. Unfortunately, these gifts became less common with the growing popularity of electronic devices and digital music.

US 2015 0220634 discloses a ‘digital mixed tape’ compatible with the modern age. The digital mixtape can include a personalised selection of songs, videos and photos, which can be sent directly to the recipient’s electronic device.

3) Online dating

Finally, online dating has been revolutionary for helping us find love. We track how the technology has evolved over time:

US5963951 A (1997) describes how to match personal preferences and subscriber information with potential suitors. This included desired gender, age and education level, whilst also factoring in geographical location.

US6735568 B1 (2000) went further to provide a method for identifying two people who are likely to have a successful relationship. The method involved acquiring more data on an online dater’s personality/requirements for a more accurate assessment of compatibility.

Online dating has now rapidly evolved with the use of smartphones and their associated apps. US8606297 B1 (2010) describes a location-based display of images on a portable electronic device (e.g. smartphone). In the form of a mobile app, subscribers are asked to select photographs of potential suitors. If suitors are matched, subscribers are then able to communicate via instant messaging. Such technology is now used in a number of well-known and successful dating apps!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Robyn Hardisty

Robyn Hardisty

Trainee Patent Attorney

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