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Playboy patents sex (Phil Karn)
(smirk, sexual)

	CHICAGO, APRIL 1 1996 (Business Wire) - Playboy Enterprises
Inc (NYSE:PYA) today announced that it has been awarded US Patent
6,969,696, ''Method and Apparatus For The Reproduction of Homo
Sapiens''. The inventor named in the patent is Hugh M. Hefner.

	Analysts who have seen the patent say it covers essentially
every known method of human sexual reproduction, including ``unsuccessful
attempts thereat''.

	In a prepared statement, Playboy said ``We're happy that after
an unusually long pendency period, the Patent Office has finally
recognized our pioneering role in this field. We are today announcing
that we will license our patent on reasonable and nondiscriminatory
terms on a per-use basis. To simplify royalty accounting, we will
install a small video camera in every bedroom at licensee
expense. Licensees need not keep records, as we will automatically
send a bill every month. A detailed royalty schedule, including
liberal quantity discounts and discounts for Playboy magazine and TV
subscribers will be announced at a later date. Playboy Enterprises
Incorporated hereby places the public on notice that we will
aggressively defend our intellectual property rights.''

	Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill applauded Playboy's
announcement, citing both the need to enforce the nation's
intellectual property laws and the need to control ``rampant
indecent'' behavior. ``We must not let a radical, un-American and
ultra-liberal notion like `privacy', which appears nowhere in the
Constitution, interfere with the rule of law,'' said one Senator who
declined to give his name or that of the young woman with him.

	Justice Department officials agreed, arguing that privacy
concerns were ``groundless'' and ``overblown'' because the videotapes
would be stored securely at two separate ``escrow'' sites and would be
released to law enforcement only on court order. ``Law-abiding
citizens who have nothing to hide will have nothing to fear under this
program'' said Attorney General Janet Reno through a spokesman.

	Critics charged that the Patent Office erred in granting the
patent because of ``prior art''. But Patent Commissioner Bruce Lehman
defended his office's action, saying ``As far as we were concerned,
the Hefner invention was novel and deserving of a patent. At least
none of us had ever heard of this stuff.  But our prior art search may
have been hampered by incomplete databases even though Jesse Helms has
contributed heavily to it over the years. Somebody from Senator Exon's
office came by a while back and deleted much of what we did have on
this subject. Maybe if Congress could only throw a few more billion
dollars our way, we could solve all these problems.''

	In related news, US Trade Representative Mickey Kantor was on
his way to Beijing to open talks with Chinese government officials
over alleged piracy of this new US intellectual property. ``With a
population of over one billion the Chinese have obviously been
infringing this particular patent quite a bit'', Kantor said, ``and
we'd like to press the Chinese government to do something about it.''

	Playboy Enterprises stock shot up 1000% or 100 points in very
heavy trading on the NYSE before trading was suspended for the day.

(From the "Rest" of RHF)

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