Officially Sealing It with a Kiss - Harlequin Files Patent Application for the Essential Romantic Kiss to Encourage More Kissing this Valentine's Day

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TORONTO, Feb. 3, 2011 /CNW/ -- Harlequin, the global leader in series romance and one of the world's leading publishers of reading entertainment for women, announced today it has submitted a patent application (61438360) for the "Essential Romantic Kiss" to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (Patent Pending).

To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click: http://multivu.prnewswire.com/mnr/patentyourkiss/48452/

"If love makes the world go 'round, then a kiss is what fuels it," said Michelle Renaud, Chief Kissing Officer of the Harlequin Office for the Preservation of the Kiss (HOPK), a division of Harlequin that exists to celebrate all things related to kissing.

"The kiss is the cornerstone of romance, the turning point of every good story. It can change lives, start a rumour or break hearts. And with more than 60 years of publishing women's fiction, no one knows the kiss like Harlequin," said Renaud. "It's time to stop thinking of the kiss as a mundane, everyday form of affection. This patent application celebrates the kiss and brings romance back to kissing."

The patent applied for by the HOPK outlines a basic method by which two people can reciprocate their romantic feelings toward one another in a manner that deepens attachment, provides pleasure and promotes physical and emotional well-being - The Essential Romantic Kiss.

In its efforts to promote and celebrate kissing, the HOPK is interested in expanding the standard kissing repertoire beyond simple pecks, the dated French kiss or even the lovable butterfly kiss. In this spirit, the HOPK has created an interactive kiss creation tool to allow members of the public to create and share their own kissing styles. Submitted kisses will be added to the HOPK's online kissing vault, which is freely accessible to anyone. Recognizing the tight economic times, the HOPK is encouraging everyone to spread the love for free and create a unique, romantic kiss for their partner this Valentine's Day.

"Nothing truly exciting has happened in kissing since the French kiss took the world by storm in the 1920s," said Renaud. "Almost one hundred years later, we need to find the next great kiss. We're encouraging everyone to pucker up and get excited about kissing again."

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    Kiss and Tell: Harlequin's surprising survey results

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During the development of the "Essential Romantic Kiss", the HOPK conducted a survey across North America to enhance its understanding of attitudes toward kissing in the era of digital romance. Surprisingly, North Americans are still traditional when it comes to kissing, with more than half of North American men and women (53%) believing that women should not initiate a first kiss.(1)

"Although some women may be hesitant to make the first move, we discovered one out of three women will readily tell someone about a bad kisser," continued Renaud. "There are fundamental components to every kiss. We want to arm lovers everywhere with the basics and enhance their kissing prowess so any story told about their kissing skills will be a good one!"

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    Other survey highlights include:

    --  Does a kiss count as cheating? If so, it may be a good idea to keep an
        eye on your partner as one out of three men admit to having kissed
        someone who was off-limits, such as a friend's significant other or
        spouse.
    --  Ever wonder what REALLY goes on at your office holiday party? One out
        of three North Americans have admitted to kissing a coworker.
    --  Blame it on the beer goggles! If you've ever woken up cringing about
        that kiss at the bar last night, you are not alone. Forty-one percent
        of North Americans have regretted kissing someone.
    --  But apparently romantic regrets fade as you age. At least half the
        people in the 18-24 age group have regretted kissing somebody, while
        only thirty percent of those 55-64 years old feel the same way.
    --  Staying true to your valentine shouldn't be too difficult. One in four
        North Americans said that their favourite kissing memory involves
their
        current partner.
    --  A bad kiss is NOT a deal breaker. Only one out of ten North Americans
        would stop a relationship in its tracks when confronted with a partner
        who has lacklustre kissing skills.
    --  Young love can be so complicated! One out of five people aged 25-34
        have kissed somebody to make their ex jealous.
    --  The inexperienced kisser need not worry, one out of five women have no
        problem giving a lesson to a bad kisser.  This would have been nice to
        know in high school!
    --  Kisses are for good, not evil! More than half of North Americans have
        never used kissing to get something they wanted, to tease or to make
        another person jealous.

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These survey results and more can be found at www.patentyourkiss.com. Visitors are encouraged to submit their own kissing style and vote on their favorites. During February and March, a contest will be held to judge eligible kisses submitted to the HOPK's vault. One lucky kiss creator will win a trip to Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino to re-enact their kiss.(2)

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    About Harlequin
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Harlequin is the global leader in series romance and one of the world's leading publishers of books for women, with titles issued worldwide in 32 languages and sold in 115 international markets. The company produces over 110 titles monthly and publishes more than 1,100 authors from around the world. Harlequin Enterprises Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Torstar Corporation, a broadly based media company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TS.B). Harlequin's website is located at www.eHarlequin.com. Harlequin has offices in 19 countries, including offices in Toronto, New York and London. For more information please visit www.eHarlequin.com or press.eHarlequin.com.

To obtain a copy of the patent application, a breakdown of the Canadian survey results or to arrange an interview with an HOPK officer, please contact:

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    Anna Robinson, NATIONAL Public Relations, 416-848-1401 or
arobinson@national.ca
    Follow us on Twitter at: Twitter.com/patentyourkiss
    Visit us on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/patentyourkiss

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(1) The survey was conducted via telephone on the Harris/Decima Can-Am Omni from October 20th to October 24th, 2010 (American survey) and October 21st through October 25th, 2010 (Canadian survey). In all, 1,000 Canadians and 1,000 Americans were polled. The margin of error is +/- 3.1%.

(2) NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Opens on 2/3/2011 at 12:01 AM (ET) and closes on 3/30/2011 at 11:59 PM (ET). Enter online at www.PatentYourKiss.com <http://www.PatentYourKiss.com> . Open to legal residents of U.S. (excluding Alaska, Hawaii, Overseas Military Installations and other U.S. Territories) and Canada (excluding Quebec, Yukon, NWT and Nunavut) who are 21 or older at time of entry. Void where prohibited by law. One (1) prize is available to be won, consisting of a 3-night/4-day trip for two to Las Vegas, NV (12/31/2011 to 01/2/2012). Approximate retail value: $3,000.00 USD. Official Rules available online at www.PatentYourKiss.com <http://www.PatentYourKiss.com> . Sponsors: Harlequin Enterprises Limited and Harrah's Operating Company, Inc.

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SOURCE Harlequin

For further information: Anna Robinson, NATIONAL Public Relations, +1-416-848-1401, arobinson@national.ca Web Site: http://www.PatentYourKiss.com

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