Chilldils Sex Toy Sleeves are pleased to announce that they have been approached with an offer from Duncan Charles Designs, which they have happily accepted. Duncan Charles Designs, a Texas-based artisan ceramic toy company, came across Chilldils through the excited pre-launch “buzz” and various mentions on internet blogs and forums and realized they were a perfect fit – both physically and conceptually, for their premium handcrafted ceramic dildos and plugs. Duncan Charles Designs utilizes a smooth glaze and bold black and red colors to define their line of superior products, offering quality, pleasure, and beauty in one gorgeous porcelain package.
Chilldils, “The Essential Elemental Sex Toy Sleeves”, are designed to safely and discreetly heat up or cool down your favorite sex toys. They feature an innovative removable and washable inner liner, which folds down over the top of the sleeve to hygenically allow “re-ups” of hot or cold even after the toy has been used. This liner feature means you don’t have to stop the fun to get up, run the toy under the appropriate temperature water, and try and get back the mood – just slide the toy back into the Chilldil mid-use…the liner prevents the toy from touching the Chilldil directly, but still transfers temperature. The discreetly-designed Chilldil can also be used as a traditional hot/cold pack for neckaches or abdominal menstrual pain, and can even be microwaved or frozen and used as a wrist rest to help prevent carpal tunnel in those that work on a computer frequently. Chilldils are made with a natural eco-friendly filler and soft cotton flannel, and are handcrafted here in the United States by a woman-owned business.
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Chilldils originally got $540 in startup money. By the time Kickstarter and Amazon Payments took their cut, I was left with around $470. After buying materials, paying my manufacturers, getting the .com, and buying packaging samples, I have around $250 left. To even consult with a patent-specific lawyer (just discussion, no action), it would cost me $225 on the low end…and he is relaying to me that a search for a patent (meaning ensuring there isn’t another product I’d be conflicting with) will cost upwards of $500 and will likely be necessary. This $500-$900 search would not be necessary if Xhale glass were to give me the number of the alleged patent they have repeatedly stated that they are in possession of without elaborating beyond vague statements. Please read the whole insane story below and cast your vote as to what my next move should be.
Adam Burns, of Xhale Glass, has sent me several communications indicating that I was potentially infringing upon his/Xhales/someone’s copyright for…something. No details were given about what the alleged patent entailed or included, be it design, concept, materials, colors, names, or anything else. Why do I say alleged? Well, because despite repeated requests for the patent number, and in fact despite Mr. Burns himself stating that his legal department would send it, it has been over a week now, and my inbox is still missing that easily-emailed little number.
While later emails from Xhale/Mr. Burns have suddenly gained a large and intimidating several-paragraph block of confidentiality legalese, the emails referenced below did not, and I am able to share these excerpts to help narrate my end of things.
Mr. Burns, on March 23rd: …I will have our legal department prepare a licensing package for you which will reference both the design and utility patent registrations, along with the associated fee schedules.…
Myself, on March 23rd: …If you have a patent number, that will be sufficient for our purposes. I’m planning large moves ahead in the next few days and, if it would indeed conflict with a patent, I’d just as soon halt them now than proceed and further complicate things. The only thing in question is if you actually hold a patent, which can be verified easily enough with a simple number – no packages needed. Send the number ASAP, and we can put this whole business to rest.…
Mr. Burns, on March 23rd: …I have forwarded this to legal and you should be receiving your requested information shortly.…
A Matter of Tone
Furthermore, I’d like to explain why I am so puzzled by Mr. Burns’ claims that he has “… never threatened anyone with business…” Read the quotes below and tell me if you would classify the tone and content of this communication as in harmony with statements like “…my intentions were nothing but good…” and “…I was just trying to help someone achieve their goals faster…”
It has been recently brought to our attention that you are currently marketing a product which appears to be infringing on our US Intellectual property rights.
The product may be seen below: (Note: Here, a link was placed for an AVN archive blurb from 4 years ago, which listed the product as patent pending, not patented. This item did not show up in my exhaustive pre-Chilldils-launch searches for generic terms regarding hot/cold sex toy pouches, else I wouldn’t be dealing with this drama.)
If you are interested in licensing the product from us, we would gladly provide you with an estimate.
Please respond within 10 business days to avoid a possible cease and desist should the legal department deem it appropriate. If you are interested in a license, we may be willing to work with you. We typically require an advancement of royalties equal to 25,000 units for most our products.
XHale Enterprises, LLC
as well as this comment, which he attempted to leave at my blog, along with a link to his own retail site where he had put the item up for sale:
“We have been very understanding and graciously offered you opportunities to license our product on two separate occasions. You have failed to acknowledge our correspondence. The product you claim to have created is a knockoff of XHale’s protected intellectual property. XHale began marketing this item back in 2005. The dated AVN review can be viewed here. You will be issued a legal cease and desist immediately. We were willing to work with you on your upstart venture, but your lack of correspondence is beyond unprofessional. I am posting the link here so the rest of the contributors can see.”
What Would You Do?
While I am the first to admit that I’m protective of my own project “baby”, I’m unwilling to believe the numerous folks I’ve bounced this off are ALL overreacting along with me. Mr. Burns and I both have something at stake here – the big difference is that I’m doing my best to be as transparent as possible. I’ve even explained to Mr. Burns what my product is made of (materials), the method of use, and even pointed out the differences I see that make our products fundamentally different – all information I offered in an attempt to settle the matter amicably. Mr. Burns has definitely not offered me the same sort of information, nor has yet given me any proof that he even holds a patent, despite my repeated requests. Mr. Burns has said that he is losing sleep over this – well, so am I. I want the matter settled, and I can’t do that until I make a choice either way. Help me with your opinion, won’t you?
Just wanted to stop in and mention it has now been a full week since I requested the patent information from the company that claims to hold it, and have not gotten any information whatsoever about the patent in question.
It has been five days since I requested clarification, in writing, of statements made on a forum by the alleged patent holder that he does not, in fact, plan to send a cease and desist, legal order, or pursue any other action that would prevent chilldils from being manufacturered, marketed, and sold. As I previously stated, I cannot afford to charge ahead and risk a lawsuit – I recently had to undergo emergency surgery to prevent the loss of my eyesight, and my finances are unfortunately a bit tied up with that at the moment.
Sadly, that’s all the news I have available to me at the moment, as the other side of this problem has chosen not to respond so far to my request for their patent number.
Just wanted to let everyone know that I have received no response from the company in question. They’ve made some statements in a forum about desiring to help my company get started, and if that’s the case – I’m thrilled! I’ve written them asking them to clarify their statements, to, in particular, give to me proof in writing that they have no intentions on halting or otherwise interfering with Chilldils remaining in business and actively selling our products. Unfortunately, until I get that, I’ll I’m left with is two previous missives from them, both of which state that they will be sending a “legal cease-and-desist order”. I don’t want to stop my business momentum – and in fact have several retail customers, my manufacturers, an advertising venue, and a graphic designer waiting for my green light…it’s killing me to have to hold back, but I don’t want to risk getting sued for everything I own by blindly rushing ahead in what may be a patent violation. In addition, patents are in place for a reason – I respect the process and would never knowingly infringe on one.
I have not received any information about the patent yet; I asked specifically for the number of the patent, which would be the fastest and easiest way to verify the holder and the content of the patent and examine it to see if my product conflicts with it. I am hoping that the other company provides both their patent number and the clarification of their statements by next week, which is when I requested they do so by.
I’d like to thank you for your ongoing support. Those of you who have not been following the story, Xhale Glass claims to have a patent on the very concept of a hot/cold pocket for sex toys, though, to date, has not provided the information to verify this. While it is strange that they would choose now, after a four year “radio silence”, to resurrect their object and talk about their patent, I am halting production in good faith until I have a chance to see the patent in question.
While I welcome support, I’m publicly stating here that I’d like to keep it clean. I have my own opinions of this alleged patent holder, his attitude, and his business practices, but it won’t do much good to start a flame war over personalities. Those who wish to show support can write a blog, send a tweet, or choose not to patronize both the alleged patent holder and their sales outlet, as some have already done.
A patent is a patent, and once I am shown this alleged patent and am told by my lawyer I do not have grounds to continue, I will happily move on to my next project. Until that time, feel free to stay tuned for updates.
TTC here, popping on to give you an update. Here is the deal on Chilldils:
I had a very talented manufacturer that was on board with me until just before Christmas, when I very suddenly stopped hearing from her. I tried in vain through several different methods to get ahold of her, and finally succeeded last week (late January). Unfortunately, due to unavoidable personal circumstances, she was / is unable to continue as my manufacturer for this product. Naturally, this makes me very sad because she is a talented and dynamic woman, but real life must always come first!
That being said – she is sending out my chilldils for the “donors” at kickstarter soon, as she was at least able to finish those. I am on the hunt for a new manufacturer as we speak…I believe in this product and I’m not looking to abandon it, if it is at all possible. If you know a talented sewing person who you think might be up to the task, I wholeheartedly welcome recommendations. Part of my reason for choosing the initial manufacturer I did was that I was hoping to see both my vision come to life and offer work to someone here in the states; it supports a fellow American, keeps the product “greener” because it doesn’t have to travel as far, and shipping is cheaper too! That being said, I’d love to find another “Etsy Momma/Poppa” type, which would let me work with an independent artisan over a big factory.
I will update as info becomes available – I have a few ‘feelers’ out to other Etsy manufacturers, hopefully one is up to the task 🙂
I’m so happy to be writing this post to tell you that we made it! Chilldils has officially raised the $500 we needed to made our hot/cold dream a reality, thanks to some wonderful and generous friends in the community. Once the campaign is “officially” over on December 15th, Kickstarter will release the money to Amazon Payments, which will then take their sweet time about giving it to ME, apparently. However, this means that I can actually plan instead of just theoretically plan! I’m writing up the orders for our storage tube packaging now and designing the inner label/insert. 🙂
Naturally, I wouldn’t be writing this without the help of 12 truly incredible people:
THANK YOU to www.beyondbirdsbees.com, my very first backers! Beyond Birds and Bees is an innovative site that examines the different approaches to “the talk” and sex education in general that people have experienced. Educational, often hilarious, and informational, BBB is a must see site.
THANK YOU to www.AAGblog.com, written by a very awesome and very dear web friend – it covers everything from crock-pot towel prep, to fisting, to the everyday foibles of life as a parent of three.
THANK YOU to www.virtuallyadult.com, which is a nifty site that brings real-world sensuality into the realm of popular SIM game Second Life(tm)! Buy objects for your avatar to enjoy and interact with and join in on some of the hottest adult parties Second Life(tm) has to offer!
THANK YOU to D.S. – an anonymous donor with a big heart. 🙂 I don’t know about him, but I’m going to go ahead and assuming he’s charming, startlingly attractive, and incredibly intelligent!
THANK YOU to Epiphora, of www.HeyEpiphora.com – not only did my sex-toy-sista-at-arms donate money, she wrote a lovely blog for Chilldils, after which donations went through the roof. Epi is literally the ONLY gal I think could pose a challenge to yours truly in a sex toy version of Jeopardy. 😉
THANK YOU to b_playful, of www.b-playful.blogspot.com – This astoundingly generous man not only helped me make last minute additions to 200(!) gift bags at the NYSBC party the minute I walked in, he also donated a big chunk of change to getting us up and running. He has a disarming smile, cute butt, and cowboy boots…I am unfortunately spoken for, but any rope-loving ladies would be well advised to hop on that particular train before someone else does! Or…while someone else does. I’ll leave the logistics to the passengers.
THANK YOU to thatturtle, of www.ablanderbeige.com/wordpress – This is why I love the garden state. This awesome photographer and music enthusiast isn’t even in the sexblogger community, but he reached out to support someone who lives in Jersey. I owe you coffee, dood.
THANK YOU to toywithme, of www.toywithme.com – another incredibly generous sponsor, TWM has supported my writing as well, inviting me to guest write on her blog! You should really take a gander at her site, even if just for the design…I have serious layout envy. She has a bevy of talented gals writing regularly (one of the things that drew me to the site in the first place), ensuring the blog always has new viewpoints and sexy subjects to read.
The ChillDil™ is a special sleeve designed to heat up or cool down your favorite sex toys! People have been enjoying the benefits of metal sex toys, silicone sex toys, glass sex toys, ceramic sex toys and other high end dildos and vibrators for many years now, but enjoying the ability to change the temperature of these materials was often a hassle. These toys are usually sold with instructions to heat or cool in a bowl of appropriate-temperature water, which would involve getting a bowl, microwaving (or even traditionally boiling) water or cracking ice cubes into it, hauling the whole thing to one’s bedroom or other sexy staging grounds, and periodically dunking, waiting and drying off the toy if a “re-up” of heat or cold was desired. Bowls were knocked over, water-toting-intentions were questioned, and generally those that had to deal with lack of privacy often played with their toys at room temperature, rather than bother with the water method.
Some sex toy owners skipped the medium entirely, opting for sticking the toys directly in the refrigerator or freezer, or microwaving them. This was also an issue, for several reasons – many forgotten dildos were discovered by prying eyes in the crisper drawer, and glass sex toys – expensive, pretty ones with 24 karat gold or silver fuming – were discovered rather abruptly to not be compatible with microwaves.
Surely there was some comfortable middle ground, thought the inventor – some way for people to quickly and efficiently play with temperatures without harming their toy, the overactive imaginations of a roommate, or startling guests or children with illicit objects tucked amongst the leftovers. An organic orgasmic device that didn’t use chemicals or overly complicated procedures and did exactly what a toy owner would want it to. A sex toy accessory that could also be useful, even when sexytime was over.
Enter: The ChillDil™. A specially designed sleeve filled with natural materials that serves several purposes.
*Can be microwaved (20 seconds on each side) or placed in a freezer (20 minutes from room temp to perfectly chilly), after which the discreet (and now hot/cold) sleeve can be carried back to your room as a “head/neckache helper” – either as a cover story or as an actual head/neckache helper.
*A glass/metal/ceramic/silicone toy of your choice can be slid into the inner pocket for 2-3 minutes – the special filler conforms to the sex toy, surrounding it thickly on all sides for maximum transfer of heat or cold.
*Pop it into a ziptop plastic bag and use the heated or chilled ChillDil™ sleeve to take your sensual oil massage to the next level (your partner will thank you, trust us!)
*Enjoy a refresh of heat or cold mid-pleasure session by sliding the toy into the specially designed washable sleeve (which ensures the inside of the ChillDil™ stays clean) and popping the sleeve back into the ChillDil™. Moan, Groan, Repeat!
Made by a woman-owned company right here in the United States, the reusable nature and natural filler of the ChillDil™ makes it a great “Green” upgrade to almost any sex toy! The best toys for temperature play are often an wise financial investment in your sensual satisfaction, so why not get the most out of them with an inexpensive enhancement? ChillDil™ is also excellent when warmed for alleviating menstrual cramps, sore muscles, and when chilled for chasing away headaches or fatigued eyes, making it one of the few sex toy accessories that is just as useful outside the proverbial bedroom.
A few important notes about ChillDil™:
This sex toy accessory cannot be washed or exposed to water, so it is important to use the special removable/washable sleeve if re-inserting a toy that is being used.
It is extremely important to test the temperature of both the ChillDil™ and your sex toy prior to using or inserting your sex toy – we realize this is common sense, but some folks get quite excited when “in the moment” and we figure a reminder couldn’t hurt! The best way to check if the temperature is comfortable is to hold the toy in your closed palm or against the inside of your wrist – if it is too hot/cold to remain there comfortably, give the toy a few minutes (out of the ChillDil™, of course!) to adjust to a more comfortable temperature and test again.
When microwaving the ChillDil™, put down a clean, folded paper towel if your microwave isn’t exactly up to Martha Stewart standards – this will ensure the sleeve doesn’t absorb anything except sexy warmth. Only zap it in 20 second (or less, if your microwave is a particularly powerful one) intervals on each side. After the first time you warm up the ChillDil™ in your microwave, you’ll know exactly what intervals will work best for you in the future.
Launching in Late November/Early December 2009, these sleeves will be tentatively priced in the $25-$30 range. Wholesale pricing will be available for retailers and distributors, and “Special Edition” color and pattern combinations are in the works! Want to be the first to hear when we launch? Send us an email to say hello at: Chilldils@gmail.com.