woberto Report This Comment
Date: December 24, 2008 04:40AM
How much would you pay for a ;-)? A Russian businessman has trademarked the
emoticon - or combination of punctuation marks - used to convey a wink in text
messages and email.
Oleg Teterin, president of the mobile ad company Superfone, said Thursday he
doesn't plan on tracking down individual users following the decision by the
federal patent agency.
"I want to highlight that this is only directed at corporations, companies
that are trying to make a profit without the permission of the trademark
holder," he said in comments to NTV.
Companies will be sent legal warnings if they use the symbol without his
permission, he said.
"Legal use will be possible after buying an annual licence from us,"
he was quoted by Kommersant as saying. "It won't cost that much - tens of
thousands of dollars."
He also said since other similar emoticons - :-) or
- resemble the one he has trademarked, use of
those symbols could also fall under his ownership.
Other Russian internet entrepreneurs reacted to the effort predictably -
"Imagine the next wise-guy who trademarks the 33 letters of the Russian
alphabet and then says anyone who uses the Russian alphabet has to send him
money. It's absurd," Alexander Manis, the director of a broadband internet
and mobile company, told NTV.
Maksim Mashkov, owner of an internet cafe and bookstore, said he doubted the
trademark's legal basis since the symbol has existed in the public domain for
Indeed, Russia media said Teterin wasn't the first to try to trademark the
symbol in Russia. Kommersant said a St. Petersburg court in 2005 agreed with an
appeal from the German corporation Siemens, which was sued by a Russian man
claiming he held the trademark.
Scott Fahlman, a professor at the Carnegie Mellon University in the United
States, claims that he was the first to use three keystrokes - a colon followed
by a hyphen and a parenthesis - as a horizontal "smiley face" in a
computer message 25 years ago.
fossil_digger Report This Comment
Date: December 25, 2008 12:32AM
i guess this would be the public "legal warning"
let's put it in the 613 pirate flag logo......hmmmmmm