;-)’s Intellectual Property Rights

;-)’s Intellectual Property Rights
Scott Lachut, PSFK Labs
  • 12 december 2008

Oleg Teterin, president of Russian mobile phone advertiser Superfone announced that the Russian Federal Patent agency has granted him the trademark for the popular emoticon ;-).  Though many doubt the legality of this move, owing to the symbol’s long life in the public domain, Teterin says that he’s only expecting money from corporations that wish to otherwise use it for free.  Furthermore, he wishes to keep it affordable, offering interested parties use of the symbol for a small annual fee in the realm of “tens of thousands of dollars.” What might be even stranger, is that this isn’t the first time this emoticon as appeared in Russian court.  In 2005, a man attempted to sue German company Siemens, claiming he held the trademark, but the company’s appeal was later upheld.

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