A Russian business tycoon has trademarked the winky smiley or emoticon. Yeah, you heard right. Sigh. Oleg Teterin, the president of mobile advertising company Superfone, has trademarked the popular ;-) emoticon.
Aside from being a successful businessman, a considerable amount of people have branded Teterin either a moron or a dumbass opportunist. While the Superfone president has no intention of suing you or me for using ;-) to make money, he’s all set to sue companies who are trying to make money off of his emoticon.
"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. Legal use will be possible after buying an annual license from us. It won’t cost that much—tens of thousands of dollars," he said in comments to NTV.
So, now that you’re all panicking, (okay, maybe you’re not, but we kind of are) breathe easy, it’s not happening. We’re not ones to use smilies in articles but we’d like to be able to if we the mood took us. Anyway, it looks like Teterin isn’t about to charge “tens of thousands” for an annual license to use his trademarked emoticon anytime soon.
RT reports that Russia’s patent authority has put its foot down. Woo!
“Russia’s patent authority, Rospatent, has ruled that the smiley graphic cannot be registered as a trademark. This means that firms are free to use the graphic symbol as part of their brand names, but nobody can claim exclusive rights to its use.”
Now that the emoticon scare is over, we’re realizing how little we used them in the first place. Always the way; don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone. ;-)
Read more at the DailyMail.