A Russian businessman, Oleg Teterin has trademarked the emoticon that we all use daily the ;-).
Breathe sigh of relief though, because Oleg Tetrin benevolent president of the mobile ad company Superfone, said he doesn’t plan on tracking down individual users following the decision to award him the patent.
This generosity however does not apply to corporations should they use the ;-)
“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. He went on to say that companies will be sent legal letters if they do use the ;-) without permission.
Sadly there was no ;-) a the end of that sentence. We think this Russki, Oleg Tetrin might be serious.
;-) We look forward to receiving our writ ;-)
“Legal use will be possible after buying an annual license from us,” he was quoted by Kommersant as saying. “It won’t cost that much – tens of thousands of dollars.”
Nope, no ;-) after that statement either.
He also said since other similar emoticons – :-) or ;) or :) – which are similar in punctuation, but not emotion to the one he has trademarked, could also be owned by him.
This is not the first time that a Russina has tried this. German company Seimans was sued by another Russian in 20o5 who claimed he owned the trademark to the ;-).
All we can say is that if this stacks up, LG, you might be f^&%* your logo is a slicked up emoticon.
The smiley face emoticon was said to be created 25 years ago by Scott Fahlman, a professor at the Carnegie Mellon University in the US.