From the category archives:

Trade marks

Russian emoticons and a brief update

by Andrew Watson on 12 December 2008

Via Huffington Post comes this story about a Russian entrepreneur who has trademarked the winking smiley face emoticon ;-) sending the IM and texting public into a frenzy. I especially like how he apparently thinks he can treat his “trademark” like a patent and try to require a licence out of anyone who uses it:

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 license from us,” he was quoted by Kommersant as saying. “It won’t cost that much – tens of thousands of dollars.”

It’s like trying to say that the APPLE trademark for computers means that every supermarket needs a licence to sell using the term “apples” to describe those round tasty fruits that come off trees.

Speaking of Apples, in other news, things have been a bit quiet here this week as I’m doing a fairly major personal and professional IT overhaul this week (including with my Mac Book Pro).  As the holidays are just around the corner, as you’d suspect this site will be down for maintenance and posting will be a bit infrequent. As always, thanks for reading.

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