×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Russian Hopes To Cash In On Emoticons

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the but-cyrillic-is-full-of-emoticons dept.

The Almighty Buck 213

drewmoney writes "According to a BBC article, Entrepreneur Oleg Teterin said the trademark for the ';-)' emoticon was granted to him by Russia's federal patent agency. 'Legal use will be possible after buying an annual licence from us,' he was quoted by the newspaper Kommersant as saying. 'It won't cost that much — tens of thousands of dollars,' added the businessman, who is president of Superfone, a company that sells advertising on mobile phones. The president of Russian social networking site odnoklassniki.ru, Nikita Sherman said: 'You're not likely to find any retards in Russia who'll pay Superfone for the use of emoticons.'" Teterin may have gotten the idea by catching up on some old news about Despair, Inc., which in May 2000 was awarded a US trademark on the "frowny" emoticon (Slashdot story).

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

213 comments

Provocation (5, Funny)

MadDogX (1365487) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088647)

:-) ... Am I doin it rite?

Re:Provocation (4, Funny)

sadgoblin (1269500) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088673)

KGB is watching you.

There's No Such Agency... (4, Funny)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089179)

Anymore anyway.
The name of the largest of the Russian successors to the KGB is the FSB, est. 1991.
AKA the Federal Smiley Bureau ; ).

Re:There's No Such Agency... (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089245)

Anymore anyway. The name of the largest of the Russian successors to the KGB is the FSB, est. 1991. AKA the Federal Smiley Bureau ; ).

I always knew they were Fu***ng Stupid B***ards.

Re:There's No Such Agency... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089345)

That is just what the russians want you to believe...

Re:Provocation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26088843)

Ceiling cat is watching you violating trademark symbols.

In soviet russia C-: own you (5, Funny)

Tei (520358) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088895)

Two counterfeigted version:
C-:
(-:

Re:In soviet russia C-: own you (2, Funny)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089149)

I think you'll find that they are already defined as "User is cat in the dark with Mushroom on Head" and "User is ninja cat in the dark about to perform Sumarai attack", respectively.

Re:Provocation (3, Funny)

Haley's Comet (897242) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088905)

Hey Oleg Teterin, "Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you..." ;-)


The IP patent race is the new 'Special Olypics'...

Patent Office == Zoo filled with Idiots? (4, Informative)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088665)

What lame-brain dummy would think that either :-( or ;-) are trademarkable symbols??? They both originated circa 1980 and therefore are public domain.

Re:Patent Office == Zoo filled with Idiots? (4, Funny)

Sebilrazen (870600) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088711)

There's a popular meme around here that applies, I just can't figure out which one:
  • Does it run linux?
  • I, for one, welcome our new ? overlords.
  • In Soviet Russia, ? you!
  • ?????
  • Profit.

Re:Patent Office == Zoo filled with Idiots? (5, Funny)

JJJK (1029630) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088973)

you forgot "you insensitive clod", you insensitive clod!

Re:Patent Office == Zoo filled with Idiots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089063)

Nice, you get a +5 funny with a text you can include in every single thread (i.e. off-topic). Expect to read this post again... several times!

Re:Patent Office == Zoo filled with Idiots? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089391)

There's a popular meme around here that applies, I just can't figure out which one:
  • Does it run linux?
  • I, for one, welcome our new ? overlords.
  • In Soviet Russia, ? you!
  • ?????
  • Profit

Re:Patent Office == Zoo filled with Idiots? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089473)

There's a popular meme around here that applies, I just can't figure out which one:
  • Does it run linux?
  • I, for one, welcome our new ?? overlords.
  • In Soviet Russia, ? you!
  • ?????
  • Profit.

Re:Patent Office == Zoo filled with Idiots? (1)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089085)

Imagine a Beowulf cluster of ;-) ... now available in limited quantities from a Russian start-up I hear.

Re:Patent Office == Zoo filled with Idiots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089275)

"If you don't like it, go to Russia!" ...

Wait a second...

Re:Patent Office == Zoo filled with Idiots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089459)

It's the "?????" one, as in "How in the @#%!!%! does this guy expect to get anyone to actually pay?????"

Its a PR Stunt, not about trademark (5, Insightful)

MindKata (957167) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088751)

"What lame-brain dummy would think that either :-( or ;-) are trademarkable symbols"

The kind of person who would think of trademarking these symbols, would be a businessman who wanted to use this cheap stunt, to get a lot of publicity for his business. Its not about the trademark. Its a stunt, to generate free publicity for his business.

Re:Its a PR Stunt, not about trademark (4, Funny)

EdZ (755139) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088985)

Are you sure you're, using commas correctly?

Re:Its a PR Stunt, not about trademark (5, Funny)

ideonode (163753) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089079)

They're not commas but apostrophes that fell of the "it's" and wandered upstream like salmon.

Re:Its a PR Stunt, not about trademark (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089271)

They're probably stalking the missing 'f' from your post. ;)

Re:Its a PR Stunt, not about trademark (1)

danieltdp (1287734) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089123)

So here is a new (?) emoticon: :,-( It's me crying because I can't blink anymore

Re:Its a PR Stunt, not about trademark (2, Insightful)

rastilin (752802) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089269)

There is a saying that there's no such thing as bad publicity. This is wrong. Just ask Michael Jackson or OJ Simpson.

Lame-braine ddummy (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089683)

What lame-brain dummy would think that either :-( or ;-) are trademarkable symbols

Actually, I think that the lame-brain in this case is not the "businessman" (although extortionist might be a better term), but the idiot who actually granted the application...

Re:Patent Office == Zoo filled with Idiots? (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088815)

Patent office = zoo filled with interns, people fired from other better paid but higher requirement jobs, clueless friends of state-employed lowest-grade clerks and idiots unable to find any better job.

The job of a patent examiner is low-pay, low-qualifications, sucks major ass and is the low of the low you can get, so no wonder there are very few competent people doing it.

Re:Patent Office == Zoo filled with Idiots? (2, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089259)

May be true, but that's got nothing to do with trademarks.

Re:Patent Office == Zoo filled with Idiots? (1)

edittard (805475) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089059)

What lame-brain dummy would think that either :-( or ;-) are trademarkable symbols???

The Russian patent agency, for one.

Did I just say patent agency? I certainly did, and so did TFS.

Re:Patent Office == Zoo filled with Idiots? (1)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089167)

Age is irrelevant for trademark. What's relevant is whether the general public associate the mark with your brand / company. On this criterion his claim is invalid.

Re:Patent Office == Zoo filled with Idiots? (2, Informative)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089231)

What lame-brain dummy would think that either :-( or ;-) are trademarkable symbols??? They both originated circa 1980 and therefore are public domain.

I'm not sure what that has to do with anything. Perhaps Russian trademark law is different, but in the US, at least, it doesn't matter who creates the mark, or when it was created. What basically makes a mark protectable is that it is being used to identify goods or services so marked as originating from a particular source.

The word 'apple' has been around for hundreds of years, and wasn't coined by the two Steves but it is a trademark for computers. The name 'Levi' has been around for thousands of years, but it is a trademark for jeans.

Assuming that someone makes :-) brand something-or-others (or offers services under the :-) brand) and people recognize that the smiley is actually a mark in that context, meaning that so-marked goods or services come from a particular provider, then sure, it can work.

But it wouldn't affect other uses of it, like people talking about emotional states, any more than the APPLE mark for computers prevents people from using the word freely with regard to fruit.

lol (1)

kevind23 (1296253) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088681)

I should patent "lol". I'd be rich from the 13-year-olds alone!

Silly patent, what's next ? (1)

T-BoneX (223972) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088689)

This is crazy, is this for serious..... ?
Who own the patent on numbers/letters/symbols or language ?
I am going to patent free will :) :) :), oops there goes my bank account.

Re:Silly patent, what's next ? (1)

Gandalf_Greyhame (44144) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089237)

screw that! I'm gonna patent the production and distribution of dihydrogen-monoxide

and while I'm at it, I'm also going to apply for a patent for breathing in oxygen, and dispelling carbon-dioxide

Fine with me (3, Funny)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088691)

I never put noses on my emoticons anyway ;)

Re:Fine with me (5, Funny)

Andr T. (1006215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088731)

RTFA. You're doomed.

He also said since other similar emoticons - :-) or ;) or :) - resemble the one he has trademarked, use of those symbols could also fall under his ownership.

Re:Fine with me (3, Interesting)

danieltdp (1287734) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089139)

Just put a mustache on it, like this ;-} Syntacticly is similar, but semantically different: it's not someone blinking, it's a guy with a mustache blinking!

Re:Fine with me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089241)

i prefer mine with a "very happy mustachioed man blinking" ;-{D

Re:Fine with me (1)

jlarocco (851450) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089615)

Maybe you should RTFA where the guy specifically says he's only going to go after companies using the symbols to make money.

Re:Fine with me (1)

tchiseen (1315299) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088803)

Me either ;) ;) Tough nuts for this chap :P But really though, I invented this smiley :Oo It's FOSS though.

Let me the first to say (-1, Redundant)

Andr T. (1006215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088721)

In Soviet Russia, emoticons patent-ize you.

Re:Let me the first to say (1, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089527)

It's not Soviet Russia any more. It's Post Soviet Russia.

In Post Soviet Russia, mcgrew corrects YOU!

Imagine the scene (5, Funny)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088735)

Judge: Oleg Teterin?
Oleg Teterin: Yes? :-)
Judge: We have ruled that you don't have a patent on the emoticon
Oleg Teterin: Oh :-(
Everyone else: lol! :-P

Re:Imagine the scene (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089217)

Oleg Teterin: Oh :-(
Judge: You don't have a patent on that emoticon either
Oleg Teterin: ...
Lawyer: *flicks through looking for a patent on ellipses*

This trademark is already invalidated (4, Informative)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088753)

Rospatent has already invalidated this trademark because it's a generic image and doesn't offer Superfone any brand recognition.

Patent THIS: (5, Funny)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088755)

:-*

my

(_|_)

>:-(

Re:Patent THIS: (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089089)

:-* ----- "Kiss"

my ----- "my"

(_|_) ----- "overweight American ass"

>:-( ----- Okay now I'm stuck. What does this emoticon mean?

Re:Patent THIS: (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089153)

Angry face

Re:Patent THIS: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089729)

(_|_) ----- "overweight American ass"

You... COMMUNIST! Oh, that was so 1950's.

Bender's Version (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089285)

:^(= =)
my
*[_|_]+

Couldn't the folks who patented the typewriter... (1)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088759)

Couldn't the typewriter folks turn around and sue these Russians for stealing company secrets? It is a big secret right? Right?

Re:Couldn't the folks who patented the typewriter. (2, Funny)

pm_rat_poison (1295589) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088881)

Hello? Is this the patent office? Good. I'd like to file a patent please. It's called "Use of organic materials for human energy acquisition"

Previous art (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088763)

Does that mean I won't be able to patent my new processus of using the character "" as pictographic symbol meaning "nose"?

"Entrepreneur"? (2, Interesting)

NorQue (1000887) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088769)

Why not call him the fraud that he is?

Re:"Entrepreneur"? (2, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088903)

He owns an advertising company. Whatever else he may be, entrepreneur fits as a label.

Re:"Entrepreneur"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089367)

One that sells mobile phone ads.

COnsidering his willingness to commit trademark FRAUD, I think "entrepreneur" is indeed the wrong label.

Is this copyright worldwide? (1, Funny)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088777)

Does this ruling apply worldwide?

If so, I am now a emoticon pirate. You will probably be able to get some at piratebay soon.

Re:Is this copyright worldwide? (1)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088833)

This is a Russian Ruling. It carries as much weight in the real world as the Russian claim on the Arctic.

Re:Is this copyright worldwide? (1)

JavaBasedOS (1217930) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089019)

Dear AndGodSed,

It is our duty to inform you that you have infringed on our clients' "frowny" trademark and therefore, you have been indicted.

As of right now, the trial for the class-action suit is scheduled to take place on December 1st, 2008.

We would also like to inform you that we have filed a patent for a time machine, so don't get any bright ideas, you jerk.

Regards,
The Smiley Industry Association of America

Damn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26088785)

This is just stupid! What's next, patenting keyboard buttons?

Oh

Re:Damn (2, Funny)

Andr T. (1006215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089067)

Here where I live we c_n't type a cert_in letter. You know, the first letter of the _lph_bet.

D_mn, I'll be p_ying for my sig.

Patent (5, Funny)

loonycyborg (1262242) | more than 5 years ago | (#26088799)

You keep using that "patent" word. I don't think that it means what you think it means.

Re:Patent (1)

Zordak (123132) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089239)

Exactly. This guy got a trademark. Trademarks only cover confusingly-similar uses (at least in the U.S. and most other countries). That means that he can only restrict your use of the emoticon in cases where your use would confuse people into believing you're selling his product. The summary doesn't say what he's selling, but assume he's selling pens with smiley face on them. That means that if you sell smiley-face gasoline, you're okay. In other words, this is a non-issue.

sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26088989)

I'm :-( about the patent on :-)

Time to opensource emoticons (3, Funny)

frenchgates (531731) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089125)

I'm tired of paying the man to use them and I don't have the programming skill to figure out how to make them myself.

Where Have I Seen This Before? (2, Funny)

wchatam (1167565) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089483)

This reminds me of the shenanigans [slashdot.org] of a company closer to home. I'd like to invite these two to work out their emoticon patent issues in the following manner:

o
|\__o
/\/\ /\

How the hell??? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089547)

Given that this has been in common usage in email and the like for a very long time (I've been using ;-) for at least 15 years now) how in the hell can this be trademarked??

I realize patents have prior art, and we're talking about a Russian institution (from which I'm told you can likely buy anything) -- but how in the hell can a widely used emoticon which likely predates this guy using it in any way shape or form be trademarked??? Isn't this kinda like trademarking "the" or something??

I'm sure he'll be able to extort a little money out of one of the big companies. But, really, this makes no sense whatsoever to me.

Cheers

So you own :-) well :-p (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089583)

now a Russian owns :-)? wha? :-0 I'm mad >:-[ you can't own :-) as much as anyone can own a common word! Utter nonsense. I'm sure there's prior art >:-p

Maybe this will stifle use and kill the format (2, Funny)

riegel (980896) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089825)

Maybe this will stifle their use and kill the format.

Maybe this is a good use of the patent system.

I also think any web forum that uses them should pay through the nose to this guy for the revenues he has surely lost.

This will have the greater effect of stifling all such uses in the future.

The more I think about it the more convinced I am that this is an excellent use of the patent system.

;) , Ooops I mean *wink*.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...