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Cingular Patents the Emoticon?

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the no-words dept.

Patents 231

massysett writes "Mobile phone carrier Cingular Wireless may have managed to get a patent on the emoticon. The patent describes a system for selecting a displayable icon to indicate the mood or emotion of the user. It also covers text-based emoticons, 'so presumably sending :) via an SMS - if selected via a dedicated or softkey, would be a breach of the patent in future.'" My response? >:/

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Frosty Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14570785)

Posty Frost. I fail it.

1st post (0, Redundant)

flumpmaster (746057) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570787)

Yippee

Hmmm (5, Funny)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570789)

Prior art! [despair.com]

Re:Hmmm (2, Informative)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570818)

They were granted a trademark [uspto.gov] for that, not a patent.

Re:Hmmm (2, Interesting)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570833)

Doesn't matter, prior art doesn't mean that there has to be a previous patent. If it did, I could patent the wheel.

Re:Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14570900)

According to the all-knowing wiki, prior art or state of the art is all information that has been disclosed to the public in any form before a given date.

Being a trademark doesn't discount it as prior art.

Re:Hmmm (0, Flamebait)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570874)

Prior art![despair.com]

Yeah, that's der bunny. I posted that years ago and it was rejected as a post. Now /. editors see this as serious, nevermind the seeds were sewn years ago.

A trademark, however is just the permission to grant rather exclusive use of a design. Patenting a system for manipulating punctuation into moods is, well, about as dumb as moodrings.

Good luck enforcing this one! (5, Funny)

gasmonso (929871) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570799)

They can stick that patent in their (_|_).

http://religiousfreaks.com/ [religiousfreaks.com]

Re:Good luck enforcing this one! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14570885)

They can suck my left (o)(o)

Re:Good luck enforcing this one! (5, Funny)

ettlz (639203) | more than 8 years ago | (#14571029)

And they can kiss my shiny hello.jpg (=O=).

Re:Good luck enforcing this one! (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#14571074)

Just the filename itself is enough.

That should be its own emoticon.

Re:Good luck enforcing this one! (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 8 years ago | (#14571296)

Ehhhhh, I could pull a better cartoon out of my a-- ha heh heh. Hey! Whoa! Wasn't that great kids?

Re:Good luck enforcing this one! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14571031)

www.goatse.cx[broken link]

Re:Good luck enforcing this one! (2, Funny)

utexaspunk (527541) | more than 8 years ago | (#14571332)

They could also ))<>((

Patent review (5, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570800)

They really need to beef up their standards for patent review. Stuff like this should never even get through. People shouldn't have to spend money battling these patents in court. I think cingular should be fined for even submitting a patent which is quite obviously not novel, and just an attempt to patent something that's already used everywhere in order to squeeze money out of others

patent application, not patent (1)

ProfBooty (172603) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570907)

There is no reference to any actual patent number within that page. Rather a published patent application. No need to get up in a huff yet.

US2006015812 is not a patent number, merely a publication number.

Correct application number and link (5, Informative)

HDlife (714246) | more than 8 years ago | (#14571219)

The APPLICATION NUMBER is 20060015812

This just published and is years from becoming a patent. This is just a laundry list of claims that they want, not that they will get.

You can see it here: http://appft1.uspto.gov/netahtml/PTO/srchnum.html/ [uspto.gov]

Show me the patent!? (1)

HDlife (714246) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570965)

OK, I'll bite. Where is this supposed patent? I'd like to RTFP, but US2006015812 is not a US patent number. A quick search of Cingular's patents doesn't come up with it either.

Patent review is a lawyers' revenge (1)

crovira (10242) | more than 8 years ago | (#14571182)

They would have got a 'F' on hydrodynamics or something and Math was utterly beyond them so they get their revenge by screwing with a history of incremental improvements (you're gonna get sued,) or revolutionary ideas (Okay, there aren't any revolutionary ideas... Really.)

You end up 'needing' layers of lawyers to cushion you from the blows of other lawyers.

Shakespeare had it right: "First thing we do," says one of the followers of the rebel Jack Cade in Henry VI, Part II, "is kill all the lawyers."

Been done (3, Interesting)

taustin (171655) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570802)

This patent will conflict with Despair.com's [despair.com] registered trademark, won't it?

Re:Been done (1)

Dysproxia (584031) | more than 8 years ago | (#14571099)

A logo by itself is not a "system for selecting a displayable icon to indicate the mood or emotion of the user." So not really.

My response? (1)

kalpol (714519) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570804)

n|m

Frist Spot (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14570808)

Frost spit. ;-)

The whole point (1)

jlebrech (810586) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570816)

The whole point of an emoticon is to draw a mood using normal ascii characters that are visible from the keyboard. The whole redrawing of those emoticons graphically is just nonsense.

We'll need to see the patent...but uh... (4, Interesting)

Benanov (583592) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570817)

You know, it looks like it's another one of those “we're doing X, but on the internet” patents, except this time it's on a phone.

I thought that I had lost all hope in the patent system some time ago, but I just lost more.

This is simply... (3, Insightful)

cnelzie (451984) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570821)

...another reason that the Patent system needs to be revised and or rebuilt.

    Activating an emoticon from tapping one key is NO different then activating something via a single Macro key, which has been used in applications and games for ages.

    Writing a series of symbols out to be displayed as an emoticon is also soemthing that has been performed for ages.

    Seriously, when will this patent frenzy of stupidity end?

this is an application, not a patent (1)

ProfBooty (172603) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570952)

this is a patent application publication, not an actual patent, rather it is a published copy of a patent application.

these things are great as they provide a much greater source of prior art than merely actual patents themselves.

no need to get so relied up. it is not a patent, yet.

US2006015812

It'll end when you elect competent government (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 8 years ago | (#14571030)

Who are there to represent YOU and not their campaign contributors.

 

Re:This is simply... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14571034)

When we shoot all the patentists, I guess. :-)

It's really silly. I'm pretty confident the system will collapse, I'd just rather it collapsed this year instead of over several decades, because I'll almost certainly be dead in several decades.

My submission was Rejected (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570824)

Years ago I tried to submit a story about a .com trying to copyright the :-( emoticon. Seems nobody took me seriously then. Now Cingular, following in their footsteps is all the rage.

Well, yeah, they're making an almighty grab for the system. Never mind I received my first list of emoticons, a rather comprehensive one at that, back in the 80's.

Re:My submission was Rejected (1)

un1xl0ser (575642) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570950)

I think this is what you were talking about:

http://www.despair.com/ [despair.com]

Re:My submission was Rejected (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#14571022)

I think this is what you were talking about: http://www.despair.com/ [despair.com]

Quite similar. Initially Despair.com attempted a copyright on :-( and was rejected. That was my orginal submission, back in the days of yor (when it was rejected) seems they shifted footing and went for Trademark.

Still, the patent for emoticons is preposterous and whoever granted it should be publicly flogged. They probably are some old cuss who has never been on the internet and still write with an Underwood typewritter.

Re:My submission was Rejected (1)

Sabotage (21481) | more than 8 years ago | (#14571205)

From my Despair, Inc. Demotivators calendar:

January 2nd: In a satirical press release, Despair, Inc. announces plans to sue millions of Internet users who have used the :-( symbol in email, violating the company's trademarked logo. (2001)

January 26th: Slashdot.org, a widely read news site, reports Despair's emoticon lawsuit as fact. Despair is besieged with hundreds of outraged emails, most using the :-( symbol. (2001)

January 29th: The NY Times reports that Despair's attempts to satirise frivolous intellectual property lawsuits instead served to demonstrate the gullibility and rashness of geeks. (2001)

January 30th: German TV News reports that a greedy American company is suing millions for using :-( symbols in email, prompting a new flood of complaints written in German. (2001)

February 5th: Despair announces it will compromise with trademark violators by manufacturing and selling Frownies (TM) -- legal :-( symbols which cna be used in email -- at a price of $0.00. (2001)

And the slashdot article that got everyone all riled up:
http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=01/01/26/15 25258&mode=thread [slashdot.org]

UseNet (1)

rlp (11898) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570827)

I suspect the use of emoticons in UseNet predates the existence of Cingular.

Re:UseNet (1)

Chosen Reject (842143) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570976)

I've seen them in the bible. I suspect that predates UseNet.

UseNet, FIDONet (2, Informative)

bwcbwc (601780) | more than 8 years ago | (#14571103)

Both pre-date the WWW, which pre-dates text messaging over the phone. In fact, technically, dial-up IS text messaging over the phone. Anyone who used an ANSI art drawing tool or a macro key on their terminal emulator back in the 1200 bps modem days could define macros to generate emoticons. So the only possible basis for this that I can see is the fact that it's over the phone or if they substitute special characters for the emoticon text (i.e., an actual happy face for :) ).

Every single previous platform for text messages has developed the capability for emoticons, and the special characters have already been done by various IM services like Yahoo, MSN, and PHPBB. Also, the mechanism for implementing this feature is the same across all platforms: byte substitution. The technique is platform independent, and therefore the platform can't be used as a basis for non-obvious part.

Comic Book Guy (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14570828)

"There Is No Emoticon For What I Am Feeling!"

Re:Comic Book Guy (1)

ip_freely_2000 (577249) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570978)

Good one. I would have given you a "+1, Funny" if you had logged in.

Re:Comic Book Guy (3, Funny)

ndansmith (582590) | more than 8 years ago | (#14571229)

"There Is No Emoticon For What I Am Feeling!"

Now where's my +1 Funny?

Love the emoticon, hate the "smileys" (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14570834)

Obtaining little funny animated smileys seems to be as popular as changing your ring tone every hour on your cell phone. What's wrong with :)? It really doesn't need to be so flashy to get the point across. Maybe we should just go back to <g> for "grin".

What idiot approves these headlines? (5, Insightful)

unterderbrucke (628741) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570838)

The article, even the summary, clearly indicates all they are patenting is the process of using a smiley on the phone/sending it. They are NOT patenting the smiley, that's just an inflammatory headline used to create negative response.

Re:What idiot approves these headlines? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14570859)

The article, even the summary, clearly indicates all they are patenting is the process of using a smiley on the phone/sending it

Oh, OK. When you put it like that, it sounds like a legitimate use of the patent system. Novel, non-trivial, non-obvious, and all that.

Re:What idiot approves these headlines? (1)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570944)

The article, even the summary, clearly indicates all they are patenting is the process of using a smiley on the phone/sending it. They are NOT patenting the smiley, that's just an inflammatory headline used to create negative response.

    Don't get me wrong, but how's that different? I've been using smileys in SMSs for years - yes, the 'frowny' one they mention in the article too. Could i patent the use of smileys on IRC conversations aswell? I would be rich!

Re:What idiot approves these headlines? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14570949)

clearly indicates all they are patenting is the process of using a smiley on the phone/sending it.

Because nobody has ever sent a smiley on a phone before, eh? And before you gripe about using a single button to do it, what about the java IM clients on the smartphones that do just that?

This deserves the negative response that it's getting.

Re:What idiot approves these headlines? (2, Insightful)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570975)

The article, even the summary, clearly indicates all they are patenting is the process of using a smiley on the phone/sending it. They are NOT patenting the smiley, that's just an inflammatory headline used to create negative response.

And yet that doesn't make it any less ridiculous. Look, the original emoticons were around from the beginning of USENET [answers.com] and have been co-opted in all sorts of garish ways. They have become ubiquitous and you can't patent something that is such. This just points out how stupid the patent system has become. Isn't it possible people were texting smileys to each other before Cingular even existed?

Re:What idiot approves these headlines? (3, Insightful)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 8 years ago | (#14571005)

Oh, that makes it better. Because when you put it that way, it's really non-obvious and I'm sure nobody ever thought of doing it before.

Oh, gee, I'm so sorry for confusion (1)

michaeltoe (651785) | more than 8 years ago | (#14571006)

I didn't realize that my cappuccino machine violates patent laws only if it's placed next to a south-facing window. That view is mighty tasty!

Re:What idiot approves these headlines? (1)

C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) | more than 8 years ago | (#14571325)

because what they're trying to do is patent a _F***ING_ _MENU_!!!

IM softwares have menus for easy selection of emoticons, and they have this for years by now. heck, even if the patent's only valid for cell phones, my 2 yr old nokia 3200 already have this, and this model was already old news when i bought it.

so, unless cingular can prove that they're the ones who invented _MENUS_ on a computer (and they didn't. menus have been in use since before cingular even existed), they can pretty much shove it.

No way (1)

Odin_Tiger (585113) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570839)

That will never fly. People have been using emoticons, and especially ASCII smilies etc., for a very, very long time. --- How long has that been in the character map? Surely somebody can find some instance of someone, somewhere, mapping that character to a single key?

Re:No way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14570884)

MS-DOS: ^A

Re:No way (1)

Odin_Tiger (585113) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570901)

Stupid crap cut out my character...anywho, type alt + 257 or 258 into a text box or whatever. Smily face characters. How long have those been around?

Re:No way (1)

sacherjj (7595) | more than 8 years ago | (#14571055)

AKA: Alt + Fn + ki7 and Alt + Fn + ki8 and your laptop. :(

Re:No way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14570991)

The Sony Ericsson P900 (gsm phone/pda), while entering a text message it displays a palette of emoticons that you can tap to enter. This patent doesn't stand a chance - but that doesn't matter, it's worth $1 less than the court costs to challange it.

Re:No way (1)

amliebsch (724858) | more than 8 years ago | (#14571186)

People have been using emoticons, and especially ASCII smilies etc., for a very, very long time.

Actually, the application (it's NOT a patent yet, just an application) does not deny this at all. The application is for some scheme to do this with an overloaded keypad or voice commands. From TFApplication:

[0003] The Internet culture has developed emoticons as a way to compensate for some of the limitations of written communication. The term "emoticon" is shorthand for "emotive icon." Emoticons are typically comprised of a sequence of characters and symbols that connote some emotional state. Emoticons commonly appear in email, chat, text messaging, and other forms of written, electronic communication to express moods or tone in ways that text alone cannot. For example, `:-)` is frequently used to indicate pleasure, `:-(` displeasure. Typically, users manually input a sequence of characters and symbols to construct an emoticon. In many applications, the sequence is automatically converted into a graphic.

Slash Dot as prior art? (3, Informative)

RingDev (879105) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570844)

I always though /. was suposed to be Cmdr Taco pissed off and standing on his head, cause, he's only got one eye ya know.

-Rick (Just Kidding!)

Uh oh, better call the punctuation police (2, Funny)

Mr.Fork (633378) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570849)

At first, my reaction was :O but I'm guessing a lot of us are >:( but as world government bodies are getting tired of the US patenting everything from berries to sounds :^o we sign in their general direction with our tongue firmly in cheek :p

AOL-Speak (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14570854)

This inspires me. I'm taking out a patent on AOL-speak and then off to the courts to force the stopping of it! :P

My response (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14570856)

My response? >:/

And here's mine: t(-_-)

Ridiculous patents... as usual (1)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570860)

Come on. Just... come on.

These people aren't actually "inventing" anything. They're just taking something obvious, like binding a macro to a hotkey and pretending it's an innovation. It's trivial. You shouldn't have to face the possibility for paying licensing for trivial things.

But then, this is hardly news to anyone here, is it? Just another line in a book of examples of the abuse of patents.

Here's my response (1)

TheHawke (237817) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570882)

(_|_) (_/_) (_|_) (_\_) (_|_)

XD

(Homer) "Kiss my fat hairy yellow ass" (/homer)

Patents = Stock value...? (1)

BuR4N (512430) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570883)

I maybe is on thin ice here and Cingular might even be noted on some stock exchange.

But stuff like this must be artifacts of the hysteria that is the stock market, patents are part of company value, no matter how ridicules they are.

I doubt that they think they can squeeze any money out of this, but +1 in the patent row in the books might look nice to people buying/selling their stock....

I'm speechless (4, Funny)

Hershmire (41460) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570888)

=X

We really need (1)

BattleRat (536161) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570895)

to fix the patent office. It seems that Cingular should get both of these .!.. ..!. If this Cingular case is a precident, then every stream of characters (no matter what they are, i.e. asdffsdjklsf) can be patented. It's more like getting a patent for a word. My Fav emoticon is this one: (._|_.) dibs on that patent ;)

Idiots. (1)

Khaed (544779) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570898)

I'm sure this topic will be followed with hundreds of posts about why patents are evil, about how we're patenting too much, blah blah yeah. I agree. This, though? How the hell could a patent clerk look at this and stamp it? Did they even look at it? Do we have any recourse or any way to fire these morons? Why in the name of all that is holy did this GET patented?

Patents are out of control... I'm just wondering if anyone has any input on how the hell they get by with this bullshit.

Patented Graphics? (1)

PacketScan (797299) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570914)

I though you could only copyright photos and images.
If this Changed were and how did this change happen?
Seceret courts?

Yes!!! (1)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570920)

Now when we finally revolt aginst the sappy emoticons we will have a target to attack;-)

This makes me feel (1)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570922)

>:(

and I really want to :-P

in the face of the lawyer who thought this up

Cingular = Sleeze (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14570927)

Worst customer service on the planet. Now this. Humph.

Not a patent - an application only (5, Informative)

ChartBoy (626444) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570929)

The "patent number" cited in the article is not a patent number. It is an application number (the US has recently started publishing applications in keeping with the rest of the world). This is the application [uspto.gov] .

US utility patent numbers have sequential numbers and are currently in the 6 million range. Application numbers have a year (2006) and a serial number within the year (15812).

Re:Not a patent - an application only (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14571217)

Increased access to written communications on mobile devices has brought emoticons to the wireless world. Given the compact nature of the typical mobile device, however, inputting emoticons on a mobile device can be a cumbersome and time-consuming process. This problem is further exacerbated as the base of commonly used emoticons grows to include new emoticons, which are often built from increasingly long and complex strings of characters and symbols.


So all they really want to do is patent a way to get around the uselessness of their stupid mockery of a keyboard?

Crap (1)

3CRanch (804861) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570936)

What a bunch 'o crap. I'm not sure how long the text emotes have been around, but I know I personally have been using them for at least 16 years.

The patent office should be ashamed!

I thought Microsoft did this? (1)

ViolentGreen (704134) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570939)

Didn't microsoft already do this? link [zdnet.co.uk]

Maybe the differences are SMS vs IM

Here's a link to the actual application (1)

jsprat (442568) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570941)

From the Abstract of the actual application [uspto.gov] :

A method and system for generating a displayable icon or emoticon form that indicates the mood or emotion of a user of the mobile station. A user of a device, such as a mobile phone, is provided with a dedicated key or shared dedicated key option that the user may select to insert an emoticon onto a display or other medium. The selection of the key or shared dedicated key may result in the insertion of the emoticon, or may also result in the display of a collection of emoticons that the user may then select from using, for example, a key mapping or navigation technique.


It's not patented yet (it's a patent application) and they aren't attempting to patent emoticons (just a system to use them, which is just as silly IMO).

Just thought I'd throw out some facts...

Re:Here's a link to the actual application (1)

xnderxnder (626189) | more than 8 years ago | (#14571184)


Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true. Facts Shmacts.

Odd.. I can usually resist quoting the Simspons..

As if I needed another reason to dispise Crapular? (1)

MrPeavs (890124) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570948)

I am still bitter at Crapular for what they did to my beautiful AT&T Wireless network. I live in the Twin Cities and AT&T had the best service for the area. That all changed a year ago from last October when Crapular finally took over. I went from almost no dropped calls and great reception to many dropped calls and piss poor reception. I couldn't even get good reception in my apartment when before, I got full strength.

All times I called them, many many times, I got the same answer. Nothing has changed, but we have heard these complaints. They offered nothing beyond that, not even we are working on that. Their customer service went down the pisser too, which they had the same response as they did to the service problems.

From my dealings with Crapular, it doesn't surprise me that they are pulling something like this.

In other news... (1)

drgonzo59 (747139) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570960)

Verizon, not to be outdone, patents the "Send" button

Where's the patent? (1)

portwojc (201398) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570964)

I searched for that patent number (US2006015812) at www.uspto.gov and found no results. So the number must be off. I dropped the US too.

It's important to read the patent. So many people don't know how to read patents but still just go off on wild tagents.

Article not true? (1)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570966)

The article references patent number US2006015812. The USPTO site says that number does not exist, and a search for the word "Emoticon" in patents [uspto.gov] gives 14 hits, none of them matching the story... and a few of them arguably providing prior art!

Don't you mean... (1)

neonzebra (33639) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570980)

My response? >:/
Don't you mean: My response? >:/®

Cingular... (1)

Narcoden (919553) | more than 8 years ago | (#14570983)

... can suck my (_)==D

Wouldn't this generate negative publicity? (1)

StressGuy (472374) | more than 8 years ago | (#14571004)

Instant messaging is pretty prolific these days so I would think that a pretty large cross-section of their demographic is aware of "emoticons". Wouldn't this kinda look like a money-grab? I can't imagine a positive reponse to something like this. Seems that it will inevitably be shot down as prior art anyways. Difficult to see what they expect to ultimately gain.

Saw my first emoticon... (1)

rscrawford (311046) | more than 8 years ago | (#14571009)

I saw my first emoticon back in 1987 or 1988 on an informal BBS run by my University's library. I had no idea what the little :) meant until I happened to tilt my head.

Doesn't this qualify as "prior art", or am I missing something important here?

Patent? (1)

hunterx11 (778171) | more than 8 years ago | (#14571024)

Emoticons are over 25 years old [cmu.edu] . If they had been patented in the first place, the patent would have expired by now, anyway.

Eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14571036)

Can't find "invention date" for this, but my Sony-Ericsson T616 phone has a way to pick an smiley to add to a text message - which inserts a face icon but sends ":-)". Sounds like exactly what they are applying for.

Prior art (1)

Bloater (12932) | more than 8 years ago | (#14571043)

MSN Messenger with a touchscreen would be prior art, and I *know* people have used MSN Messenger with a touchscreen - the problem is, I can't *prove* it so they'll have to stop doing it now.

Little do they know.... (1)

SnuffySmith (780790) | more than 8 years ago | (#14571052)

... I have patented the use of an unpaired parenthesis.

And let me tell you, it took my team of crack researchers (lawyers), months to come up with that one.

Folks, This isn't a Patent (3, Informative)

TheDoctor_MN (669362) | more than 8 years ago | (#14571054)

Okay, everyone take a deep breath. Though the original post says this is a patent, it is not. It is a patent application. Anyone can file whatever they want, and it will get published as a patent application in 18 months. ANYTHING. I could write something up for "kissing up to my boss" and it would get published. This application has yet to see an examiner, who will in all likelihood reject it pretty much as quickly as you all have based on a slew of prior art out there. Check back in two or so odd years to see if this issues or not. Link to the full text... http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=P TO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG01&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2F srchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=%2220060015812%22.PGN R.&OS=DN/20060015812&RS=DN/20060015812 [uspto.gov]

Lucrative Patent (1)

PcolaLinuxDragon (836275) | more than 8 years ago | (#14571075)

Can I patent the use of a prehensile didget for the purpose of activating a switching device? Could be useful for anything from lightswitches to keyboards to mice! Or......on second thought, how about Patenting the use of an LED for the purpose of annoying the user ?

First Use (4, Informative)

jmkaza (173878) | more than 8 years ago | (#14571082)

19-Sep-82 11:44 Scott E Fahlman :-)
From: Scott E Fahlman

I propose that the following character sequence for joke markers: :-)

Read it sideways. Actually, it is probably more economical to mark
things that are NOT jokes, given current trends. For this, use :-(

:( how can :( they do :( this :/? (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14571085)

My response? >:/
:( :( :(
:( :>(

Just had :( to get that out :( (without upsetting the lameness filter) while I still could. :(

Nice try... (1)

Nikker (749551) | more than 8 years ago | (#14571116)

They were a little too specific I think, look at this.

system for selecting a displayable icon to indicate the mood or emotion of the user

For this patent to work can they prove this was actually *your* mood/emotion? If so and the mood you conveyed != actual mood then would it be a part of the patent? Or consider this SMS "are you :'( ?" If that was not my emotion then is it ok?

By patenting a description of the senders emotions and actually centering out that only the senders emotions/moods will be described using this method then there are quite a few "work arounds". Come up with CingIcons which display moods opposing the ones you are discribing and have fun. Or dont describe your emotions but describe how the person you are talking to would feel in this situation.

In short this is just plain stupid. For a company this large to try something this pathetic their R&D must be at real low. I think they are forgetting the most complex device of them all ....

us

Simple answer to stupid patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14571133)

Ignore them.

Sue me for violating your unjust and stupid patents, I'll just laugh at you and continue violating them. Send me to court, I'll ignore you, then to jail, I'll continue to ignore you. Enough people do this, we'll get the attention of the masses and something will be done.

Civil disobedience. The last hope in a dying country full of people wanting to destroy our way of life so they can get more money.

trool4ore (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14571135)

impairedX its Cpercent of the *BSD

Unfortunately we all can (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 8 years ago | (#14571167)

fight any suit arising from this citing "prior art" which I think should make the patent null.
35 U.S.C. 103 Conditions for patentability; non-obvious subject matter (a) A patent may not be obtained though the invention is not identically disclosed or described as set forth in section 102 of this title, if the differences between the subject matter sought to be patented and the prior art are such that the subject matter as a whole would have been obvious at the time the invention was made to a person having ordinary skill in the art to which said subject matter pertains. Patentability shall not be negatived by the manner in which the invention was made.
USPTO [uspto.gov]

Not a Patent (1)

thebdj (768618) | more than 8 years ago | (#14571200)

The wonderful patent they show is not a patent, but a Published Application. How do I know this? The number starts 2006. This means it is a Pre-Grant Publication (PGPUB) that was published in 2006. If it were a Patent it would have a number in sequential order with other patents, which would make it something along the lines of the high 6 millions or low 7 millions for a number (assuming recent approval).

So stop the panicking, stop the whining, and check the facts of articles and summaries on slashdot before blindly crying foul.

Ridiculous patent... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14571264)

Patent this... t(o_O)t

The Article Is Simply Wrong (2, Interesting)

XLawyer (68496) | more than 8 years ago | (#14571269)

Cingular has not received any patent such as the article describes. The number that appears in the article, US2006015812, is actually a publication number for a U.S. patent application. The application itself [uspto.gov] can be found on the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office's web site [uspto.gov] .

Not only is this only an application for a patent, and not only has this application not yet been granted, but the PTO hasn't even examined it yet. (You can look up the status of the application yourself using PAIR [uspto.gov] .)

Cingular is not going to wind up with a patent that will stop you from using smileys in you text messages. In fact, on a quick read, the claims and specification appear to discuss ways to make it easier to insert emoticons in your text, not the mere use of emoticons. And the patent examiners, despite what you may have heard, are pretty tough about claims like this, too.

In short, it looks like the writer of the article dropped the ball here, not the U.S. Patent Office.

Patent text (1)

Sooner Boomer (96864) | more than 8 years ago | (#14571274)

The patent number in the article is incorrect. The correct number is 20060015812. The abstract is as follows -


"A method and system for generating a displayable icon or emoticon form that indicates the mood or emotion of a user of the mobile station. A user of a device, such as a mobile phone, is provided with a dedicated key or shared dedicated key option that the user may select to insert an emoticon onto a display or other medium. The selection of the key or shared dedicated key may result in the insertion of the emoticon, or may also result in the display of a collection of emoticons that the user may then select from using, for example, a key mapping or navigation technique."


DISGUSTING

American Innovation Takes Another Hit (1)

jjleard (575385) | more than 8 years ago | (#14571276)

Your bullying skill has improved (+1)!
Your empathy skill has decreased (-25)!

While this is just an application I'd wager 7:3 that it will be approved. After all, is it not the government's job to ensure that large businesses have every tool at their disposal to squash any would-be start up?

Remind me again why innovation in the US is 5 years behind Japan, Denmark, Norway, et al? Oh, right. Nevermind.

boo (1)

the-amazing-blob (917722) | more than 8 years ago | (#14571302)

Has anyone patented "the use of parts of a word to represent the whole word in electronic communication" yet? This is getting ridiculous.

:(
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