I almost couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the news that a guy in Russia is claiming to own the winky-face emoticon. :0 He also says he’ll sue any corporate entity trying to make money off of his intellectual property. If business want to use the emoticon, they can license it for $10,000 plus royalties. That’s highway robbery! >:0
I highly doubt he’ll be able to uphold his claim on the emoticon. The use of emoticons dates back to the early 1990s and is certainly now in the public domain, both here in the U.S. and internationally. I’ll be following story closely, if only for the absurdity of it all.