Thursday, December 11, 2008

Russian Trademarks :-)

Oleg Teterin, president of mobile ad company, Superfone, has trademarked the smiley emoticon ":-)". While reports are referring to him as a "businessman" and "entrepreneur," The Cyberculturalist would like to go on-record as considering him an opportunistic cyberthug and his attempts at trademarking an emoticon as a clear-cut instance of unchecked cyberbullying.

Teterin graciously noted he would not spend time tracking-down individuals who use the emoticon, "this is only directed at corporations [and] companies," he told a news crew. Such entities could use the emoticon after purchasing an annual license which "won't cost that much - tens of thousands of dollars." Since other emoticons are similar to ":-)" Teterin says they may fall under his domain, as well.

Obviously, legal experts dispute the validity of his claim to the emoticon, as some note it has been in the public domain for years. Further, a Russian court sided with a major corporation in a similar 2005 case when it was sued by a man claiming to hold the copyright to an emoticon.

A college professor from Carnegie Mellon claims to be the first to have used the combination of punctuation marks in an artistic effort some 25 years ago.

© C Harris Lynn, 2008

1 comment:

ManoDogs said...

Epic quote:

"You're not likely to find any retards in Russia who'll pay Superfone for the use of emoticons." - Nikita Sherman, president of Russian social networking site, odnoklassniki.ru