Russian patents ;-) emoticon

A series of punctuation marks used to convey a wink in text messages – known as an emoticon – has been trademarked in Russia, says a local businessman.Entrepreneur Oleg Teterin said the trademark for the 😉 emoticon was granted to him by Russia’s federal patent agency.But critics doubt the trademark’s legal basis as the emoticon has been in the public domain for years. … that will be £10,000, thanks
The smiles could be wiped off the faces of millions of Russian internet users, after a Moscow businessman claimed to have trademarked one of the world’s most popular emoticons.Smileys or emoticons – strings of symbols used to represent faces – have become a standard feature of modern communication, used in internet chats and text messages as emotional shorthand. With just a handful of characters, users can depict whether they are happy, angry, confused or sad.

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