Are Emoticons Patentable?

There is an ongoing patent dispute between Apple and Samsung Electronics, even after the latest verdict. The lawsuits span the globe and cover a number of cell phone and tablet technologies.

The subject of the latest dispute made us smile—and by that we mean :-). Yes, you guessed it. The smartphone rivals are reportedly now locked in a patent dispute over emoticons. }:-(.

As reported by the Los Angeles Times, Samsung owns a patent on smartphone use of emoticons. In fact, a patent for an “emoticon input method for mobile terminals” was granted in Europe way back in 2000.

In the latest lawsuit, Samsung is challenging the way in which iPhones enter emoticons on the handset’s screen. As detailed by the LA Times, Samsung specifically alleges that the iPhone’s Japanese emoticon keyboard infringes on its patent. When users activate the Japanese keyboard, they also activate an emoticon menu and, with one touch, can add multiple complex emoticons.

While the subject of the latest patent lawsuit is amusing :o, it will likely have serious consequences in this growing patent war, and that makes us a bit sad 😦

If you need help to protect your ideas 😉 , or know someone that can use my help ()-(), please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation at or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities.  Connect with me on Google +


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