Samsung and RIM sued for infringing lol-worthy emoticon patent

smiling faceIn an apparent quest to make the patent system look even more ridiculous, a firm on Thursday sued Samsung and Research in Motion for allegedly infringing a patent titled "emoticon input method and apparatus."

In an apparent quest to make the patent system look even more ridiculous, a firm on Thursday sued Samsung and Research in Motion for allegedly infringing a patent titled "emoticon input method and apparatus."

"It is known that for many users, their email and instant messaging communications... often involve the use of emoticons, such as the 'smiling face' or the 'sad face,'" the patent says. "However, few email or instant messaging applications offer any assistance to a user to enter and use emoticons in their communications." The plaintiff, Varia Holdings Inc., claims it owns the concept of allowing users to choose emoticons from a menu of options rather than typing them out one character at a time.

Varia claims that a long list of Samsung phones, including the Acclaim, Nexus S, Captivate, Epic, Galaxy Nexus, and Transform, infringe the patent by allowing users to select emoticons from a pop-up menu. Blackberry phones alleged to infringe the patent include the Bold, Curve, Pearl, and Storm.

Samsung and RIM sued for infringing lol-worthy emoticon patent

The patent was filed in late 2005 and granted in early 2007 to Wildseed, a Seattle-area startup firm acquired by AOL. A new firm called Varia Mobile was then spun off from AOL. It took several former Wildseed employees and its emoticon patent with it. Varia Mobile didn't respond to our inquiries about the exact relationship between Varia Mobile and Varia Holdings, but it's a safe bet they're connected. Interestingly, Varia Mobile is advertising open engineering positions, suggesting they don't fit the conventional definition of a patent troll.

The courts have struggled in recent years to define which "inventions" are eligible for patent protection. Last year, an appeals court ruled that a patent on the concept of detecting credit card fraud by examining past transactions associated with a particular IP address was too abstract to merit patent protection. And in 2010, the Supreme Court invalidated a patent on the concept of hedging against commodity price risk. But in neither case did the courts offer clear guidance on which technologies were eligible for patent protection. So while Varia's patent might seem absurd, trying to invalidate it could prove to be an extremely costly roll of the dice for Samsung and RIM.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: legal action, mobile phones, RIM, Samsung

Comments
Add comment

Your name:
Sign in with:
or
Your comment:


Enter code:

E-mail (not required)
E-mail will not be disclosed to the third party


Last news

 
Purported leak reveals upcoming phablet’s design
 
Google boasts of integration with Google Assistant and Google Home
 
The support team replied that some hardware limitations are leading to malfunctions
 
The retailer will allow results to appear in the Shopping section of Google’s search engine
 
Trump is seeking to lift the export ban as a "personal favor" to China
 
The company reportedly sniffed around AMD and Nvidia as potential GPU suppliers
 
 
iPhone users in the US will be able to automatically share their location with first responders
The Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Review
The evolution of the successful smartphone, now with a waterproof body and USB Type-C
February 7, 2017 /
Samsung Galaxy TabPro S - a tablet with the Windows-keyboard
The first Windows-tablet with the 12-inch display Super AMOLED
June 7, 2016 /
Keyboards for iOS
Ten iOS keyboards review
July 18, 2015 /
Samsung E1200 Mobile Phone Review
A cheap phone with a good screen
March 8, 2015 / 4
Creative Sound Blaster Z sound card review
Good sound for those who are not satisfied with the onboard solution
September 25, 2014 / 2
Samsung Galaxy Gear: Smartwatch at High Price
The first smartwatch from Samsung - almost a smartphone with a small body
December 19, 2013 /
 
 

News Archive

 
 
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
     12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930




Poll

Do you use microSD card with your phone?
or leave your own version in comments (10)