RIM and Samsung have been hit with yet another patent suit, this one related to the use of emoticons. A company called Varia Holdings Inc. has instituted legal action against the two handset manufacturers for violating an “emoticon input method and apparatus” patent.
“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’. However, few email or instant messaging applications offer any assistance to a user to enter and use emoticons in their communications.”
The suit filed by Varia alleges that several models of Samsung and Blackberry handsets violate the above patent by permitting users to select emoticons from a pop-up menu. How the two accused companies respond to this is anyone’s guess.
The emoticon-based patent was filed in 2005 and was granted two years later.
Source: Ars Technica