All your :-) and :-( are belong to us
Varia Holdings filed a lawsuit against Samsung and RIM claiming that it has a patent on emoticons.
The patent that was allegedly infringed on Varia's patent for “emoticon input method and apparatus.” While it is not claiming ownership of the emoticons, it thinks it owns the concept of allowing users to choose from emoticons automatically rather than having to make them manually.
Samsung and RIM have pop-up menus that have a bunch of pre-configured macros for emoticons. Not surprisingly Varia offers up a massive list of devices from Samsung that are infringing on the patent along with multiple BlackBerry smartphones as well. We guess it could be writing to Skype too.
This patent was originally granted to a company called Wildseed, which was later purchased by AOL, and then later spun off from AOL. Among the BlackBerry devices alleged infringing the patent are the Bold, Curve, Pearl, and Storm. Some the smartphones from Samsung plaintiff range include the Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus.