Samsung and RIM Devices Sued for Violating Emoticon Patent

March 20, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

If you think patent rows are just the pass time mudslinging play for bigger names like Apple and Samsung, you may not be up to date with the latest events happening around.

A firm named Varia has come up with legal action against big fishes Samsung and Research In Motion, for alleged violation of patents on emoticon input methods and apparatus.

How do you add an emoticon to your mail? You either type them down or pick from a menu. But Varia claims that it owns the idea of giving users assistance to insert smiley from a menu to their text.

Though users have been using emoticons in their emails and chats, the patent says that few email or IM applications provide help for users to include emoticons in their communication.

The patent suit has listed a number of smartphones from Sammy’s hub including Acclaim, Epic, Galaxy Nexus, Transform and Nexus S for patent violation since all these devices allow users to pick emoticons from a pop-up menu.

RIM has also been dragged into the suit with RIM devices like BlackBerry Storm, Pearl, Bold and Curve being cited for violations.

The patent was filed way back in 2005 and was granted in early 2007 to a start up firm named Wideseed. Varia Holdings now claims the ownership of the patent.

The new patent row will add to the confusion regarding what sort of inventions can be patented. The suit has also created a lot of confusion since it sues only Samsung and RIM when a menu to input emoticons is available with a whole range of services and devices.

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