Cingular applies to patent smileys :@

  Chegs ®™ 10:15 27 Jan 06
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The United States' largest mobile phone network Cingular this week applied to patent on emoticons, better known as smileys.

The application refers to selecting emoticons on mobile phones or handheld devices over a wireless, and makes 35 claims in all. Although it uses the word 'emoticon', the application doesn't acknowledge that mutant punctuation has been livening up online communications since at least 1961.



Bit late applying for a patent after 45yrs!!!!

  spuds 10:30 27 Jan 06

Bit like, All Mine and I now want it back :o)

  GANDALF <|:-)> 10:37 27 Jan 06

They are not patenting emoticons but they are patenting a cell phone system for displaying them.

G

  Chegs ®™ 10:45 27 Jan 06

1. At a mobile device, a method for generating a displayable icon that indicates the mood or emotion of a user of the mobile station, the method comprising: providing an emoticon key that is to be selected by a user of the mobile station in generating the displayable icon, wherein the emoticon key is provided on a physical keypad of the mobile device, and wherein the emoticon key is labeled with a known emoticon; in response to the emoticon key being selected, displaying a collection of graphical displayable icons that the user may select from, wherein at least some of the graphical displayable icons from the collection of graphical displayable icons indicates a mood or emotion; and in response to a selection of one of the graphical displayable icons from the collection of graphical displayable icons, generating the one of the displayable icons for display on a display component of the mobile station, wherein the selection of the one of the graphical displayable icons is made using one or more navigation keys and selection keys on the physical keypad, and wherein the one of the graphical displayable icons is displayed in association with a textual message to be sent by the user using the mobile station.

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Clear as mud unless your well versed in legalese.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 11:42 27 Jan 06

'At a mobile device, a method for generating a displayable icon'..seems clear to me, it is the method not the result that is being patented. The Register never lets the truth get in the way of a good story.

G

  Chegs ®™ 12:22 27 Jan 06

I hold a similar view of all newspapers/journalists,they aren't interested in the truth particularly if by fudging the facts a great story can be engineered where there is none.Whether true/false in this instance,it is made all the more believable by the american love of lawsuits and anything else to line the pockets of lawyers.:-X

  DieSse 15:15 28 Jan 06

What a pathetic attempt to patent something totally inconsequential. They should be ashamed of themselves.

I hope they get thrown out. It represents the bad side of an otherwise sensible system, and is just another way of bringing the system itself into disrepute.

  Forum Editor 15:31 28 Jan 06

Thanks for that moving vote of confidence. To my certain knowledge I've never fudged the facts to make a story where there was none in over two decades of writing commercially. Believe me, the truth is usually quite interesting enough, if you know what to look for.

  Forum Editor 15:40 28 Jan 06

there's a good deal of misunderstanding going on here - not least in the mind of the person who wrote the Register's article.


You can't patent an emoticon, and the phone company isn't seeking to do it. What they want is a patent on the system that provides dedicated phone keys for generating smileys and associating them with a text message - they're seeking a patent for the technology, as GANDALF <|:-)> pointed out. It's far from being "inconsequential", as anyone who knows the first thing about mobile phone revenue generation would realise.

Whether or not the patent application will succeed is debatable - patent laws and rules are unbelievably complex, and only an expert can navigate the reefs and shoals which lie there, waiting to trap the uninitiated.

  Chegs ®™ 16:02 28 Jan 06

"Thanks for that moving vote of confidence. To my certain knowledge I've never fudged the facts to make a story where there was none in over two decades of writing commercially. Believe me, the truth is usually quite interesting enough, if you know what to look for."

This is a prime example of one or two "bad apples" destroying the reputation of the rest.I have been a professional driver for 25+ years,some of those years were spent as a cab driver who many consider to be "the lowest of the low" as they've been cut-up,abused,or ripped-off by a cabby previously.Motorcyclists are always described as riding way to fast,yet when these same motorcyclists do sterling charity work they barely get a mention.Boy-racers are always getting slated(frequently their own stupidity though)for the actions of a few,and so it goes on and on.

  DieSse 17:43 28 Jan 06

*It's far from being "inconsequential", as anyone who knows the first thing about mobile phone revenue generation would realise.*

But it doesn't require a *patented button* (or whatever) to generate the revenue - that's done in other ways. It's the technology that's inconsequential.

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