Yes, you read that right. Research in Motion is wrapped up in yet another lawsuit. This time over emoticons, yes, emoticons. Varia Holdings LLC filed a suit claiming RIM is infringing US Patent 7167731 - "Emoticon Input Method and Apparatus". With this suit, Varia Holdings LLC is demanding that sales of all BlackBerry devices ceases immediately and that the company be awarded damages.
The patent states:
Now my first thought is this: So why just BlackBerry? Luckily, that isn't the case. Other companies that make Android devices also had suits filed against them. While the wording of this patent can be loosely interpreted, we'll have to wait and see what the US Courts have to say over the matter. Hopefully nothing along the lines of, "Those dang, Canadians..." because I sure would be quite unhappy should I never be able to buy a BlackBerry 10 device....an input key that, when pressed by the user while in text mode, results in the display of a list of emoticons for selection by the user. By displaying a list of emoticons, a more user friendly environment is created through which users may employ emoticons in their communications.