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Samsung accused of infringing emoticon patent

Android phone maker allegedly impinged on Varia Holdings’ emoticon insertion technology

Someone hurry up and text a Samsung phone user a “ :-( ”.

Varia Holdings LLC filed a lawsuit Thursday against Samsung Electronics Co., which makes a number of mobile phones that run on the Android platform, accusing the manufacturer of infringing a patent for its emoticon insertion technology.

Patent 7,167,731, which was issued to Varia in January 2007, covers technology for inserting smiley faces and the like into communication devices.

According to the lawsuit, Varia claims that 34 of Samsung’s mobile devices infringe its patent. The Samsung phones that allegedly are in violation have an “insert smiley” key that brings up a list of emoticons a user can choose to insert into text messages or other communications.

Varia asked the Southern District of New York court to bar any future infringement of the patent, and award triple monetary damages in order to discipline Samsung. The holding company also requests attorney fees and litigation costs.

For more, read Bloomberg.

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