For some reason, Russian entrepreneur and famed sequins underpants collector Oleg Teterin, thinks that he has the right to trademark emoticons. But don't fret: this brilliant genius will let individuals use :-) for free.
I want to highlight that this is only directed at corporations, companies that are trying to make a profit without the permission of the trademark holder. Legal use will be possible after buying an annual licence from us. It won't cost that much—tens of thousands of dollars.
The reaction in his home country has been quick. Alexander Manis, director of a broadband provider in Russia, said to NTV: "Imagine the next wise-guy who trademarks the 33 letters of the Russian alphabet and then says anyone who uses the Russian alphabet has to send him money. It's absurd."
Indeed. And that's we are naming Oleg Teterin Moron of the Year 2009. Congratulations Oleg, you can come pick your golden douche bag anytime. [Daily Mail]