Trademark Registrations for Emojis
[This is another excerpt from my Emojis and the Law paper.]
The Trademark Office has registered emoji trademarks. On January 20, 2017, I conducted a search in the TESS database for “emoji” and identified 385 records. At that time, most of those are pending trademark applications; I counted only 62 actual registrations. Of those, most are word marks with no design elements; and the few with design elements usually incorporated an emoji within the design rather than constituting an actual emoji itself. Still, I found a couple of trademark registrations of emojis, including:
Registration No. 5048843 (Sept. 27, 2016) for a key emoji:
Registration Nos. 4942364 (April 19, 2016) & 4942363 (April 19, 2016) for emoji stars:
Some other registrations that looked relevant: Registration No. 4997234 (July 12, 2016) (Kissemoji); Registration No. 4942877 (April 19, 2016) (I ♥ Emoji); Registration No. 4884274 (Jan. 12, 2016) (I Am Cardboard); Registration No. 4870069 (Dec. 15, 2015) (Emogi); Registration No. 4860908 (Nov. 15, 2015) (Christian Emojis); Registration No. 4842853 (Oct. 27, 2015) (Volleez); Registration No. 4810852 (Sept. 15, 2015) (Emoji Icons); Registration No. 4742444 (May 26, 2015) (Guess the Emoji); Registration No. 4536604 (May 27, 2014) (Emoji).
As with the copyright analysis I posted earlier, there is no question that this search is wildly under-inclusive. Undoubtedly, many other emoji-like designs have been registered without using the term. See, e.g., Registration No. 3078614 (Apr. 11, 2006) (“A SQUARE WITH A SAD FACE IN THE MIDDLE”):
I have copies of my search if you want the backup.