2023 Emoji Law Year-in-Review

2023 Emoji Law Year-in-Review

I continue to maintain my census of U.S. cases referencing emojis or emoticons. In 2023, I logged 225 such cases (this number will grow a bit due to lags with the electronic databases). The case count continues to grow exponentially….

Judge Rejects a Motion With the "Exploding Head" Emoji--DePietro v. Levitt

Judge Rejects a Motion With the “Exploding Head” Emoji–DePietro v. Levitt

This is a class-action employment lawsuit. The parties settled and sought judicial approval of the settlement terms and associated attorneys’ fees. They didn’t get the approval. The judge balks at several terms of the settlement, including the attorneys’ fee request….

In a SAD Scheme Case, Court Rejects Injunction Over "Emoji" Trademark

In a SAD Scheme Case, Court Rejects Injunction Over “Emoji” Trademark

This is a SAD Scheme case from one of my least-favorite rightsowners, Emojico. (I wrote an expert declaration about them in 2021). Emojico has trademark registrations in the word “emoji” for a ridiculously broad range of product categories–from (I’m not…

Q&A About Emoji Law

Q&A About Emoji Law

I did another interview on emoji law that I thought was worth sharing here. * * * 1. Please tell me about your childhood and young adulthood. Did you play games (ie, Atari, Nintendo) that required you to “read” icons…

A Single Emoji Could Constitute Securities Fraud--In re Bed Bath & Beyond

A Single Emoji Could Constitute Securities Fraud–In re Bed Bath & Beyond

This case involves Ryan Cohen, who made a fortune running Chewy.com and then switched his interests to meme stocks. He bought a 9% interest in the failing retailer Bed Bath and Beyond, hyped the stock, and then liquidated his position,…

European IP Office Denies Trademark Registration for "I Love You" Emoji ๐ŸคŸ

European IP Office Denies Trademark Registration for “I Love You” Emoji ๐ŸคŸ

The EU IPO denied a trademark registration for the following symbol in various real estate-related classes: The trademark examiner determined that the symbol means “I love you” in American Sign Language (ASL). The applicant argued that it was a different…

A Thumbs-Up Emoji Costs a Canadian Seller $82,000--South West Terminal v. Achter Land

A Thumbs-Up Emoji Costs a Canadian Seller $82,000–South West Terminal v. Achter Land

[A special post for my Canadian friends as a belated celebration of Canada Day. ๐Ÿ] This case involves a Canadian transaction for flax. The court summarizes: Mr. Mickleborough had a contract drafted for Achter to sell SWT 86 metric tonnes…

Prison Warden Says: ‘Lock The Emojis Up.’ Court Replies: ‘Free the Emojis’–Taliani v. Dortch

Prisoners have limited free speech rights. Among other things, their outgoing written communications are typically reviewed before sending. The Hill Correctional Center in Illinois bans prisoners from sending “coded” messages that the reviewers can’t understand. (I imagine other prisons have…

What Does the "Water" Emoji Mean? Perhaps Not What You Think--US v Swanagan

What Does the “Water” Emoji Mean? Perhaps Not What You Think–US v Swanagan

[Just a reminder that there are no “off-limits” topics in Internet Law. So yes, this post is going to go there.] Law enforcement took down a methamphetamine ring in Kentucky. Based in part on Facebook messages between two defendants that…

2H 2022 Quick Links, Part 5 (Censorship & More)

Censorship * Wired: China Is Tightening Its Grip on Big Tech * NY Times: โ€˜An Invisible Cageโ€™: How China Is Policing the Future * NY Times: How Russian Trolls Helped Keep the Womenโ€™s March Out of Lock Step * Wired:…