Debate over facepalm emoji trademark stirs controversy

Debate over facepalm emoji trademark stirs controversy

2018/9/20

The facepalm is one of most recognizable and most used emojis on Chinese instant messaging app WeChat, and a trademark of the image that was made so it can be used on clothing has triggered a potential legal dispute between its creator and WeChat's parent company, the Chinese tech giant Tencent.

The emoji was filed for trademark by a retailer surnamed Jin in November 2017 under a category for clothing that can include outfits for children and accessories, according to images that have surfaced online, showing that the case has been approved for initial review with China's Trademark Office of The State Administration for Industry & Commerce.

Many netizens didn't come to Tencent's defense in the issue, mainly because the company is so large that copyright infringement complaints and allegations are common.

But the issue also caused a minor panic as many were no longer sure if they could still use the facepalm emoji after all, so they spammed the emoji all over social media.

Other emojis that have gone viral, such as the doge emoji, are also being heavily posted on social media in an attempt by netizens to make sure other emojis they like can't be copyrighted.

Source: Chinadaily




People watch


It is lucky for Chen Jun to began his career in the IP industry 14 years ago when the first group of IP managers for businesses appeared on the stage in China and he has been in the industry.

It was this “Whampoa Military Academy” for IP that educated China’s first batch of corporate IP management personnel. Many of these engineers left Foxconn in the years since.