Misunderstanding is a trademark

The Frowny 🙁 belongs to the US company Despair

Who wants to be dissatisfied, must pay. At least who announces that in emails or internet forums. Up to now everyone here pulls down the corners of his mouth grumblingly with the help of three keys without a second thought: :-(. This is the so-called Frowny. The global symbol of the strinrunzler, the displeased, the stanker. Now they have at least one strong reason for discomfort. For the Frowny has become a registered trademark of the US company Despair. Not surprising given the worldwide rollback policy of intellectual property owners. Under the guise of a fight for survival against a supposed anarchism through the digitalization of media content, the claims for control of copyrights, for example for DVDs, are being increased to unprecedented levels.

In May last year, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) approved Despair’s application for protection of their Frownies. If you don’t believe it, you can search the USPTO database under serial number 75502288. "We will sue anyone who uses the so-called Frowny in their email correspondence", threatened Despair founder Edward Kersten then also.

The world protested. Angry emails – even without Frownies very disgruntled – clogged Despair’s inbox. Now the company shows mercy: "At first I didn’t want to pay attention to the matter, because the first complaints came from France and French people complain about everything", Kersten continues. But: "I could not help it – I was moved by the cries and pleas of these desperate souls. Are they not those for whom I founded Despair?? Are they not those souls whose displeasure has made me rich??"

Despair sells, among other things, coffee cups that read in the center: "This cup is now half empty." Also popular the baseball cap with the inscription: "Another dissatisfied customer." So now Despair Frownies can be ordered online. The Stadard model even for free! But there are shipping costs. And there may be delivery problems. As Kersten freely admits, his company has overestimated demand: "I can’t give details, but to produce frownies you need a computer, a word processor and a human being. Since our only legal copy of Microsoft Word is registered to proofreader Dane Burke, we have made him responsible for the production process."

Misunderstanding is a sign

Unfortunately Burke is dyslexic. And so it comes to a reject rate of 30 percent in the production of Frownies. Most of the time, they lack a nose. But Kersten remains confident: "It’s an incredible opportunity to enrich the communication of so many unfortunate people, and to enrich myself personally even more in the process."

Who has not yet understood: This is a satire. Despair does not sell dissatisfied mines. However, the reality is not much different from this. Because Despair could actually act full of hope against people who have the trademark ":-(" for example, in Internet forums. And in the United States there is a patent litigation of the Internet bookseller Amazon at the moment. The company wants money from competitors. For a unique invention: shopping with a mouse click.

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