Holy Cow! A Freebie!
Once in a while, a confusion of ideas comes along that is so basic and so obvious that the post practically writes itself. According to this NPR story, a Frenchman named Franklin Lufrani is in a battle with Wal-Mart over who owns the rights to the yellow smiley face. Franklin did not invent the smiley, he’s just the first person to think to register it as a trade mark. Here’s where the confusion of ideas comes into play. Quoting the NPR story:
“Wal-Mart will tell you that it has become so common and it is so ubiquitous as to not be protectable. That was one of Wal-Mart’s contentions”
Wal-Mart wants to patent its version.
Here is probably more than you ever wanted to know about that saccharine symbol.
Here are a few working examples of gooooogle ads, should you happen to be a collector.
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