Analysis

As 'Emoji' TM Cases Surge, One Defendant Calls It 'Trolling'

By Bill Donahue (September 10, 2021, 3:24 PM EDT) -- A company that claims broad trademark rights to the word "emoji" has filed dozens of lawsuits in federal court this year alone, prompting accusations of "trolling" from one opponent and raising eyebrows among some trademark experts.

Emoji Co. GmbH, a German firm that owns several U.S. trademark registrations for "emoji" covering a wide swath of goods, has filed 52 lawsuits in federal court since the start of 2020 as of Friday, according to legal analytics firm Lex Machina.

Emojis are popular digital pictograms — the word is a portmanteau of the Japanese terms for "picture" and "character" — that allow users...

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