“In a move that has millions across the Internet community frowning, Despair, Inc. today announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) had awarded them a registered trademark for the ‘frowny’ emoticon which serves as their logo. ” —Despair, Inc. Secures Official Trademark Registration for “:-(“Despair, Inc.)
A good joke from 2001. They’re apparently serious about having registered a trademark for the logo, but they did it in order to demonstrate how ridiculous trademark laws are. They’re not actually charging people for using the symbol.