A patent here, a lawsuit there. RIM's latest patent issues fall to their use of Emoticons on devices. Varia Holdings LLC is suing Research In Motion for infringing on a patent for Emoticon Input Method and Apparatus -- or simply put, using emoticons -- which is obviously a big part of BlackBerry devices. The original patent states in part that:
A mobile communication device having an input key that, when pressed by the user while in text mode, results in the display of a list of emoticons for selection by the user. By displaying a list of emoticons, a more user friendly environment is created through which users may employ emoticons in their communications.
Varia Holdings has held this patent since January of 2007 and is seeking to remedy both the infringement and "the harm caused" by RIM. They are asking that sales of devices containing emoticons by RIM be stopped and that they are compensated for the infringment. The documents were filed on March 15 but no judge has been assigned at this time.