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Can You Trademark Emojis?

Emojis have become an integral part of our everyday communication, and on July 17th is celebrated the Emoji Day, but what about their legal status?

Can You Trademark Emojis?

Can emojis be trademarked?

The answer is not straightforward, as emojis are considered part of the Unicode Standard, which is a set of universal characters that represent text and symbols across different platforms and devices.

While emojis cannot be copyrighted (as they are not considered to be original works of authorship), they can be trademarked.

For example, the specific emoji designs created by companies have been deemed eligible for trademark protection by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

For example, the smiley face emoji (😊) was trademarked by the Smiley Company. And in 2017, a Japanese company (Line Corporation) trademarked a set of emojis that it uses in its messaging app.

The word “emoji” was trademarked by The Emoji Company GmbH.

Also because the word “emoji” is also a generic term, it can be used as a word in a non-trademarked way. For example, the word “emoji” can be used in a blog post or article to describe the general use of “emojis” in digital communications.

Yet, the word “emoji” cannot be used in the name of a product or service (i.e., such as “Emoji Keyboard” or “Emoji App.”) because the name has already been registered for certain types of uses.

Do you have a favorite emoji? 🤔 Ours is the symbol ™️!