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In 2001, Walmart opposed the registration, citing a likelihood of confusion between the Loufrani smiley and a smiley face Walmart had been using since 1990.
The USPTO eventually sided with Walmart and rejected The Smiley Company's application, due to widespread use of smiley face designs.
This developed into a sophisticated set, particularly in combination with superscript and subscript.The terms of the settlement were undisclosed, but Walmart continued to use its smiley design intermittently, and returned to using it in a major marketing role in 2016.Starting circa 1972, on the PLATO system, emoticons and other decorative graphics were produced as ASCII art, particularly with overprinting: typing a character, backing up, then typing another character.They offer another range of "tone" and feeling through texting that portrays specific emotions through facial gestures while in the midst of text-based cyber communication.The word is a portmanteau word of the English words "emotion" and "icon".
Actually, it is probably more economical to mark things that are NOT jokes, given current trends.