Cimgular Wireless, the largest US mobile operator, has filed application to patent emoticons, also known as smileys. The patent application comprises 35 claims altogether. It refers to the method and system that allows users of wireless devices, such as mobile phones, to select a displayable icon or a collection of icons, which convey their mood or emotion. According to the application, the method includes the availability of a dedicated key or shared dedicated key that will enable the user of the device to select and insert an emoticon. The selected emoticon can be inserted into a text message or screen, such as an instant message, chat screen, or user text field. The emoticons can also be imported into one or more applications running on the mobile device.
Source: US Patent & Trade Mark Officie (via The Register)