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Licensing and legal issues {{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||$N=Disputed-section |date=__DATE__ |$B= {{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||$N=Disputed |date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Message box|ambox}} }} }} The rights to the Smiley trademark in one hundred countries are owned by the Smiley Company.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref> Its subsidiary SmileyWorld Ltd, in London, headed by Nicolas Loufrani, creates or approves all the Smiley products sold throughout the world. {{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }} The Smiley brand and logo have significant exposure through licensees in sectors such as clothing, home decoration, perfumery, plush, stationery, publishing, and through promotional campaigns.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> The Smiley Company is one of the 100 biggest licensing companies in the world, with a turnover of US$167 million in 2012.<ref>http://www.rankingthebrands.com/PDF/Top%20125%20Global%20Licensors%202011,%20License%20Global.pdf</ref> The first Smiley shop opened in London in the Boxpark shopping centre in December 2011.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

In 1997, Franklin Loufrani and Smiley World attempted to acquire trademark rights to the symbol (and even to the word "smiley" itself) in the United States. This brought Loufrani into conflict with Wal-Mart, which had begun prominently featuring a happy face in its "Rolling Back Prices" campaign over a year earlier. Wal-Mart responded first by trying to block Loufrani's application, then later by trying to register the smiley face itself; Loufrani in turn sued to stop Wal-Mart's application, and in 2002 the issue went to court,<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref> where it would languish for seven years before a decision.

Wal-Mart began phasing out the smiley face on its vests<ref name = "phase">{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref> and its website<ref>{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref> in 2006. Despite that, Wal-Mart sued an online parodist for alleged "trademark infringement" after he used the symbol (as well as various portmanteaus of "Wal-", such as "Walocaust"). The District Court found in favor of the parodist when in March 2008, the judge concluded that [Wal-Mart's] smiley face [logo] was not shown to be "inherently distinctive" and that it "has failed to establish that the smiley face has acquired secondary meaning or that it is otherwise a protectible trademark" under U.S. law.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }} The relevant text is in the Order granting summary judgment: Timothy C. Batten, Sr., "ORDER" (03/21/2008)", section "B. Threshold Issue: Trademark Ownership", case "1:06-cv-00526-TCB", document 103, pages 15-19</ref>

In June 2010, Wal-Mart and the Smiley Company founded by Loufrani settled their 10-year-old dispute in front of the Chicago federal court. The terms remain confidential.<ref>Sony, Astellas, Intel, Apple, Wal-Mart, Warner: Intellectual Property Victoria Slind-Flor, Jul 1, 2011, Bloomberg. The case is Loufrani v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., 1:09-cv- 03062, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago).</ref>


Smiley sections
Intro  History   In text    Transforming Smiley into graphical emoticons    Licensing and legal issues    See also    References    External links   

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