Sony’s Emoji Movie Hits A Trademark Problem

Labelled as yet another example of ‘the end of civilization’ in some social media posts, it looks like Sony Pictures’ proposed ‘Emoji Movie’ may have hit a snag.THR reports that Marco Husges, a former video game executive who lives in Germany, seems to have all the merchandise trademarks for emojis.

First created by mobile-phone operators in Japan in the late 1990s, Husges doesn’t own the rights to the digital icons on phones and social media. However, as founder of The Emoji Co. he has created more than 3,000 of his own icons and trademarked and licensed them for use on an array of merchandise.

Husges claims to be surprised that Sony Pictures Animation announced “The Emoji Movie” dated for August 2017. Sony filed applications for dozens of trademarks in connection with its project in October, trademarks which have since been rejected.

Husges tells the trade: “I am curious how Sony would want to produce a movie under that name and do accompanying merchandising, especially given the fact our brand has already been successfully established with license partners and retailers all over the world. Sony’s trademark application in the U.S. has been rejected, while ours are all registered and actively in use.”

Eric Siegel and Anthony Leondis penned the script for the film with the latter set to direct while Michelle Raimo Kouyate is producing. The film has not yet been officially titled and has not locked down a formal start date.