But critics doubt the trademark's legal basis as the emoticon has been in the public domain for years.
"I want to highlight that this is only directed at corporations, companies that are trying to make a profit without the permission of the trademark holder," Mr Teterin said in comments on the Russian TV channel, NTV.
He also said since other similar emoticons - :-) or ;) or :) - resemble the one he has trademarked, use of those symbols could also fall under his ownership.
Wow, what is the world coming to? And where does this Ruski get off trying to trademark MY emoticons. That's right folks, I invented them all. Just kidding, but I do use 8===D a lot, often followed by 'PEW PEW!'
Russian hopes to cash in on ;-) [bbcnews]
Thanks Richthegringo, and good luck on your quest to patent all punctuation. Also, thanks to Abby, my new legal consultant.