A series of punctuation marks used to convey a wink in text messages - known as an emoticon - has been trademarked in Russia, says a local businessman.
Entrepreneur Oleg Teterin said the trademark for the ;-) emoticon was granted to him by Russia's federal patent agency.
But critics doubt the trademark's legal basis as the emoticon has been in the public domain for years.
Mr Teterin said he would chase firms using the symbol without permission.
"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.
"Legal use will be possible after buying an annual licence from us," he was quoted by the newspaper Kommersant as saying.
"It won't cost that much - tens of thousands of dollars," added the businessman, who is president of Superfone, a company that sells advertising on mobile phones.
Uh-oh. I'm thinkin' I might owe this gentleman a whole lot of dough.