Just when you thought it couldn't get any weirder after Samsung sued Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) for infringing on the 2001: A Space Odyssey iPad facsimile, here comes something maybe even more bizarre: Samsung is suing Apple in a German court in a dispute about the way Apple produces smiley faces on the iPhone.

Yes, that's correct -- smiley faces.

I would like to interject here that this could be even stranger on its (smiley) face than Dr. Evil's remark in the first Austin Powers movie that his father invented the question mark. I would also like to say that though this could have been -- and probably should have been -- an Onion news story, I did not see it there. I swear.

It is hard to image any one claiming -- without smirking, of course -- a smiley face as any kind of intellectual property, but the Samsung lawyers are indeed saying that Apple has infringed on Samsung's "emoticon input method for mobile terminal."

According to the LA Times, what Samsung is really suing over is what could be considered as a method for creating macros that would produce elaborate emoticons. Apparently, this is something far more popular in Asia than in the United States.

This patent-infringement complaint from Samsung is just one of many it has brought against Apple in courts around the world. Apple, for its part, has been doing the same against Samsung.

Florian Mueller has been assiduously following these patent battles and writes in his blog that the suits can spill over to involve other companies, such as Apple suing Motorola Mobility (NYSE: MMI) and HTC in Germany for alleged patent infringements, and Samsung keeping its options open toward suing Apple regarding the Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM) chips in the iPhone 4S.

This is what I think about the whole mess: %No. ^&$No. No. $$%%$$0.

If you don't like it, sue me :-).

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