Can you really patent an “emoticon”?

According to Slashdot, Microsoft Frowned at for Smiley Patent.

From the ZD Net Article

The patent, which was published by the US patent office on Thursday, covers selecting pixels to create an emoticon image, assigning a character sequence to these pixels and reconstructing the emoticon after transmission.

The implications of this is more than a little odd. The funny thing is Microsoft keeps saying their for Innovation. I like to code with disctintve comments in PERL:

while(<STDIN>) {
   # Clean up the string...
   $_ =~ s/^s+(.*?)s+/$1/;

   # Split up the record
   @Temp = split(/t/, $_);

   # Clean up Each Field
    foreach(@Temp) {
      $_ =~ s/^s+(.*?)s+/$1/;
   } # End of foreach(@Temp) {
   # Do something else...
} # end of while(<STDIN>) {

Do I have to worry if someone Patents my style of comments? Weird.

Image from

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