Could Legal Battle Halt Production on ‘The Emoji Movie’?

Everybody uses emojis, so it seemed inevitable that a film based on the popular cartoon icons would be on the way. And while Sony’s currently in-development on , the studio may face some trouble along the way.

According to , German entrepreneur Marco Husges, the founder of The Emoji Co., is ready to challenge Sony Pictures Animation’s production of The Emoji Movie. It’s a natural move for Husges considering he was the first person in the world to file for commercial trademarks on the word “emoji.”

While Husges doesn’t own the rights to all emojis on phones and social media, he’s created 3,000 of his own icons, which he’s trademarked and licensed for use on a slew of merchandise. He also owns trademarks on the terms “emojiplanet” and “emojitown.” Given his trademarks, Husges seems skeptical that Sony will be able to complete its film. As he said:

“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.”

An Emoji Empire All His Own?

Marco Husges’s also has plans of his own to launch an emoji entertainment empire. The businessman has already teamed with producers Roy Lee (The Lego Movie) and Adrian Askarieh (Hitman) to develop potential film, television and web series projects. Husges further noted:

“Emojis are such an iconic brand worldwide that if we develop a great story to support it, I believe whatever we create has as much potential as other movies based on well-known properties, such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Minions and, of course, Lego.”

Sony Won’t Back Down

Husges may be ready to challenge Sony, but its clear the studio has no intention of halting its plans. A Sony spokeswoman stated:

“We have full confidence in our rights as we make the film we’ve always intended to make.”

There’s a lot of work to be done on The Emoji Movie, and the last thing Sony needs to deal with is legal threats. But as one of the biggest film studios in the world, the company shouldn’t have much of an issue facing Husges’s trademark claims.

The Emoji Movie is slated for release on August 11, 2017. Do you think Sony has the legal grounds to move forward with the movie? Let us know in the comments.