The yellow smiley face icon had been a huge part of the Walmart brand identity since it opened its doors. But in 2006, the goofy yellow guy mysteriously disappeared from stores and adverts. That’s because Walmart was locked in a legal battle with Brussels-based The Smiley Company, who claimed to have invented the Smiley Face in 1972.
Both Walmart and Franklin Louffrani, founder of The Smiley Company, sued each other in US courts for years until reaching a settlement in 2011. Details have never been disclosed but Walmart spokesperson Danit Marquardt has declared “We own the trademark” and Smiley is back on the shop floor.