(Page 1 of 9) See These 9 Terrible Business Ideas That Actually Succeeded and Earned Millions:

The Original Smiley
Did you know that the yellow smiley face has made over A BILLION DOLLARS?!

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The Original Smiley
Above: 
The original yellow Smiley which has made over A BILLION DOLLARS.
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HeadOn, an absolutely useless product that was heavily promoted and sold nationwide.

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Brothers Bernard and Murray Spain acquired the yellow smiley face usage rights, as well as the "Have a nice day." slogan.

Between 1970 and 1973, they created the smiley face fad which netted them $50 million in sales.

In 1972, Frenchman Franklin Loufrani became the first person to legally trademark the smiley face. He called the design "Smiley", and used it as the brand basis for the Smiley Company.

In the 80's, they started the Dollar Express retail chain, which continued to sell the smiley.

In 1996 Loufrani's son Nicolas took over the family business and transformed it into a huge multinational corporation.

In 1997, Franklin Loufrani and Smiley World attempted to acquire trademark rights to the symbol (and even to the word "smiley" itself) in the United States. This brought Loufrani into conflict with Wal-Mart, which had begun prominently featuring a happy face in its "Rolling Back Prices" campaign over a year earlier.

In 2000, they sold the Dollar Express to Dollar tree for $500 million.

As of today the rights to the Smiley trademark in one hundred countries are owned by the Smiley Company. The Smiley Company is one of the 100 biggest licensing companies in the world, with a turnover of US$167 million in 2012.

In June 2010, Wal-Mart and the Smiley Company founded by Loufrani settled their 10-year-old dispute in front of the Chicago federal court. The terms remain confidential.