Apple sued for copyright infringement over five skin tone emoji system

Apple were recently hit with a copyright infringement claim by business woman Katrina Parrott over her “iDiversicons”, a copyrighted system enabling a user to choose from five skin tones of the same emoji, which was released to the official App Store back in 2013. Parrott insists that after an exchange of numerous meeting with two of Apple’s engineers, Apple adopted her technology and shortly after released almost identical emojis in 2015. This led to the severe drop of downloads of the iDiversicons app.

The claimant is seeking a court order to block the tech giant from using her work as well as claiming unspecified damages relating to her missed business opportunities and Apple’s profits from the alleged infringement. As per the suit, the emoji’s which have allegedly been infringed include the “Thumbs up”, “OK hand”, “Backhand index pointing up” as well as the “Oncoming fist” emojis.

Although Katrina has been internationally recognised as being the pioneer of the five skin tone emoticon, she is clearly disappointed in Apple’s identical works, which were registered several years after her own. The claimant insists that the infringement was wilful, despite meetings to work together. Apple users are able to now access those emojis through the default keyboard, thus there is no need to download the app. Be sure to look out for any updates on this matter, on our reading room.

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