Katrina Parrott Sues Apple For Copyright Infringement
Katrina Parrott (under Cub Club Investment, LLC), has filed a suit against Apple for copyright infringement of her "iDiversicons".
IDiversicons is internationally recognised for creating 5 skin tone emojis
IDiversicons is a system for letting users choose from five skin tones of colour that debuted on Apple’s App Store in 2013 and on iTunes in 2014.
Since 2014, Mrs Parrott has got international recognition for creating the five skin tone emojis and she continues to enjoy a stellar reputation as the pioneer in digital communication by progressing diversity and inclusion through iDiversicons®.
Mrs Parrot discussed her five skin tone options on digital keyboards with Apple in 2014
Mrs Parrott began discussing a potential partnership between CCI and Apple at a Unicode Technical Committee (UTC) meeting in May of 2014. The meeting was with Apple’s senior software engineer and senior director about her copyrighted diverse emoji. On October 28, 2014, Mrs Parrott presented her solution of using a colour modifier pallet to implement the five skin tone options on digital keyboards, a solution recognized and utilized globally at Unicode Technical Committee (UTC).
CCI experienced a decrease in sales for iDiversicons® after Apple released its own app
As reported by Patently Apple, On March 5, 2015, the iDiversicons® emoji app was a “featured” app on the Apple App Store.
Apple released its first diverse emoji (“Accused Products”) using the five-skin tone keyboard modifier pallet on April 9, 2015.
On July 13, 2015, Mrs Parrott sent another letter by mail and email to Mr Cook and requested Apple to recognize CCI, iDiversicons® emoji, and her development of a diverse emoji.
Upon the release of Apple’s diverse emoji, CCI experienced a decrease in sales for iDiversicons® emoji.
Parrott, in her complaint, claims that Apple disregarded her pursuit of a partnership deal after a series of 2014 meetings and communications between herself and two senior Apple software engineers, who got a close look at her technology. After the release of Apple's own five-skin tone keyboard modifier pallet in April 2015, downloads of Parrott’s iDiversicons dropped.
Apple accused of Infringing copyright and trade dress
The lawsuit has been filed in Waco, Texas In the suit, Parrott has accused Apple of infringing her copyright and trade dress, misappropriating her ideas and technology, unfair competition and unjust enrichment. She sought a Court order that blocks Apple from using her work and claimed unspecified money damages based on Apple’s profits and her lost business opportunities from the alleged copying.
The complaint brought by Parrott states "…this is contrary to Apple’s mission to remedy gaps in diversity and inclusion, especially when Apple’s representatives have recognized Mrs Parrott’s contributions to bring diversity and inclusion to digital communication."
Apple's alleged infringement has taken away revenues of iDiversicons®
Apple’s emojis are the same or at least substantially similar to the copyrighted iDiversicons® emoji that Mrs Parrott shared with members of Apple’s team. CCI receives revenues from its sales of iDiversicons® emoji on Apple’s App Store and iTunes.
Apple’s willful infringement has taken away those revenues as Apple device users can access iDiversicons®-like emojis on the default Apple keyboard. Thus, Apple profits commercially without paying the price for the use of CCI’s intellectual property; and causes substantial harm to the value of the work. As a result, CCI has been damaged by Apple’s conduct in an amount to be determined according to proof at trial.
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