Houston woman sues Apple after claiming they ripped off ‘racially diverse’ emoji

Apple introduced emojis to users in 2008, but options were certainly limited. The technology company finally made “racially diverse” emojis available in 2015 — and Katrina Parrott said she’s to thank for that.

“All of the emojis at the time were Caucasian,” recalled Parrott, as reported by Rhodes. I just felt as if everybody should be represented, which is why we came up with the five skin tone emojis that represent inclusion.”

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Thus, iDiversicons was born. Per Apple’s official app store description, as a pioneer for diversity and inclusion, the $1.99 app “offers you an amazing new keyboard with truly diverse emoji, satisfying a void that the current emoji lack and what the public has been asking for: more faces of color.”

Parrott, who said she got her start at an Apple store, eventually took her idea to Silicon Valley and a year later, managed to land a meeting with software development executives. She’s now suing Apple for copyright infringement.

“What I learned in business is if you come up with an idea that nobody else has and you’re the first on the scene, it gives you a real good opportunity to be successful,” Parrott said, as reported by Washington Post’s Reed Albergotti.

Parrott claims that Apple ripped off her idea when they created their own diverse emoji line. Instead of allowing her to be involved or receive credit and compensation, she said, they left her out to try.

Apple has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, as reported by Albergotti, arguing that “copyright does not protect the idea of applying five different skin tones to emoji because ideas are not copyrightable.”