Skip to main content

Judge tosses racially diverse emoji lawsuit against Apple

Emoji hero iPhone
Emoji hero iPhone (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple has won a lawsuit filed against the company over its racially diverse emojis.
  • A judge threw out the case because they were skeptical it could succeed.
  • They said there were a number of differences between Apple's idea and the plaintiff's, and that it was an unprotectable idea at best.

A judge has thrown out a lawsuit filed against Apple claiming that the company copied its racially diverse emojis from someone else.

From Reuters:

Apple Inc convinced a California federal judge on Wednesday to throw out a lawsuit accusing the tech giant of ripping off another company's multiracial emoji and violating its intellectual property rights.Cub Club Investment LLC didn't show that Apple copied anything that was eligible for copyright protection, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria said.

The judge was reportedly skeptical that the case could succeed because of a number of differences between Apple's emojis and the plaintiff's. According to the suit, Katrina Parrott created the iDiversicons app in 2013 which claimed to be the world's first emojis to feature different skin tones. A partnership with Apple was discussed in 2014 but came to nothing, after which Apple created its own similar set.

A judge ruled that even if the complaint was true and Apple had copied the idea, Parrott's idea was unprotectable stating "there aren't many ways that someone could implement this idea. After all, there are only so many ways to draw a thumbs up."

Apple's emojis are a key part of communication on its iOS 15 platform across all of its best iPhones. The company is expected to unveil a new iPhone SE at a rumored March event early next month.

Stephen Warwick
Stephen Warwick

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple.