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Sabine Liewald Sues Apple: Photographer Alleges Eye Photo Used Illegally For Retina MacBook Pro Launch

Apple Inc. and Swiss photographer Sabine Liewald are not seeing eye to eye.

Patently Apple reports Liewald recently filed a lawsuit against Apple, stating the company misused one of her photographs at the launch of the Retina MacBook Pro in June 2012. The image in question is a shot of an eye, decked out in heavy blue makeup.

The photo was displayed at the June event to show off the new device during Apple’s keynote address and was also used for promotional photographs at the event. Liewald alleges that the picture was used without her knowledge.

The photographer’s New York-based agency, Factory Downtown, issued the copyrighted “Eye Closeup” photo to Apple after the company reassured the Swiss photographer her image would be used only for “layout purposes,” according to Cult of Mac. “The photographer was then surprised when Apple did exactly what it said it wouldn’t do,” PetaPixel writes.

Liewald doesn’t just want retribution for copyright infringement; she also wants a portion of Apple’s profits. Considering the tech giant’s overall wealth, we can assume if the court favors Liewald’s argument, she’ll be receiving a pretty hefty payout.

Oddly enough, this isn’t the first bit of Swiss intellectual property Apple has allegedly swiped. Earlier this October, the company went to court and struck a deal with Swiss railway operator SBB over the use of its classic black, white and red clock, which is used in the iPad’s latest operating system. A licensing fee now allows Apple to use the trademarked design.

Liewald’s suit was filed in the United States District Court for New York under Judge Jesse M. Furman, per Patently Apple. Apple has also removed the image from its website, and apparently replaced it with a similar eye photograph on the MacBook Pro’s Design and Layout page.

Category: News