Apple’s Unsolicited Idea Submission Policy

I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.
John Cage

While asking Apple to please include RAW support for the Fujifilm X-E1 in Aperture, I stumbled upon their “Unsolicited Idea Submission Policy”. It’s quite interesting:

Apple or any of its employees do not accept or consider unsolicited ideas, including ideas for new advertising campaigns, new promotions, new or improved products or technologies, product enhancements, processes, materials, marketing plans or new product names. Please do not submit any unsolicited ideas, original creative artwork, suggestions or other works (“submissions”) in any form to Apple or any of its employees. The sole purpose of this policy is to avoid potential misunderstandings or disputes when Apple’s products or marketing strategies might seem similar to ideas submitted to Apple. If, despite our request that you not send us your ideas, you still submit them, then regardless of what your letter says, the following terms shall apply to your submissions.


You agree that: (1) your submissions and their contents will automatically become the property of Apple, without any compensation to you; (2) Apple may use or redistribute the submissions and their contents for any purpose and in any way; (3) there is no obligation for Apple to review the submission; and (4) there is no obligation to keep any submissions confidential.




Apple’s Unsolicited Idea Submission Policy, retrieved from on 12th of February 2013

While I can understand the need to protect themselves from lawsuits over “misused” ideas and the terrible disputes that can arise over the “I gave you the idea” vs. “no, I already had it myself as well” situation, I wonder why Apple does not request ideas (under these terms) more prominently.

After all, not all innovation comes from within a company. Apple has a strong and very creative user base — with a workflow for new product ideas it would be interesting to see which kinds of new products would become available that “best satisfy” many users’ needs.

I mean, if you remember their great “Think Different” campaign …

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes.


The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.


About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward.


Maybe they have to be crazy.


How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?


We make tools for these kinds of people.


While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

… what would be the conclusion? Have ideas, but keep them for yourself? Or perhaps, be creative (in the sense of actually realizing the idea), and then feed it into our platform? Whereas they invite feedback to the applications (also in this policy), they draw a firm line between “Apple the creative company” and “you the consumer” … hmmm …

In any case, it’s probably helpful to know that if you send ideas to Apple, they cease to be your ideas — Apple can do anything with them, even — gasp! — realizing them and making money from it.