Apple Cerellium

Apple loses Copyright Violation Lawsuit against Corellium

Corellium may still be in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which prohibits tools to circumvent security measures

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, West Palm Beach has ruled against Apple in its copyright violation claims against Corellium, which offers virtual iPhones for security researchers testing for vulnerabilities in the operating system.

Apple accused Corellium of copying its OS and graphical user interface and of claiming to help discover bugs while selling information on the open market to the highest bidder.” Corellium countered that Apple tried to acquire a predecessor of the company and sued when sale talks fell through.

District Judge Rodney Smith said Corellium “creates a new, virtual platform for iOS and adds capabilities not available on Apple’s iOS devices,” which falls under an exemption in copyright law, and that Corellium sells its product “does not undermine its fair use defence, particularly considering the public benefit of the product.”

Corellium has said its customers are government agencies, financial institutions and security researchers and accused Apple of trying to control security research to limit what the public learns about vulnerabilities.

“There is evidence in the record to support Corellium’s position that its product is intended for security research and, as Apple concedes, can be used for security research,” the judge said.

“Further, Apple itself would have used the product for internal testing had it successfully acquired the company.”

The judge added that Corellium may still be in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which prohibits tools to circumvent security measures, so he declined to dismiss that aspect of the case at this stage. He ordered the two sides to submit a status report by Jan. 11 to determine how the case proceeds.

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