Apple this week lost a legal battle against software virtualization firm Corellium copyright infringement covering iOS, iTunes, and other Apple assets. Apple sued the company last year, as Corellium software is designed to replicate iOS to allow security researchers to locate bugs and security flaws.
The Washington Post reported that a Florida judge threw out Apple’s claims that Corellium violated copyright law with its software. The judge ruled that Corellium operates under fair use terms.
“Weighing all the necessary factors, the Court finds that Corellium has met its burden of establishing fair use,” Judge Smith wrote Tuesday’s order. “Thus, its use of iOS in connection with the Corellium Product is permissible.”
Corellium touted its software product as running “real iOS — with real bugs that have real exploits,” Apple had not licensed iOS, iTunes or its user interface technologies for use by Corellium.
Apple said Corellium’s servers were illegally hosting numerous copies of iOS. The alleged infringement also included copies of iTunes. Apple said the company didn’t appear to require its customers to limit the use of its products to research and testing, nor did the firm require customers to disclose discovered bugs and vulnerabilities to Apple.
“Corellium has simply copied everything: the code, the graphical user interface, the icons – all of it, in exacting detail,” Apple said in the original filing.
Corellium, which was founded in 2017, gave its customers the ability to run “virtual” iPhones on desktop computers. The company’s software removed the need to use physical iPhones that contain specialized software to probe iOS, Apple’s mobile operating system.
David L. Hecht, founder of law firm Hecht Partners and co-counsel for Corellium, said in a statement: “We are very pleased with the Court’s ruling on fair use and are proud of the strength and resolve that our clients at Corellium have displayed in this important battle. The Court affirmed the strong balance that fair use provides against the reach of copyright protection into other markets, which is a huge win for the security research industry in particular.”
Apple has not responded to requests for comment.