In 2019 Apple sued security startup Corellium, but its legal action seems to have backfired.
Last year, Apple accused Corellium of violating copyright law as its software offered researchers access to ‘virtual’ iPhones that can help them find bugs in iOS products.
A federal judge in Florida has dismissed the complaint, giving Corellium a win against Apple. Furthermore, Apple accused Corellium of violating the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, as the company allegedly bypassed its security measures to create the iPhone emulator.
A judge has yet to address this complaint.
Interestingly, it doesn’t seem like the federal judge, Rodney Smith, trusted Apple’s intentions with the lawsuit:
“Having reviewed the evidence, the Court does not find a lack of good faith and fair dealing. Further, weighing all the necessary factors, the Court finds that Corellium has met its burden of establishing fair use. Thus, its use of iOS in connection with the Corellium Product is permissible. On these grounds, Corellium’s Motion for Summary Judgment is granted on Apple’s copyright claim.”
Furthermore, Smith notes that this legal action comes after Apple considered acquiring Corellium. Back in 2018, Apple and Correlium met for the purposes of acquisition. If Apple went further with the acquisition of Corellium, the product would have been used for internal testing and validation, the judge points out.
In the past, Apple has made it difficult for researchers to check its mobile platform for vulnerabilities. However, the company recently launched a Security Research Device Program, which gives qualified experts hacker-friendly iPhones so they can find bugs in iOS and in third-party apps.