Apple Loses Copyright Suit Against Cyber-Security Startup Corellium Over ‘Virtualisation’ of iOS

 Apple has sued Florida-based startups in 2019, claiming that its 'virtualization' of iOS software has caused copyright infringement.

A federal judge on Tuesday dropped Apple's copyright infringement lawsuit against the introduction of cyber-security Corellium in a case that could affect researchers finding software bugs and being at risk.

Judge Rodney Smith said Apple had failed to show a legitimate basis for protecting its entire iOS system from security investigators.


Apple sued a Florida-based startup in 2019 claiming that "seeing" iOS software violated copyright.

But the judge ruled that Corellium's work, designed to find security holes in the software, was "the proper use" of copyrighted material.

"Since childhood copyright protection, the courts have recognized that some opportunity for the proper use of copyrighted material is needed to achieve the purpose of copyright to promote" scientific and artistic advancement, "writes Smith.

"There is evidence in the record to support Corellium's view that its product is for safety research and, as Apple acknowledges, can be used for security research. In addition, Apple itself would have used the product for internal testing if it had successfully identified the company."

The decision, if reserved, represents the victory of security researchers who may face public or criminal penalties for reproducing copyrighted software as part of an effort to identify risks.

It also puts a limit on Apple's efforts to make full use of its iPhone software and its ability to compel third parties to use third-party search tools.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.