Technology giant Apple has just filed a copyright-infringement lawsuit against Corellium, a Delaware-based startup. The startup has been offering a virtual copy of the iPhone to interested users for more than a year. Users can also easily change the model of the iPhone and version of iOS with a simple menu tab. Apple is now seeking to shut down the company stating that hackers are using this service to discover security flaws. While the act of discovering security flaws is not illegal but, hackers are not reporting these flaws to Apple.
Details of the Apple lawsuit against Corellium
According to the initial report by Bloomberg, Apple claims that the startup is infringing its copyright on iOS. The company claimed that the startup has copied the OS, GUI and other portions of the devices without permission. Even though the virtual iPhone can’t be used as a replacement for the iPhone, Corellium has still copied the iOS software. Apple clarified that it does support “good-faith security research” including a bug bounty program and custom iPhone devices to researchers.
However, Apple also shared details about its objection regarding Corellium. According to the lawsuit, it states that the startup wants to profit off the infringement of its copyright. It went on to claim, “Corellium encourages its users to sell any discovered information on the open market to the highest bidder.” This means that researchers and hackers discovering these security flaws end up selling them to the highest bidder. It is possible that these bidders may use these flaws to exploit them.
The report also noted that Corellium recently updated its public intellectual property policy last month. As part of the update, the startup stating that it respects the intellectual property rights. According to the report, the company does not appreciate Corellium offering products that compete with the Apple Developer Program. It stated, “Corellium is indiscriminately marketing the Corellium Apple Product to any customer, including foreign governments and commercial enterprises.” Corellium has not issued a response to the copyright lawsuit.