Apple Files Lawsuit Against Virtualization Company Corellium for Illegally Replicating iOS and Apple Apps

Apple today filed a lawsuit against Corellium, a mobile device virtualization company that supports iOS. Corellium describes itself as the "first and only platform" that offers iOS, Android, and Linux virtualization on ARM.

In the lawsuit, filed today in the Southern District of Florida, Apple accuses Corellium of copyright infringement for illegally replicating the operating system and applications that run on the iPhone and the iPad.

A virtual ‌iPhone‌ on Corellium's website used as evidence in Apple's lawsuit against the company

Corellium's business is based entirely on commercializing the illegal replication of the copyrighted operating system and applications that run on Apple's ‌iPhone‌, ‌iPad‌, and other Apple devices. The product Corellium offers is a "virtual" version of Apple mobile hardware products, accessible to anyone with a web browser.

Specifically, Corellium serves up what it touts as a perfect digital facsimile of a broad range of Apple's market-leading devices--recreating with fastidious attention to detail not just the way the operating system and applications appear visually to bona fide purchasers, but also the underlying computer code. Corellium does so with no license or permission from Apple.

According to Apple, Corellium's iOS virtualization product infringes on Apple's copyrights. "Corellium has simply copied everything: the code, the graphical user interface, the icons -- all of it, in exacting detail," reads the lawsuit.

Corellium's product creates digital replicas of iOS, iTunes, and user interface elements available on a web-based platform or a custom platform built by Corellium. It is designed to create virtual iOS devices for the purpose of running iOS, and at the recent Black Hat USA conference, Corellium emphasized that its "Apple product" is an exact copy of iOS, able to allow researchers and hackers to find and test vulnerabilities.

Apple goes on to say that though Corellium poses its product as a research tool for those aiming to discover security vulnerabilities, the company's actual goal is "profiting off its blatant infringement" by encouraging users to sell discovered information on the open market to the highest bidder.

Apple says it does not want to encumber "good-faith security research" but instead is aiming to end Corellium's "unlawful commercialization of Apple's valuable copyrighted works."

On information and belief, Corellium makes no effort whatsoever to confine use of its product to good-faith research and testing of iOS. Nor does Corellium require its users to disclose any software bugs they find to Apple, so that Apple may correct them. Instead, Corellium is selling a product for profit, using unauthorized copies of Apple's proprietary software, that it avowedly intends to be used for any purpose, without limitation, including for the sale of software exploits on the open market.

Apple is seeking a permanent injunction to prevent Corellium from continuing to offer a product that replicates iOS. Apple also wants Corellium to destroy all infringing materials that it's collected, and pay Apple damages, lost profits, and attorney fees.

Apple Inc. vs. Corellium, LLC by MacRumors on Scribd


Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
14 months ago
Apple has a good case against them, I suspect Corellium won't have much of a chance defending themselves. You can't recreate someone's intellectual property without asking, especially code that is owned by Apple.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
14 months ago

I suspect Corellium didn't copy one line of code and wrote it themselves from scratch. The only thing copied were icons and graphics.

I hate to be that “read the article” guy, but dude... read the article.

Corellium has simply copied everything: the code, the graphical user interface, the icons -- all of it, in exacting detail," reads the lawsuit.

Corellium emphasized that its "Apple product" is an exact copy of iOS, able to allow researchers and hackers to find and test vulnerabilities.

Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
14 months ago

Corellium emphasized that its "Apple product" is an exact copy of iOS, able to allow researchers and hackers to find and test vulnerabilities.

Sounds like Apple should just buy them and use the virtual iOS as a tool for developers and researchers looking for exploits, better than handing out locked down devices to everyone.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
14 months ago

I suspect Corellium didn't copy one line of code and wrote it themselves from scratch. The only thing copied were icons and graphics.

That would entirely refute their claim to allow researchers to discover vulnerabilities in iOS.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
14 months ago
Did MR reach out to Corellium for comment?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
14 months ago
This is virtually a locked down case.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Here's How You Can Download iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Around the World [It's Out]

Wednesday September 16, 2020 2:36 am PDT by
Apple's official public release of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 dropped on Wednesday, September 16, just a day after the company released the Golden Master to third-party developers. Also set to be made available to the general public for the first time are watchOS 7 and tvOS 14. Getting Started With iOS 14 Video Click image to watch iOS 14 Getting Started While that's left a lot of developers...

When Will the iPhone 12 Launch? Here's What We Know

Wednesday September 16, 2020 6:12 am PDT by
Yesterday's "Time Flies" Apple event saw the release of the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE, iPad 8, and iPad Air 4, but no new iPhone models. Rumors before the event strongly alleged that it would not see the unveiling of new iPhones, with many reports pointing to an October launch. The lack of new iPhone models yesterday seems to confirm that the iPhone 12 lineup will not appear...

Apple Releases iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 With Home Screen Redesign, App Library, Compact UI, Translate App, Scribble Support, App Clips, and More

Wednesday September 16, 2020 12:48 pm PDT by
Apple has released iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, the newest operating system updates designed for the iPhone and iPad. As with all of Apple's software updates, iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 can be downloaded for free. iOS 14 is available on the iPhone 6s and later, while iPadOS 14 is available on the iPad Air 2 and later. The updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To ...

Apple Releases Safari 14 for Mac Ahead of macOS Big Sur Launch

Wednesday September 16, 2020 1:40 pm PDT by
macOS Big Sur didn't launch alongside iOS 14, iPadOS 14, tvOS 14, and watchOS 7 today, with the update coming later this fall, but Apple did release the Safari 14 update for macOS Catalina and macOS Mojave users. Safari 14 brings improved performance, customizable start pages, a Privacy Report to see which cross-site trackers are being blocked, and a new tab bar design that provides tab...

Apple Updates AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro Firmware to Version 3A283

Monday September 14, 2020 11:24 am PDT by
Apple today released new 3A283 firmware updates for the second-generation AirPods and the AirPods Pro. The second-generation AirPods are being updated from the 2D15 firmware they were previously running, while the AirPods Pros are being updated from the 2D27 firmware they had installed previously. Apple does not provide details on what's included in refreshed firmware so we don't know what's ...

Spotify Says Apple One Bundle Will Cause 'Irreparable Harm to Developer Community'

Tuesday September 15, 2020 12:26 pm PDT by
Apple today announced Apple One, a series of new subscription bundles that provide access to various Apple services at a combined monthly price. In response, Spotify sent out statements (via Peter Kafka) to the press decrying Apple's anti-competitive behavior and calling on "competition authorities" to stop Apple before it is able to cause "irreparable harm" to developers.Once again, Apple...

Apple Releases watchOS 7 With New Watch Faces, Family Setup, Sleep Tracking, Handwashing Help and More

Wednesday September 16, 2020 12:47 pm PDT by
Apple today released watchOS 7, the newest version of the watchOS operating system designed to run on modern Apple Watch models. The watchOS 7 update comes after several months of beta testing. ‌watchOS 7‌ can be downloaded for free through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General > Software Update. To install the new software, the Apple Watch needs to have at...

New AirPods Pro Firmware Introduces Spatial Audio Support and Automatic Switching

Monday September 14, 2020 12:22 pm PDT by
The new 3A283 firmware that Apple released for the AirPods Pro today appears to introduce support for Spatial Audio, a new feature coming to the higher-end AirPods with iOS 14. Multiple reports on Twitter and the MacRumors forums indicate that the firmware update adds a "Spatial Audio" option to the Control Center, which can be activated to enable the feature. Note that using Spatial Audio...

Here Are All of the New Apple Watch Faces Apple Announced Today

Tuesday September 15, 2020 2:55 pm PDT by
Apple today announced the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE, both of which will be compatible with new watch faces that are being introduced in the watchOS 7 update set to be released tomorrow. Apple has provided a video highlighting all of the new Apple Watch faces, with details on each one. GMT - The GMT face shows multiple time zones at once, while also taking into...

iOS 14.2 Beta Adds New Shazam Music Recognition Feature for Control Center

Thursday September 17, 2020 3:36 pm PDT by
Apple today released the first beta of iOS 14.2 to developers for testing purposes, and the new update introduces a Music Recognition control for the Control Center. The new feature lets you discover music playing around you and it recognizes the music playing with in apps, even when you're wearing AirPods. Songs pop up as notifications, and you can tap to listen in Apple Music....