It is the victory of the earthen pot against the iron pot. The young Corellium shoot has just won the lawsuit brought by Apple, which accused it of infringing its intellectual property.
Based in Florida, the company offers security researchers virtual instances of iPhone, which simplifies their work and saves them jailbreak terminals or begging for them from Apple, which distributes them in a trickle.
The Cupertino company had considered that the creation of these instances was illegal, even dangerous for the security of iPhone if they fell into the wrong hands. At the end of last May, she therefore decided to sue the young company.
A “reasonable use” according to the judge
But the Florida federal judge rejected Apple’s arguments. According to him, virtual instances do not constitute an intellectual property violation, because they are a research tool for a few specialists, and not a competing product for the general public.
The use of Corellium is therefore reasonable (« fair use ») and, on the contrary, benefits iPhone users by improving their security. The judge also did not accept the argument of the bad hackers who could take advantage of these instances to hack iPhone. Indeed, the service is not open access, and researchers must show a white paw to be able to subscribe.
Among the security research community, this decision is a relief. For Will Strafach, author of a security app for iOS, the Corellium teams “Went through hell because of a huge company, and instead of bending, they fought, won and set a very important precedent”.
“Kudos to @CorelliumHQ for showing that even if you get sued by a two trillion dollar company when you are just a start-up, you can still win”, wrote the security researcher Matt Suiche.
The trial is not over
However, Corellium’s legal adventure is not yet over. Beyond the charges for intellectual property infringement, Apple had also felt that the young shoot circumvented its protective measures to create virtual instances, which would go against the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). On this aspect, the judge has not yet decided.