Apple Loses Copyright Lawsuit Against Corellium for iOS Clone

Apple Corellium Featured

As one of the most valuable companies in the world, Apple is involved in many lawsuits, from both ends. This is one where the Cupertino company did not come out on top. Apple filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Corellium for its iOS clone that runs in the browser. However, a federal judge believes Corellium’s use of the iOS technology is “fair use.”

Apple Lawsuit Against Corellium

Corellium allows developers to run iOS firmware in a browser. It’s not for the purposes of stealing the operating system but for developers to use to test their products without having to use iPhones.

Apple filed a lawsuit against Corellium, a company created by former iPhone jailbreakers, in 2019. It charged that the startup “copied everything: the code, the graphical user interface, the icons – all of it, in exacting detail.”

Apple Corellium Testing
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The lawsuit further explained, “There is no basis for Corellium to be selling a product that allows the creation of avowedly perfect replicas of Apple’s devices to anyone willing to pay.”

Corellium fought back against the tech giant: “By replacing racks of physical devices with a single virtual platform, Corellium empowers software engineers to test, teach, research, and develop more efficiently and more effectively. Apple cannot be genuinely concerned it will lose smartphone market share to Corellium, because Corellium’s technology is in no way a market substitute for Apple’s products.”

Perhaps Apple isn’t upset about Corellium using what they created. Maybe what has the company so hot under the collar is that if Corellium could create this iOS clone for testing purposes, there’s nothing stopping another developer from creating something similar and marketing it to an Apple competitor as an iOS clone.

Fair Use of iOS

U.S. District Judge Rodney Smith ruled against Apple in its lawsuit against Corellium. He decided the OS clone falls under the fair use rules, as it’s transformative. The rules for transformative use require the new product in question to be used for a different purpose than the original product. Corellium’s use is definitely different.

Apple Corellium Ios

Smith noted that Corellium was using its iOS clone to help iOS developers find security flaws. “Corellium’s profit motivation does not undermine its fair use defense, particularly considering the public benefit of the product,” he wrote in his decision.

Apple still has legal options, by pushing that Corellium went around Apple’s security to create the software. Interestingly, Apple tried to buy Corellium a year before filing the lawsuit. Once talks broke down, Apple filed.

That presents another reason Apple is upset. It has built its operating systems by buying out smaller software companies that have shown ingenuity that uses Apple’s mobile OS. This is how it acquired Siri and Shazam. It’s even bought out hardware, such as Beats.

But Corellium isn’t playing. So Apple took them to court – and lost.

Apple has had other epic losses. Read on to learn about the court decision where it was ordered to pay up to $500 million for slowing down iPhones.

Laura Tucker Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.

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