Apple Settles Lawsuit With Security Startup Corellium Over iOS Virtualization

Apple has agreed to settle a major lawsuit with Corellium.

A new report from the Wall Street Journal notes that Apple has settled a lawsuit with Corellium over claims the company breached copyright by selling virtual iOS devices for iPhone software testing.

Corellium was founded in 2017 by former iPhone jailbreakers. It sells virtual iOS and Android devices, aimed at independent security researchers, that allow customers to run Apple and Google firmware in a web browser.

The suit was filed in 2019 and claimed that Corellium’s virtual iOS software, which let researchers test on a virtual iOS device rather than a physical iPhone, breached copyright.

According to the report, the terms of the settlement are confidential. It also confirmed with the Corellium sales team that its virtual iOS devices are still available.

“Corellium was previously facing the prospect of years of expensive and drawn out legal action, and many in the security research community saw the lawsuit as having a chilling effect on independent research,” the report notes.

The settlement comes after Apple last year suffered a major setback in its case against Corellium when U.S. District Judge Rodney Smith ruled in the Florida firm’s favor, calling its product an example of “fair use.”

“Corellium’s profit motivation does not undermine its fair use defense, particularly considering the public benefit of the product,” Smith said.

Now, however, a judge dismissed the copyright claims, calling them “puzzling, if not disingenuous.” He wrote in his ruling that “the Court finds that Corellium has met its burden of establishing fair use,” adding that its use of iOS in that context was permissible.

Corellium started offering its platform to individual subscribers earlier this year, after previously only making it available to enterprise users. Each request for access is vetted individually so that it won’t fall into the wrong hands for malicious purposes, according to the company.