What you need to know
- Apple has lost its lawsuit against security research firm Corellium.
- The software that virtualizes iPhones will continue to be allowed.
Reported by The Washington Post, Apple has lost its legal battle with Corellium, the security research firm that created virtual iPhones that Apple had filed a copyright claim against.
The judge in the case ruled that Corellium's creation of virtual iPhones was not a copyright violation, in part because it was designed to help improve the security for all iPhone users. Corellium wasn't creating a competing product for consumers. Rather, it was a research tool for a comparatively small number of customers.
Apple had claimed that flaws discovered by Correllium could fall into hackers' hands because the company sold its product "indiscriminately," but Judge Rodney Smith called those claims "Puzzling, if not disingenuous."
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In the lawsuit, Apple argued that Corellium's products could be dangerous if they fall into the wrong hands because security flaws discovered by Corellium could be used to hack iPhones. Apple also argued that Corellium sells its product indiscriminately, a claim Corellium denied.
Will Strafach, a security researcher, says that the decision will lead to Apple devices being even safer for consumers.
"This is a major victory for security researchers looking to make Apple devices more safe for the world ... This is a very positive signal demonstrating that it may not be so easy for Apple to try to bully those who do things that Apple does not approve of."
Apple has also just launched its own Security Research Device Program that ships special iPhones to security researchers to help them discover potential vulnerabilities that can earn researchers as much as $1.5 million depending on the severity of the bug.