(Reuters) – A federal judge in Florida has dismissed Apple Inc.’s claims for copyright infringement against a Florida company, whose software helps security researchers investigate vulnerabilities in Apple products, including the iPhone.
U.S. District Judge Rodney Smith called Corellium LLC in favor, saying the software that tracks the iOS operating system used on the iPhone and iPad is “fair use” because it is “transformative” and helps developers fix security bugs. to track.
Apple has accused Corellium of essentially repeating iOS to create “virtual” iOS devices, the “only function” of which was to run unauthorized copies of the system on hardware not used by Apple.
But the reviewer in Fort Lauderdale said Corellium “adds something new to iOS” by showing users and stopping ongoing processes, taking live photos and doing other editing.
“Corellium’s profit motivation does not undermine the defense of fair use, especially when the public benefit of the product is taken into account,” Smith wrote.
The judge also rejected Apple’s argument that the launch of Delray Beach acted in good faith by selling the product indiscriminately, including potentially to hackers, and by not requiring users to report errors to Apple.
He said the argument “seems puzzling, if not insignificant”, saying Cupertino, Apple in California, does not set a reporting requirement under its own Bug Bounty program.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Corellium denies wrongdoing. Justin Levine, one of his lawyers, said in an email that the ruling makes ‘proper findings regarding fair use’.
Smith said Apple could still demand a separate federal law that Corellium circumvented its security measures while creating software.
Corellium was founded in August 2017. According to court reports, Apple has been trying to buy Corellium since January 2018, but talks broke down by the summer. Apple sued Corellium in August 2019.
The case is Apple Inc. v. Corellium LLC, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida, no. 19-81160.
Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Edited by David Gregorio