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Apple suing Corellium for selling ‘perfect replicas’ of iOS

Rachel Tesler

Apple is suing startup Corellium for selling virtual copies of the iPhone and iPad operating systems under the pretense of detecting security flaws, in a copyright-infringement lawsuit filed Thursday in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Tech giant Apple is accusing software company Corellium of copying the internal operating systems of its products using a graphical user interface and violating its patent, according to the suit.

Apple recently launched “good-faith security research,” offering a $1 million “bug bounty” for anyone who discovers flaws in its system and has provided "hacker-specific" versions of the iPhone to uncover issues with the operating system, however, the company says the copies breach that.

“Although Corellium paints itself as providing a research tool for those trying to discover security vulnerabilities and other flaws in Apple’s software, Corellium’s true goal is profiting off its blatant infringement,” Apple said in the complaint. “Far from assisting in fixing vulnerabilities, Corellium encourages its users to sell any discovered information on the open market to the highest bidder.”

According to Apple, information uncovered through Corelium’s products benefits the company rather than protecting the privacy of users, as the bug bounty and other flaw detection methods were intended.

Corelium’s website says it “respects the intellectual property rights of others and expects its users to do the same,” as last update July 4. It also recently retweeted a user that said its research program outmatched Apple’s hacker research.

Corellium’s products allow the creation of an Apple device, according to the suit. It copies new versions of Apple works as soon as they are announced, and doesn’t require users to disclose flaws to Apple.

“For a million dollars a year, Corellium will even deliver a ‘private’ installation of its product to any buyer,” Apple said in the suit. “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.”

According to Apple, this infringes on their ownership rights and jeopardizes consumer privacy. Apple has requested the federal judge block all sales of the Corellium Apple Product.

“Corellium is indiscriminately marketing the Corellium Apple Product to any customer, including foreign governments and commercial enterprises,” Apple said. “Corellium is not selectively limiting its customers to only those with some socially beneficial purpose.”

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Apple has also urged courts to force Corellium to notify its customers if they violating Apple’s rights, destroying Apple copyrights by using the products, and feel they should be compensated.

Neither Apple nor Corellium responded to FOX Business' request for comment at the time of publication.

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