Apple Files Appeal After Partly Settling Corellium Copyright Dispute

A string of docket entries filed this week reveal that Apple Inc. and defendant Corellium LLC have partly ended their dispute over whether Corellium illegally copied Apple’s technology by creating a “virtual” version of Apple devices and unlawfully trafficking a product used to circumvent security measures. Though the parties reached a settlement concerning Apple’s Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) claim and Corellium’s counterclaims, the terms of which were not made public, Apple has appealed three copyright infringement claims as to injunctive relief only.

Apple filed suit against Corellium alleging that the defendant’s business “is based entirely on commercializing the illegal replication of the copyrighted operating system and applications that run on Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and other Apple devices,” according to the tech giant’s second amended complaint filed in July 2020. Under the guise of research, Corellium purportedly sells a product that enables “the creation of avowedly perfect replicas of Apple’s devices to anyone willing to pay,” the filing argued.

As such, Apple sought to enjoin Corellium’s “naked” copyright infringement. Corellium subsequently hit back with a dozen counterclaims. In December 2020, the Southern District of Florida court entered summary judgment in favor of Corellium on Apple’s copyright infringement claims. In particular, the court found that the defendant’s use of Apple code was fair because Corellium’s tool permits users to use iOS code in a manner specialized to security researchers. The court simultaneously declined to adjudge the DMCA claim, citing genuine issues of material fact.

The case was proceeding to trial until the parties settled on Aug. 10, 2021. The agreement was conditioned on several premises, including the court’s willingness to retain jurisdiction over the case to enforce the terms of the settlement, which it agreed to do. Apple’s injunctive relief appeal will now head to the Eleventh Circuit.

Apple is represented by Lash & Goldberg and Latham & Watkins, and Corellium by Cole, Scott & Kissane and Hecht Partners.