Corellium Responds to Apple Lawsuit, Claims its iOS Virtualization Software Helps Apple

Apple in August filed a lawsuit against Corellium, a mobile device virtualization company that supports iOS, with Apple accusing Corellium of copyright infringement for replicating the operating system that runs on the iPhone and iPad.

As noted by Motherboard, Corellium today filed its response to Apple's lawsuit, accusing the Cupertino company of owing $300,000 and claiming that its software helps Apple by making it easier for security researchers to track down iOS bugs.

A virtual iPhone on Corellium's website used as evidence in Apple's lawsuit against the company

According to Apple, Corellium's product infringes on its copyrights by creating digital replicas of iOS, iTunes, and other apps and software. "Corellium has simply copied everything: the code, the graphical user interface, the icons - all of it, in exacting detail," reads Apple's lawsuit.

Corellium designed its software to create virtual iOS devices able to run iOS, and has encouraged researchers and hackers to use it to find and test vulnerabilities.

According to Corellium, Apple's code in its product is "fair use" and the software makes the world better by allowing security researchers to look into iOS, find flaws, and inform Apple so the bugs can be fixed.

Corellium argues it's easier for researchers to find and test bugs in iOS using virtual instances of iOS rather than physical devices. With this lawsuit, says Corellium, Apple is aiming to control who is allowed to find vulnerabilities in its software. This is a position that is also supported within the security community, according to Motherboard, and many security researchers were surprised by Apple's initial lawsuit.
Through its invitation-only research device program and this lawsuit, Apple is trying to control who is permitted to identify vulnerabilities, if and how Apple will address identified vulnerabilities, and if Apple will disclose identified vulnerabilities to the public at all.
One of Corellium's key arguments is that its customers are seeking bugs with the intention of alerting Apple of their existence, which Motherboard points out is just an assumption and, based on evidence, not true. One customer highlighted in Corellium's legal response, for example, is Azimuth, a company that does not report bugs to Apple.

Instead, Azimuth sells hacking tools based on those bugs to law enforcement and intelligence agencies in countries like the United States and Canada.

Corellium also argues that Apple has known about the company for years and has been friendly to Chris Wade, one of Corellium's founders. Corellium says that Wade was invited to join Apple's bug bounty program. Wade has since reported seven bugs to Apple without receiving payment, which is why Corellium argues that Apple owes $300,000.

Apple declined to provide Motherboard with a comment on Corellium's legal response. Apple is continuing to seek a permanent injunction to prevent Corellium from offering a product that replicates iOS. Apple also wants Corellium to destroy all infringing materials that it's collected, and pay Apple damages, lost profits, and attorney fees.

Tag: lawsuit

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Former Apple Lawyer Facing Criminal Charges for Insider Trading

Former Apple lawyer Gene Levoff, who was in charge of enforcing Apple's Insider Trading Policy, is facing criminal charges related to insider trading of Apple stock, reports CNBC.

Levoff was today indicted for insider trading, and he is facing six counts of security fraud and six counts of wire fraud. According to the U.S. government, Levoff used inside information from Apple, including financial results before they were published, to sell Apple stock ahead of weaker than expected earnings results between 2011 and 2016 as well as to purchase stock during stronger quarters.

This scheme to defraud Company-1 and its shareholders allowed Levoff to realize profits of approximately $227,000 on certain trades and to avoid losses of approximately $377,000 on others.

When Levoff discovered that Company-1 had posted strong revenue and net profit for a given financial quarter, he purchased large quantities of stock, which he later sold for a profit once the market reacted to the news.
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission first filed charges against Gene Levoff in February, but now he is facing criminal charges in addition to civil charges.

Levoff worked for Apple from 2008 to 2018, and prior to when he was fired from the company, he was the senior director of corporate law.

Apple declined to comment on the criminal charges filed today, but in February, said the following: "After being contacted by authorities last summer we conducted a thorough investigation with the help of outside legal experts, which resulted in termination."

Tags: lawsuit, AAPL, SEC

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U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Hear University of Wisconsin’s Appeal in Patent Lawsuit Against Apple

The U.S. Supreme Court today declined to hear the University of Wisconsin's appeal in its patent fight with Apple, according to Reuters.


In July 2017, a U.S. district court ordered Apple to pay $506 million to the University of Wisconsin's Alumni Research Foundation for infringing on a patent related to computer processing technology with its A7, A8, and A8X chips.

In September 2018, however, the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals threw out the damages that Apple had been ordered to pay, ruling that no reasonable juror could have been able to find infringement based on the evidence that was presented in the liability phase of the original 2015 trial.

The decision comes on the first day of the U.S. Supreme Court's 2019 term.

Tag: lawsuit

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U.K. Court Reinstates Lawsuit Accusing Google of Bypassing Safari’s Privacy Settings to Track iPhone Users

An appeals court in London has reinstated a lawsuit filed against Google that accuses the company of unlawfully gathering personal information by circumventing the iPhone's default privacy settings, according to Bloomberg.


The collective action, equivalent to a class action lawsuit in the United States, alleged that Google illegally tracked and gathered the personal data of over four million iPhone users in the U.K. between 2011 and 2012. The case was first brought in November 2017 and had been dismissed in October 2018.

"This case, quite properly if the allegations are proved, seeks to call Google to account for its allegedly wholesale and deliberate misuse of personal data without consent, undertaken with a view to a commercial profit," wrote Judge Geoffrey Vos in a ruling today, per the report.

A similar lawsuit was filed in the United States in 2012, when Google was discovered to be circumventing privacy protections in Safari on iOS in order to track users through ads on numerous popular websites.

Specifically, Google took advantage of a Safari loophole that made the browser think that the user was interacting with a given ad, thus allowing a tracking cookie to be installed. With that cookie installed, it became easy for Google to add additional cookies and to track users across the web.

At the time, Safari blocked several types of tracking, but made an exception for websites where a person interacted in some way — by filling out a form, for example. Google added code to some of its ads that made Safari think that a person was submitting an invisible form to Google, thus creating a temporary cookie.

Google stopped this practice after it was reported by The Wall Street Journal, and refuted many details of the report, while Apple closed the loophole in a Safari update shortly after. Google also paid a then-record $22.5 million fine to the Federal Trade Commission over its practices back in 2012.

"Protecting the privacy and security of our users has always been our No. 1 priority," a Google spokeswoman told Bloomberg. "This case relates to events that took place nearly a decade ago and that we addressed at the time."


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Apple Sued Over Listing Memoji as One of Its Registered Trademarks Despite Ongoing Legal Battle

Atlanta-based company Social Technologies LLC today filed a lawsuit against Apple that accuses the iPhone maker of falsely indicating that it holds the federal registration for the trademark Memoji in the United States.

Apple has included MEMOJI® in its U.S. trademark list on its website since June 2019, with the ® symbol signifying a federally registered trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, despite the federal registration for the trademark belonging to Social Technologies LLC and not Apple.

Of note, Apple has successfully registered the Memoji trademark in some countries outside the United States, and several foreign countries also use ® to indicate that a mark is registered in that country, but fine print on Apple's website says its list is for trademarks and service marks in the United States.


Memoji is the name of Apple's personalized emoji feature for iPhone and iPad, introduced as part of iOS 12 at WWDC 2018. Apple has applied for two trademarks for the feature with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, but both are currently suspended due to ongoing litigation with Social Technologies LLC.

Social Technologies LLC offers an Android app named Memoji on the Google Play store, which it describes as "the world's best messaging app that will capture the facial expression of the end user with full-motion capabilities, and transpose the image into a custom, personalized emoji of the users actual face."

Social Technologies LLC already sued Apple for trademark infringement in September 2018, and alleges that Apple even unsuccessfully tried to purchase the rights to its then intent-to-use application in April 2016, yet Apple proceeded to add MEMOJI® to its trademark list in June 2019.

An excerpt from the complaint filed with a U.S. federal court in New York:
Social Tech visited Apple's Trademark List1 on June 17, 2019, a day before the deposition of Mr. Thomas La Perle, Apple's Senior Director of Copyright and Trademark in connection with Plaintiff's trademark infringement action against Apple in the Northern District of California. As of that date—June 17, 2019—MEMOJI was not listed on Apple's Trademark List.

However, immediately following Mr. La Perle's deposition, the Trademark List was updated to include the falsely designated MEMOJI® mark. On information and belief, Mr. La Perle orchestrated a scheme to undermine Social Tech's registered trademark rights and mislead the public by causing Apple to add the falsely designated mark to Apple’s Trademark List.
Social Technologies LLC is seeking an injunction to prohibit Apple from using the ® symbol in connection with Memoji, as well as an award of monetary damages and legal fees. The small company also wants a declaration that it owns the only federally registered Memoji trademark.

The full complaint, sent to us by law firm Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP, is embedded below. Continue reading "Apple Sued Over Listing Memoji as One of Its Registered Trademarks Despite Ongoing Legal Battle"

Class Action Lawsuit Against Apple for Offering Refurbished Replacement Devices Under AppleCare Moves Forward

A U.S. District Judge in San Jose today certified a class action lawsuit that accuses Apple of using "inferior" refurbished products as replacements for its AppleCare and AppleCare+ protection plans despite promising consumers new or equivalent to new replacements. [PDF]

The class action lawsuit was first filed against Apple in July 2016 by customers in California who were unhappy that their iPhones and iPads were replaced by refurbished devices under Apple's AppleCare or AppleCare+ plan.


The plaintiffs, Vicky Maldondo and Joanne McRight, claimed that Apple's decision to offer refurbished devices violate its own AppleCare Terms and Conditions and the Consumer Legal Remedies Act. From the original lawsuit:
The Apple Plans purport to provide consumers with Devices that are "equivalent to new in performance and reliability." What that phrase means is 'new' as refurbished devices can never be the equivalent to new in performance and reliability. Plaintiffs allege that it means refurbished. Refurbished is synonymous with the term "reconditioned," that is, a secondhand unit that has been modified to appear to be new for all purposes relevant to this litigation.

"New" means a Device that has never been utilized or previously sold and consists of all new parts. The word "refurbished" appears only once in the AppleCare+ terms and conditions even though the printed booklet is 33 pages long.
The lawsuit seeks compensation for iPhone, iPad, or iPod owners who purchased AppleCare or AppleCare+ coverage.

The law firm behind the lawsuit says that Apple customers who paid for AppleCare should have received new Apple devices that Apple promised, and is aiming for the difference in value "between devices that work like new and the inferior devices Apple provided class members."


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Apple Faces Yet Another Class Action Lawsuit Over ‘Secretly Throttling’ Older iPhones

A group of 18 individuals have filed a class action lawsuit against Apple this week in a Northern California federal court, accusing the company of "secretly throttling" older iPhones starting in January 2017.


The complaint, seen by MacRumors, refers to the iPhone slowdown saga as "one of the largest consumer frauds in history, affecting hundreds of millions of mobile devices across the globe," adding that Apple intentionally degraded devices as part of a planned obsolescence scheme to maximize profits:
While Plaintiffs and the class need not attribute any motive behind Apple's intentional degradation of the Devices, it is evident that Apple continued to do so for the simple reason most frauds are committed: money.
Apple previously denied any kind of planned obsolescence by flat out stating that it never has and never would do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience, to drive customer upgrades:
We have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades. Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that.
Apple faces over 60 class action lawsuits worldwide over this matter. The first was filed in December 2017, after Apple revealed that it throttles the maximum performance of some older iPhone models with chemically aged batteries when necessary in order to prevent the devices from unexpectedly shutting down.

This latest lawsuit will likely be consolidated with the others in Northern California district court for streamlined proceedings.

Apple introduced the performance management system in iOS 10.2.1, but it did not initially mention the change in the update's release notes. Likewise, in a statement issued a month later, Apple still only mentioned vague "improvements" resulting in a significant reduction in unexpected iPhone shutdowns.

Apple only revealed exactly what the so-called "improvements" were after Primate Labs founder John Poole visualized that some iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 devices suddenly had lower benchmark scores starting with iOS 10.2.1 and iOS 11.2 respectively, despite operating at maximum performance on previous versions.

Apple apologized for its lack of communication in December 2017, and reduced the price of battery replacements to $29 for iPhone 6 and newer through the end of 2018. Apple then released iOS 11.3 with a new feature that enables users to track their iPhone battery's health and performance status.

The performance management system has also been disabled by default since iOS 11.3, and it is only enabled if an iPhone suffers an unexpected shutdown. The performance management can be manually disabled by users as well.

MacRumors put together a list of frequently asked questions and answers about Apple's performance management system, which can be avoided entirely by replacing your iPhone's battery if necessary. Read our guide on how to get an iPhone's battery replaced at an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider.

The full complaint is embedded ahead… Continue reading "Apple Faces Yet Another Class Action Lawsuit Over ‘Secretly Throttling’ Older iPhones"

Developers Sue Apple Over App Store Fees in Latest Class Action Lawsuit

Apple is facing a new class-action lawsuit from iOS developers who claim that the company uses its monopoly in the App Store to impose "profit-killing" commissions.

Filed on Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose, the lawsuit argues that the tech giant's practice of instating a 30 percent commission rate on all app sales is anticompetitive and "sets the stage for Apple to abuse its market power."

The suit also takes aim at Apple's minimum $0.99 price requirement for paid apps in the App Store and in-app purchases, as well as the annual $99 Apple Developer fee, calling these policies "especially damaging to smaller and new developers."
"Between Apple's 30 percent cut of all App Store sales, the annual fee of $99 and pricing mandates, Apple blatantly abuses its market power to the detriment of developers, who are forced to use the only platform available to them to sell their iOS app," said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman and attorney representing the proposed class of developers. "In a competitive landscape, this simply would not happen."

"Today's lawsuit seeks to force Apple to end its abusive monopoly and allow competition in the distribution of iOS apps and related products, to get rid of its pricing mandates, and to reimburse developers for overcharges made through abuse of its monopoly power."

"We think app developers should be rewarded fairly for their creations, not over-taxed by a corporate giant," Berman said. "After 11 years of monopoly conduct and profits, we think it's high time that a court examine Apple's practices on behalf of iOS app developers and take action as warranted by the law and facts."
Hagens Berman won a suit against Apple and various publishing companies in 2016 that settled for a total of $560 million on behalf of e-book purchasers, who said they were forced to pay "artificially high prices due to Apple and the publishing companies' colluded price-fixing." That suit went to the Supreme Court, where the Court ruled against Apple.

The latest class action accuses Apple of violating federal antitrust law and California's unfair competition law.


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FTC Wins Antitrust Lawsuit Against Qualcomm, Appeal to Follow

The FTC today won its antitrust lawsuit against Qualcomm over the chipmaker's anticompetitive business practices.


As first reported by legal expert Florian Mueller on his blog FOSS Patents, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh has ruled that Qualcomm's so-called "no license, no chips" model, under which the chipmaker has refused to provide chips to companies without a patent license, violates federal antitrust laws.

The ruling has significant implications for Apple, as Koh ordered that Qualcomm must negotiate or renegotiate license terms with its customers in good faith without threatening to cut off access to its cellular modem chips or related software and technical support, according to Mueller.

Qualcomm also must make patent licenses available to rival cellular modem suppliers on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory or "FRAND" terms, and may not enter exclusive agreements for the supply of modem chips.

Apple sued Qualcomm in early 2017 over these anticompetitive business practices, and unpaid royalty rebates, but the two companies announced an agreement to end all ongoing litigation worldwide last month. The settlement includes a six-year licensing agreement and a multiyear chipset supply agreement.

It's unclear if Apple had any hint that the FTC was likely to win its antitrust case and if that had any implications on its settlement with Qualcomm.

While it appears that Intel will remain the sole supplier of LTE modems in 2019 iPhones, Qualcomm is expected to supply Apple with its industry-leading 5G modems for 2020 iPhones now that the companies have settled, so Koh's ruling could lead to a fairer agreement between Apple and Qualcomm moving forward.

Farther down the road, multiple reports have indicated that Apple is designing its own cellular modems that would allow it to drop Qualcomm for good, although they might not appear in iPhones until as late as 2025.

Qualcomm will likely appeal the ruling, but Mueller believes the chipmaker faces an uphill battle given "such a rich and powerful body of evidence" regarding its anticompetitive business practices. Mueller has excellent, in-depth coverage of Koh's ruling on his blog FOSS Patents that is well worth a read.


Update: Qualcomm has announced that it will immediately seek a stay of the ruling and an expedited appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

"We strongly disagree with the judge's conclusions, her interpretation of the facts and her application of the law," said Don Rosenberg, general counsel of Qualcomm, in a statement shared by the Washington Post's Hamza Shaban.

Koh's complete ruling is embedded ahead. Continue reading "FTC Wins Antitrust Lawsuit Against Qualcomm, Appeal to Follow"

Supreme Court Allows App Store Monopoly Lawsuit Against Apple to Proceed

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled 5-4 against Apple in an anticompetitive case involving the App Store, allowing iPhone users to move forward with their class action lawsuit against the company, according to CNBC.


The lawsuit was filed in 2011 by a group of iPhone users who believe Apple violates federal antitrust laws by requiring apps to be sold through its App Store, where it collects a 30 percent commission from all purchases, leading to inflated prices as developers pass on the cost of the commission to customers.

In other words, the iPhone users believe that apps would be priced lower outside of the App Store, as Apple's 30 percent cut would not be baked in to prices.

The lawsuit was initially dismissed in 2013 by a California district court, due to errors in the complaint, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit revived the case in 2017. Apple then appealed with the Supreme Court.

From the start, Apple has argued that it doesn't set prices for paid apps, and that charging a 30 percent commission on the distribution of paid apps and in-app purchases does not violate antitrust laws in the United States. In 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice filed an amicus brief in support of Apple.


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