Apple to Pay Swiss Federal Railway System Millions for Use of Pretty Clock Design on iPhone

By Tracey E. Schelmetic November 13, 2012

If you’re an iPhone or iPad Mini user, you may be noticing a new clock design on your phone. Pretty, isn’t it? It had better be: Apple paid a fortune for it.

When the iPhone 5 and iPad Mini first debuted, officials at the Swiss Federal Railway service (SBB) saw something familiar in the virtual clock. The company accused Apple of copying their iconic clock design by using it in the iOS 6 clock application. (To be fair, the designs are EXTREMELY similar.)

Apple quickly invited SBB into a meeting to resolve the issue. Today, Apple says it has agreed to pay the SBB to license the clock design. While neither SBB nor Apple are disclosing any price tags, a Swiss daily newspaper has reported that Apple will be forking over $21 million to SBB for the use of the clock, SlashGear is reporting today.

That’s a lot of money for a pretty clock. But it is a clock with a long history.

According to SlashGear, the iconic Swiss clock was designed in 1944 by SBB employee Hans Hilfiker. The clock is very similar to Apple‘s version in iOS 6; it has the same black dashes with the thick hour and minute hands, and the big red dot at the end of the second hand. The design is currently licensed to Swiss watch maker Mondaine, which means that without ponying up, Mondaine and SBB could have easily sued Apple.

They’d probably have to join the queue.

An SBB spokesperson said the company was simply seeking "an amicable agreement and compensation" from Apple.




Edited by Braden Becker

TechZone360 Contributor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

FCC Strikes Down Net Neutrality

By: Paula Bernier    12/14/2017

The FCC today successfully did away with net neutrality. The initiative, which was passed in a 3 to 2 vote along party lines, was expected. But for th…

Read More

Tech Gifts for Couples This Holiday

By: Special Guest    12/13/2017

If you're wondering what you should get your loved one this holiday, it's time you reframe the question. Stop thinking of the holiday as an occasion t…

Read More

Amid Cryptocurrency Mania, Coinsquare's goNumerical Raises CAD $10.5M

By: Paula Bernier    12/5/2017

The company that operates the Canadian digital currency exchange known as Coinsquare says it has raised CAD $10.5 million in new funding.

Read More

Your New Heart Monitor is an Apple Watch. Really.

By: Doug Mohney    12/4/2017

Looking at a new smartwatch or fitness wearable for the holidays? If you are concerned about your heart health due to family history or reason, Apple …

Read More

Amazon Unleashes Alexa for Business - Consequences Abound

By: Doug Mohney    11/30/2017

Today, Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced Alexa for Business, bringing Amazon's intelligent assist into the office. This shouldn't be a surprise to T…

Read More