Apple Accepts Licensing Terms for use of Iconic Swiss Clock Design on iOS6

Soon after iOS6 gave our iPads the Clock app, the Swiss Federal Railway said that Apple copied the design of the iconic Swiss Railway Clock (SBB). If you compare the design of Apple’s World Clock feature on iOS with SBB’s, there is no denying that the two look indistinguishable.

There must have been an oversight on Apple’s end to have missed the fact that their design was copied from the Swiss company. When it was first discovered, Apple’s Switzerland headquarters laid blame on the Cupertino office.

Today, Schweizerischen Bundesbahnen (SBB) posted a statement that the two have come to a licensing agreement. “For the use of the SBB clock on devices like iPad and iPhone, the Swiss Federal Railways SBB and Apple have agreed and signed a license agreement.”

According to the statement, the Railway station clock was built in 1944 by Hans Hikfiker for the SBB. The special, “scoop dial” feature of the iconic red second hand represents a signal trowel and is a “symbol of innovation and reliability that is an important identifying feature of the SBB and Switzerland.”

There is no information as to what the licensing agreement entails.

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About Lory: Writer of all things app related, traveler of the space-time continuum, baker of really great cookies. Follow me @appaholik

  • araczynski

    i think they’re overreaching on the “symbol of innovation and reliability” part, but a trademark/copyright is what it is, pay up or change. good to see apple take the more noble road, rather than the simpler one.

    • banjoonmyknee

      The genius of Apple shows through here.

      My bet is Apple said, “OK SBB, name your terms”. SBB gave them a dollar figure. Apple likely said “OK, how about we double that but you have to give a statement saying you’re ‘proud that Apple chose the SBB design’ and the dollar terms are gagged”.

      Game over. Story dead. Apple and SBB win.

      Android schadenfreuders like us are the only ones who lose.

  • unknow

    Soon after iOS6 gave our iPads the Clock app, the Swiss Federal Railway said that Apple copied the design
    of the iconic Swiss Railway Clock (SBB). If you compare the design of
    Apple’s World Clock feature on iOS with SBB’s, there is no denying that
    the two look indistinguishable. On iOS5 apple copied the drop down notification from Android OS.
    Apple should not suing other companies, because they are the one copied the design from others. Apple should give the money back to Samsung on the case they just won.

  • steve

    How long is a paten good for? 20-30 years?

    • lorygil

      In the U.S., trademarks are good for 100 years.