Apple pays up for using Swiss rail
operator's clock design – Bloomberg


Apple uses Swiss rail operator's clock design

News: Apple has agreed to pay Swiss railway operator SBB an undisclosed amount for copying its trademark station clock design (above) in the new iPad, reports Bloomberg.

SBB announced the deal on its website after earlier threatening to sue the technology giant over the use of the clock in iOS 6, the operating system that comes with the latest iPad (below). The companies agreed not to disclose the fee. SBB had said last month that while its rights to the design had been infringed, it was "proud" Apple had used the clock.

Apple uses Swiss rail operator's clock design

Designed by Zurich-born engineer Hans Hilfiker in 1944 and still trademarked by Swiss national railways, the clock has a recognisable red second hand in the shape of a railway guard's signalling disc.

Earlier this year Apple won a major legal victory when a U.S. court found Samsung had copied features of the iPad and iPhone. Dezeen had previously reported a British court's decision that Samsung had not unlawfully copied Apple's designs, judging that the South Korean company's tablet computers were "not as cool" as its rival's products.

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  • Bruce Lee

    Can’t help but feel Apple is beginning to look like a slow-witted playground bully – they can give, but they can’t take.

  • Guest

    After everything with Samsung recently… they are all as bad as each other.

  • mmmhhh

    I’m not sure you can compare total rip-off from products designed months before with what could be a tribute to a 70 year old design.

    Interesting to see that neither Braun nor Dieter Rams have sued Apple for Ive’s use of the orange button calculator design in iPhone.

  • jon

    Perhaps SSB need to take a trip to Canary Wharf, London.

    • omicrom

      Those are licensed Mondaine clocks I believe.

  • Guest

    A tribute? I don’t think it can be called a tribute. A tribute would be Apple collaborating as such with SBB and stating that the clock is designed by Hans Hilfiker in the iPad page/screen. Instead they have paid to use the design and the majority of its users will not know where this concept originated from, thus I personally wouldn’t call it a tribute.

  • Dick C

    I'm glad I now know the inspiration for that second hand. I've always imagined it as pointing with the feathered end of an arrow.

  • Pluk vd Petteflet

    Apple starts to look less and less like a cool team of computer geniuses and design passionates, and more and more like a giant corporation made up of lawyers and living on the recycled heritage of its predecessor.