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Did Apple pay $21 million to use the Swiss Railway Clock design?

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Did Apple pay $21 million to use the Swiss Railway Clock design?
When the Swiss Federal Railway (SBB) got a look at the clock design on the world time application in iOS 6, it looked quite familiar. To borrow a phrase from Apple, the clock had the "look and feel" of the SBB's train station clocks. The clock was designed by SBB employee Hans Hilfiker in 1944 and has been recognized as an "iconic example of 20th century design" by the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the London Design Museum.

Apple used SBB's iconic clock design in iOS 6 (L)

Apple used SBB's iconic clock design in iOS 6 (L)

When iOS 6 launched in September, SBB says it did not demand any payment from Apple and in fact, was honored that the Cupertino based company would decide to copy its clock design. SBB spokeswoman Patricia Claivaz said back in September that, "We're rather proud that a brand as important as Apple is using our design." Despite being so honored, Claivaz said in September that SBB would meet with Apple to discuss why the tech giant had used the clock design without authorization.

In the middle of last month, both sides agreed on a deal that would allow Apple to license the design of SBB's train station clock for its mobile OS. While the amount of money Apple paid to the railway was not disclosed at the time, on Friday global news agency AFB cited a Swiss newspaper in saying that Apple paid $21 million for the right to use the design.

Was it worth it? It certainly is a nice looking design and Apple definitely has the cash to pay it. But it still begs the question that SBB even wondered about. Did Apple think it was going to get away with using the design without paying for it?

source: AFB via CNET

21 Comments
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posted on 10 Nov 2012, 21:35 12

1. Roomaku (Posts: 278; Member since: 06 Feb 2012)


Ridiculous

posted on 10 Nov 2012, 22:05 3

4. MeoCao (unregistered)


Well that's normal, Apple now is a huge gold mine and every1 invoved will try to ... well... mine it.

From now all we will see often that Apple makes huge ridiculous payments, but not so ridiculous for some people in Apple ruling class.

posted on 10 Nov 2012, 22:45 7

8. Nadr1212 (Posts: 741; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)


They waste Money as much as the sue and get sued

posted on 11 Nov 2012, 10:39 2

16. JeffdaBeat (unregistered)


I have to agree with this one...$21 million for a clock design? Sounds like another Forstall deal.

posted on 10 Nov 2012, 21:38 2

2. mas11 (Posts: 1028; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)


Apple has way too much money so why do they think they need to sue anyone?

posted on 10 Nov 2012, 21:49 18

3. Ravail (Posts: 181; Member since: 14 Oct 2011)


Apple is scared of Android manufacturers and Google, so they are doing whatever they can (suing) to stop the development of the Android platform.

On another note, its bad for customers.. Competition is good for technology.. It keeps it advancing.

posted on 10 Nov 2012, 22:22 1

5. KIANO (Posts: 67; Member since: 13 Feb 2011)


Apple has deep pockets. Therefore it's not a question of worth to pay or not.
Probably, for them, it's a must have that design, 'look and feel'.

posted on 10 Nov 2012, 22:23 21

6. tedkord (Posts: 4623; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


A clock design is worth $21 Million, but technology that your device would not work without is only worth a tenth of a penny per device?

Kinda makes sense. Apple always has been about style over substance.

posted on 10 Nov 2012, 23:27 2

9. parkwaydr (Posts: 572; Member since: 07 Sep 2011)


Darn you, you beat me to the punch line.

posted on 11 Nov 2012, 02:48 1

12. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8113; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Best comment I've read so far this month.

posted on 10 Nov 2012, 22:42 1

7. AndroidShiz (Posts: 145; Member since: 08 Nov 2011)


Only time will tell..

posted on 11 Nov 2012, 00:08 1

10. Bluesky02 (Posts: 1439; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)


First time i read that article on PhoneArena is when the swiss company decided to enter in a friendly deal with Apple.

posted on 11 Nov 2012, 00:30 3

11. KazEmpire (Posts: 39; Member since: 07 Nov 2011)


talk about apple's innovation!

posted on 11 Nov 2012, 03:12 2

13. kach22 (Posts: 107; Member since: 04 Nov 2011)


Apple almost got away with another stealing. Thanks to the SBB, for catching them when no one was looking. I wonder about other loots which is still in the sack.

posted on 11 Nov 2012, 08:11

14. djstammo (Posts: 16; Member since: 01 Oct 2012)


Apple isn't the saint all know it. They asking to close polish FOOD website because of it's name a.pl. This company have the only one connection with Apple - they are selling real apples for food. The end *.pl is national ending of web addresses so do Apple can say what to do or not in national scale?

posted on 11 Nov 2012, 09:49

15. nvrhde (Posts: 69; Member since: 10 Nov 2012)


Is there any keyboard App with Arrow keys in Apple apstore
(I used in Android 2 years ago)

Funny Question ha

Just releasing my Anger over Iphone As i got an iphone
6 months ago Since than i miss my SGS every day

posted on 11 Nov 2012, 11:31 1

17. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8113; Member since: 14 May 2012)


You can always switch back you know....

posted on 12 Nov 2012, 06:26

20. nvrhde (Posts: 69; Member since: 10 Nov 2012)


I got this damm contract
But Jus 1 more year to go

posted on 12 Nov 2012, 14:22

21. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8113; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Craigslist my friend.

posted on 11 Nov 2012, 19:53

18. rusticguy (Posts: 2826; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)


What an "I"nnovative company ... couldn't come up with it's own design for clock ?

posted on 12 Nov 2012, 02:14

19. aakashram2001 (Posts: 14; Member since: 13 Mar 2012)


yes its true the so called applle co shpwed how they make easy money and every one now trying their luck. but be careful all these action of the companies will becomes and living example and this inturn will be used in fututre to make more money

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