Apple agrees to sign licensing agreement with SBB for iOS 6 Swiss Railway clock design

Apple agrees to sign licensing agreement with SBB for iOS 6 Swiss Railway clock design
You’ve probably heard the expression “runs like a swiss clock” denoting extreme punctuality, and that’s the kind of aesthetics Apple was after with the graphics in its clock application in iOS 6. Unfortunately for Cupertino, it turned out that - willfully or not - it had stolen the design of clocks used for decades at the Swiss Federal Railway Service (SBB). The clock was first trademarked in 1944. A design by Hans Hilfiker, the clock has changed little, only adding the red second hand that stays slightly longer at the top of each minute to better mark the exact times when trains should leave. It's featured in museums like the MoMA in New York and the Design Museum in London.

The design by watchmaker Mondaine was pretty clearly not Apple’s invention and the the SBB threatened to look for "an amicable agreement and compensation." And now, a month after the story broke, we have the agreement.


That licensing agreement is definitely costing Apple something, but none of the two companies would say how much. Well, at least we have one more issue settled.

source: SBB via TheVerge

Apple agrees to sign licensing agreement with SBB for iOS 6 Swiss Railway clock design

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32 Comments

1. dangerouscurves

Posts: 2; Member since: Oct 12, 2012

What? Apple admitted it's mistake? No way!

2. cepcamba

Posts: 717; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

And the courts didn't even hear about it?

3. ilia1986 unregistered

What? But I was certain that Apple invented the Swiss clock! And clocks. And Switzerland. And time.

4. irvinkeith

Posts: 58; Member since: Jan 27, 2010

this made me laugh lol

10. Hammerfest

Posts: 384; Member since: May 12, 2012

you me, and 7 other people so far (going by the thumbs up)

28. ph00ny

Posts: 2002; Member since: May 26, 2011

Apple has a patent on laugh. You're getting sued shortly or possible sued already

5. darkkjedii

Posts: 30836; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Good job apple

9. ahomad

Posts: 175; Member since: May 15, 2012

for stealing?

11. sheik

Posts: 249; Member since: Sep 12, 2012

If they had stolen that, they wouldn't have gone for the agreement... You know, Some times companies like Arrogant Apple too behave gently...

15. ahomad

Posts: 175; Member since: May 15, 2012

I don't think that this is a gentle behaviour, if they payed for it before being asked, then that was gentle. but they didn't until they got cought, then they payed. so they tried to steal but they got caught, is this gentle behaviour?

14. darkkjedii

Posts: 30836; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Licensing deal means they bought it dude. Not stolen.

17. chaoticrazor

Posts: 2347; Member since: Aug 28, 2012

no they used it first, never made this deal before using it. they waited until they were caught and then decided to sign a licensing agreement what ever way you try to look at it apple copied the design and used it regardless that it was someone elses

24. blade19

Posts: 65; Member since: Apr 29, 2011

yup they copied it first and Apple found out that SBB was going after them, which trademarked it back in 1944.I don't think they bought, however. As it still belongs to SBB. They may be paying some sort of licensing fees to use it. The terms of the deal were confidential and haven't been released.

6. yoyo93

Posts: 34; Member since: Sep 23, 2012

There's no pleasing Apple haters, they did the right thing. Also why didn't phone arena run the story about Samsung using underage kids to manufacture their phones.http://gizmodo.com/5932504/report-underage-child-workers-abused-in-samsung-factories Sent from my brand new HTC One X.

12. Hemlocke unregistered

Because they know that the majority of their readership is comprised of angry Android fanboys and that wouldn't fly well. It's the same reason they didn't run this:http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2012/10/10/analyst-iphone-5-is-huge-android-takes-it-on-the-chin/ Or this:http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2012/10/09/survey-40-of-u-s-teens-own-an-apple-iphone-62-want-one/ You can't make Sammy look bad, or else the fanboys will throw tantrums. It's okay to do it to Apple, because they eat that up.

13. yoyo93

Posts: 34; Member since: Sep 23, 2012

Yeah, I agree with you. Brace yourself because we're going to be called ifags isheep and other insults just so insecure fanboys feel better about themselves.

16. CDGMobile

Posts: 29; Member since: Sep 26, 2012

Not everyone that likes android feels that everyone who likes apple is some sort of i something, but you have to understand that between all the mishaps, slander campaigns, and patent litigation that all the phone manufacturers are apart of (yes all of them) apple has had the most of its competitors products banned from being sold and for what having similar corners...

23. yoyo93

Posts: 34; Member since: Sep 23, 2012

I'm in complete agreement with you, but I feel as if people think apple are satans spawn while samsung are saints. In the end they both want your money and will do anything to get it.

25. CDGMobile

Posts: 29; Member since: Sep 26, 2012

That is true no one is in business for the people cause phones would be free in that case but, Apple my friend keeps making the headlines with the bans and injunctions this is where a majority of people start to get uncomfortable and fandom takes over. Apple tried to halt a number of Samsung's devices, whilst on the other hand apple had their iphone 5 released without problems, even though they had their own patent infractions going on

32. flamencoguy

Posts: 107; Member since: Aug 04, 2012

No one said Samsung is a saint. We all take in one incident at a time. But so far it has been Apple that has been the instigator, bully and troll. http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/opinion/2216822/apples-patents-war-might-tarnish-its-brand This judge agrees: http://newsandinsight.thomsonreuters.com/New_York/News/2012/10_-_October/Federal_Circuit_picks_two_smartphone_winners__Samsung_and_Posner/

30. kingpet13

Posts: 139; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

I'm not saying that those articles are wrong but in PAs defense, they can't review your first article, as if you look at the actual sales number it appears to be against them and they cannot give news that could be mistaken as in accurate. And they can't review the 2nd link as it says that it could be wrong in the first two sentences. PA would not be considered an accurate source if they posted articles that are even say they may not be 100% accurate. I am not hating on your articles, simply defending PA.

19. tedkord

Posts: 17133; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

They were forced to do the right thing. There's a difference between doing the right thing because it's right, and being backed into a corner. It's actually comical. Look at a Samsung phone, and iFans will claim that is a copy. When this whole clock issue came to light, they were making claims like, "the minute hand is a little bigger, and the tick marks are slightly fatter. And it's a clock, there's only do many ways you can make a clock look. (Because you can't make it digital, or a sundial, or a different color with just big 12, 3, 6, 9 and no tick marks. The only way you can make a clock look is the way Apple did.) But use that argument for rectangles with rounded corners, and they don't want to hear it.

29. kingpet13

Posts: 139; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

Actually they did cover it. They also covered the story where SS investigated and disproved it.http://m.phonearena.com/news/Samsung-pushes-first-audit-of-working-conditions-at-Chinese-factories-high-turnover-no-huge-violations_id34004

7. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

wow, this deal is ....un-Jobs-like...lol

18. tedkord

Posts: 17133; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Wow, what a unique concept. When someone crosses a silly patent you hold, you negotiate a small license fee rather than sue to have the product banned. Just a truly novel approach.

26. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

True, but if thsi company tried to get an injunction on it, the courts would be happy to deny them. Better to make a little scratch than to get scratched by Apple fanboy courts.

20. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

So yet another iNNOVATIOn Sham bites the dust finally :)

21. flamencoguy

Posts: 107; Member since: Aug 04, 2012

"slavishly" copying to use Apple's own language.

22. Bluesky02

Posts: 1439; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

Apple busted! hmmm over a clock design...

27. darkvadervip

Posts: 366; Member since: Dec 08, 2010

Some of y'all are stupid by far. Y'all act like y'all getting royalty fees and part ownership when in the end you all are just buying into there marketing scheme of companies acting like they are at war but holding hands to the bank laughing at the consumers.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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