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.
“The Swiss Federal Railways SBB and Apple have reached an agreement on the use of the SBB station clock on devices like iPad and iPhone. That the two parties have governed in a license agreement,” the railway operator said in an official statement.
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.