Apple steals clock design from Swiss Federal Railway, adds it to the iPad on iOS 6 without proper licensing

Apple is very outspoken about how it feels “stealing is wrong”, especially when it comes to “iconic” designs. So what happens when Apple itself does the stealing? (I propose a lightning bolt striking Cupertino but that ain’t gunna happen anytime soon.)

According to Tages Anzeiger, a Swiss newspaper, the clock design for the new iOS 6 Clock app on the iPad is blatantly a copy of the iconic clocks featured in all Switzerland trains and train stations. Of course one can argue copying is the highest form of flattery; as ArsTechnica puts it, Apple may be paying homage to the famous clock design by using it in their operating system. The only problem is the Swiss Federal Railway, also known as SBB, has a trademark on the clock design — and Apple did not properly license the trademark before copying it.

The following is a statement by Christian Ginsig, spokesperson for SBB:

We enjoy the fact that the Swiss railway clock is being used by Apple. It once again proves that it’s a real piece of design. This act, however, is an unauthorized use [of the clock’s design] by Apple.

Ginsig also mentions that SBB has contacted Apple regarding the matter and are looking for a solution that respects SBB’s trademark and sees money exchanging hands. I believe a $257 per device royalty is in order here.

[via ArsTechnica, image via Cult of Mac]

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  • Ashraf

    @J.L.: He is actually being sarcastic. I know because I’ve known “solo” since high school. Trust me when I say he is a Fandroid from top to bottom.
    Thanks for that video — I may actually post it.

  • J.L.


    Seriously, are you a hypocrite like Steve Jobs? I doubt Google will remove that fact any time soon.

  • Ashraf

    @Mayank: I sense Apple hate. :-P
    @Someguy: I always appreciate people catching typos and pointing them out, but you don’t have to be a jerk about it.
    Thanks, I’ve fixed it.

  • Someguy

    “Lightening bolt?” Really?

    What, some discharge of energy suddenly desaturates every color nearby?

  • Mayank

    I am so happy.
    Apple thinks itself as a very respectable company but in the end it is too a copy/paste company…

    I am being overjoyed but I want to enjoy it…

  • Ashraf

    @Riezo Haibane: Ditto.
    @fermier: Um, okay? Lmao.
    @fermier: I think Riezo meant ‘karma’.

  • fermier
  • fermier

    After the war it was among tasks to interview several “border guards.” Their job was to turn back “undesirables” who to escape certain death had tried to enter the supposedly neutral Swiss premises. Personally have little concern for their railroads. P.S. Clock money. Er…perhaps first to address the billions in lotted gold held in the banks over there?

  • Riezo Haibane

    Is it called carma? I wonder.

  • Ashraf

    @solo: Don’t make me come over to your house and smack you.

  • solo