Apple Set To Meet With Swiss Railway Company Over iOS 6 Clock App Design Dispute


Apple could well be facing another lawsuit pretty soon as Swiss national train operator SBB is claiming that Apple has used without agreement its famous clock design in the new Clocks app for iPad in iOS 6, reports 9to5Mac (via SBB is now looking to meet with Apple representatives soon in order to discuss an agreement, says the report.

SBB spokesperson Patricia Claivaz said in a statement that SBB’s lawyers have requested the Apple for a sit-down. “There’s been no agreement so far, we’re going to talk about it,”, she added. Instead of immediately demanding financial compensation and upsetting Apple, she said that SBB was proud that its Swiss-designed station clock face had been chosen “for 80 million iPads” after realising that the iPad apparently reproduced the SBB clock design on one of its new apps iOS 6.

“We’re rather proud that a brand as important as Apple is using our design, it’s already on show in exhibitions in places like New York,” said Claivaz. The clock was designed in 1944 by Swiss engineer Hans Hilfiker and remains the property of SBB. It is still used in SBB’s stations.

While she was unable to give a date for the upcoming meeting, which could take place “in coming days or weeks”, Claivaz joked that it would indeed happen since Apple “was in Zurich and we are in Bern”—cities just over an hour’s drive from each other.

The source predicts that due to the obvious resemblance of Clocks app with the railway’s design, Apple will likely be offering financial settlement at the upcoming meeting.


  • pretty stupid of apple to blatantly copy this iconic design. as a watch enthusiast i recognized that clock face immediately. either pay up and license, or come up with your own iconic design 😐

  • FragilityG4

    Yeah it’s clearly a copy … Although I’m sure the lawyers would ask the prosecution to prove financial damages which they probably can’t and that would be the end of it.

  • Anthony ?

    I suspect the Apple strategy is along the lines of “let’s use that design and if they say anything we’ll give them a bucket of money and they’ll be happy”. Either way it will be a drop in the collective bucket.

    Don’t forget, when Steve first introduced the iPhone the name was owned by Cisco at the time and they managed to work something out pretty quickly.

  • Karma_sucks

    Yeah sure, lol. Just like Apple had to prove damages against Samsung for using a rectangular shape with rounded edges on a phone.
    I say considering precedent Apple should pay $1 Billion Dollars to the Swiss Railway (said with pinky just touching the edge of mouth corner with hang turned out 😉

  • FragilityG4

    If you had followed the case with Samsung you would have seen that Apple did prove damages …