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Apple Accused of Copying Swiss Clock for iPad App

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Mondaine Swiss Watch by Stuart Caie on Flickr

Mondaine Swiss Watch by Stuart Caie on Flickr

The Swiss Federal Railway is alleging that the new clock app added to the iPad in iOS 6 is an unauthorized copy of the trademarked design of clocks used throughout train stations in Switzerland.

Ars Technica reports this story from the Swiss newspaper Tages Anzeiger, which maintains that the railway, Schweizerische Bundesbahnen (SBB) is planning to ask Apple to properly compensate them for the use of the design of its clocks. There has been no lawsuit filed yet as the SBB will approach Apple so they can come to a “legal and financial” solution.

“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,” SBB spokesperson Christian Ginsig is quoted as saying. “This act, however, is an unauthorized use [of the clock's design] by Apple.”

It seems SBB is looking for Apple to pay a licensing fee for the use of its design, which is a white face with black tick marks for the minutes; the second hand is red.

According to CNET, the design dates back to 1944; it was done by then-SBB employee Hans Hilfiker  licensed to Mondaine, maker of Swiss watches.

What do you think of Apple’s use of the iconic Swiss image? Should it have to pay the SBB to do so?

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September 24th, 2012 at 10:41 am

Posted in Intellectual Property

Tagged with , ,