Swiss Federal Railways says Apple copied its iconic clock in iOS 6

By , Sep 20, 2012

The latest iteration of Apple’s mobile OS, iOS 6, has barely been out for 24 hours, but it’s already causing quite a commotion. First, people seem to be really upset over the new Maps application. And now this.

According to a new report, Switzerland’s Schweizerische Bundesbahnen, or the Swiss Federal Railway service, is accusing Apple of using their iconic clock in the new iPad Clock app in iOS 6 without permission…

MacRumors passes along a report from Swedish newspaper Tages Anzeiger that reads:

“SBB is the sole owner of the trademark and copyright of the railway clock. The railway company will now get in touch with Apple. The aim is a legal, as well as a financial solution. It is not right that one [Apple] simply copies the design.”

The railway clock was designed by well-known engineer and designer Hans Hilfiker, but the trademark and copyright for it are owned by the Swiss Federal Railway service. Apparently it’s an icon for their company.

As the site notes, the clock’s image is widely licensed. But it seems Apple didn’t contact the SBB for permission to use it in the new iOS 6 iPad Clocks app, and now it’s considering legal action against it.

There’s no denying that Apple’s clock looks very similar to the SBB’s iconic clock, and it’ll be interesting to see how they respond to the accusation. Hopefully we don’t have to watch this go to court.

What do you think?

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  • http://twitter.com/aRandomTom Tom Prestridge

    LOL

  • nftnft

    I love Apple, but if Apple is willing to sue others for copying their work, it’s only fair for others to do the same thing to them in case they copy others people work.

    • http://twitter.com/Jack_maredit Jackson Grong

      I don’t think Apple made it on purpose.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Rickmasta Ricardo Thousand

        Dude, this design was obviously based on the clock’s design.

      • Polysyllabic Pseudonym

        Right. It’s a mere coincidence ;)

        I would love to see Apple’s official response. I hope it’s better than Samsung’s.

      • nftnft

        Even if it wasn’t on purpose, they can still be sued, and it’s up to the judge to decide if Apple did wrong or not.

  • ic0dex

    Of course this is going to go to court, this is the best way to freeload off Apple.

    • http://twitter.com/2morebatteries AAAA

      Just like how Apple “freeloaded” $1 billion from Samsung.

  • http://twitter.com/Sirifl0w Sirifl0w

    This is ridiculous! I am sure they are plenty of Swiss Federal Railway service copies out there. This is just a plain clock UI which looks similar to a real life one. This is getting stupid, people are starting to sue Apple because they are loaded (in it for the money) and not for the right reasons.

    • pegger1

      The clock is a national icon and the design gets licensed out. They have every right to sue. Just like Apple defends it’s own designs.

      • http://twitter.com/Sirifl0w Sirifl0w

        Fair point. I am not just talking about this issue. Copyright infringement cases involving Apple is getting annoying now. It seems that so many people wan’t to take a bite out of Apple. Many of these are just in it for the money. It is tactical as well. If Apple are accused of copying other peoples work, after a long period of time, that will hurt them and they will become more weak.

      • alexanderlyd

        since when was the clock a ‘national icon’? lolwut?

      • pegger1

        It’s a standard at European train stations at over 3000. You can buy one yourself for $400. They make wrist watches with the design. Do a google image search for swiss railway clock and see how much it appears. This is a well known design that gets licensed out. If Apple wants to use it, they purchase a license.

      • Lordthree

        Obviously they’ll settle. The corporate higher ups might not even KNOW they were using a copywrited image

    • Tom

      And what apple sued Samsung was just “plain ui”

    • http://www.youtube.com/Tr1pTr0p Tr1pTr0p

      Then I’m sure you also think how a rounded rectangle icon is just a rounded rectangle icon. Right?

  • http://www.facebook.com/wen.chan.54 Wen Chan

    Pay back is a bitch lol

  • rafaelpz

    I know it is off-topic but I haven’t seen anyone commenting on this.

    Have you received an invitation to join a shared photo stream? It does nothing on my iPhone! I click on the button “Join this Photo Stream” that comes with the invitation e-mail and nothing happens.Is that working fine for you guys?

  • Kok Hean

    Copied.

  • http://twitter.com/The_Malik Malik Davis

    No one cared who Apple was until they released the iPhone. lol

  • seyss

    A goddamn clock can be copyrighted….

  • http://twitter.com/unbeliever008 Jae. Just J. ©

    If it looks like a clock, and it ticks like a clock, it must be a Swiss Federal Railway clock. Funny that Apple will say you can’t patent circles and rounded corners.

  • skychet

    Usually I’d side with Apple over nonsensical things, but this is a carbon copy, down to the red second hand.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1507068701 Jorit Studer

    I’m Swiss and this railway clock is in like every second diner & they ain’t complaining about that so this is indeed ridicoulus :p
    BUT SBB sucks ass and I hate them & still with that money they might get some better connections so I’m with them on this on. And against Apple :D

    • pegger1

      Do you ever think that maybe those clocks in the diner are official and properly licensed under the law? I can go online and buy one of these railway clocks for $400, or buy wristwatches with the same design. The design can be legally licensed and reproduced or do it Apples way and just take it.

  • Timothy Do

    Don’t tell me Apple got a patent of that clock some where…

  • http://twitter.com/frslick François Slick

    Well… Apple didn’t copy it but stole it :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=701765856 Sheik Ershad

      steve said great artists steal xD

  • http://twitter.com/djmobil2 djmobil2

    Now Apple is going to sue Swiss Federal Railways because Swiss Federal Railways copied the Apple’s innovative patented clock design.LOL. I’m wondering what do U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh thinks now about Apple’s design originality? Or what do Harold McElhinny has to say about Apple “crisis of designs”?
    For those who don’t know who in the hell is Harold McElhinny, he’s the Apple lawyer who defended the company originality and won the APPL vs Samsung lawsuit for $1.05b. He was quoted to claim that Samsumg has a “crisis of designs”…

  • Carl Lychou

    Sue them bastards!

  • http://twitter.com/Rongmario Ethan Mahmood

    They should be honoured if there artwork is stolen by Apple!

  • Imahottguy

    Reached for comment, the SVP of clock face design had this to say: Sheeeit..

  • Tom

    I wonder how the Apple fan boys are gonna defend apple on this one?

  • M Last

    good idea!
    let’s sue apple???????
    now every single company wants to make money form apple, because apple has huge cash :)LOL

    • http://www.youtube.com/Tr1pTr0p Tr1pTr0p

      No, but because they stole the design and they’re hypocrites.

  • http://www.facebook.com/antman217 Anthony Antunez

    Its clearly the same thing. But Apple has tons of money so I’m pretty sure they can just pay the damn royalties and then change the design in the app in another update lol.

  • Guest

    its a clock, get over it

    • http://twitter.com/ram0nm Ramon Maghsoudi

      It was a round corner, why didn’t Apple get over it?!

  • Miguel Sirgado

    Man the number 63′ on the image is my copyright :)) LOL pay my bills!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeremy.zerbib.1 Jeremy Zerbib

    Just so you know !
    The people leaving in Switzerland are not swedish !
    They are swiss
    Therefore the newspaper isn’t swedish but swiss
    And by the way this allegation against Apple that the clock looks like the clock in Switzerland is not that false !
    I mean Apple should really behave after the scandal they’ve made with Samsung copying their design

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1595420643 Simche Apple Konstantinovic

      If we in Sweden had such designers for Clocks, trust me, everyone would be supreme rich in this country haha…

      • http://www.facebook.com/jeremy.zerbib.1 Jeremy Zerbib

        Sure true but you’ve got the swedish house mafia …

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1595420643 Simche Apple Konstantinovic

        haha yeah, they are awesome but that and this, is different indeed :)

    • http://twitter.com/LucaEgli Luca Egli

      Thx for pointing it out. I also wanted to say that. We’re Swiss and not Swedish.. I don’t understand a word of Swedish but I read the Tages Anzeiger every day. It’s a Swiss paper written in german (like all Swiss papers). Please correct that.

      • Hyr3m

        Hum hum… not all Swiss papers are written in German… Switzerland has 4 official languages (For those wondering and too lazy to search : Deutsch, Français, Italiano, Rumantsch) and I’m pretty sure there’s at least one English-language Swiss newspaper.

        Also, for the record, wristwatches with this design also exist ( search for “Mondaine” ).

  • Swiss guy

    Swedish newspaper?
    C’mon! Switzerland is not sweden!!! Tagesanzeiger is a SWISS newspaper! ;€

  • Billions

    Its a fucking clock … Thats swiss company is definately gunna loose. They own rights to the design of the clock. The design of the clock is very basic as well as the fact that its used as an icon and not actually a fully functional clock. If i pay 600$ for adobe illustrator and draw that clock and screen print it on a shirt what can that swiss company tell me? Reallyy?

    • pegger1

      Your ignorance is astounding. Do a little research on this clock and the design before commenting.

  • http://www.facebook.com/xComebackxKidx Craig Rhudy

    It’s a pretty basic design for a clock…a 5 year old could have designed it. I’m calling this one a coincidence.

    • http://www.youtube.com/Tr1pTr0p Tr1pTr0p

      Rounded rectangles were also a coincidence?

  • http://www.facebook.com/xComebackxKidx Craig Rhudy

    everyone just wants a piece of the apple pie

  • http://www.facebook.com/shahnawaz.hussain.581 Shahnawaz Hussain

    everyone copies proved…

  • Ray V

    The clocks look identical. Sue them, make Apple change it.

  • Fagner

    Apple copied and it’s a fact! Low creativity of the app designers. a lot of people said in comments that apple was inspired by the clock! Haha Apple better than other knows how value have a patent. Samsung was inspired by them so, coast 1 billion. So apple fans just shut up!