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

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?