Swiss Federal Railways Accuses Apple Of Copying Its Railway Clock Design For iPad Clock App

With the launch of iOS 6, Apple finally brought a clock app to the iPad. Now, however, the design of the clocks in the app has become somewhat of a controversy as Swiss Federal Railways (mostly known under its German acronym SBB), has accused the company of ripping off the design of its iconic railway station clock design. Apple’s design is almost an exact copy of the Swiss Railway Station Clock that the organization has been using since the 1940s.

Unlike the iPhone app, the iPad app uses the Swiss Railways design in its world clock and as a spokesperson told the Swiss newspaper Blick am Abend, “we are happy that Apple uses the Swiss Railway Station Clock. It’s evidence for the fact that this is indeed a great piece of design.”

The use of the iconic clock face, however, was not authorized by SBB and the organization is considering legal action against Apple. According to the newspaper report, SBB is mostly looking to collect fees for Apple’s use of its design.

It’s not unusual for SBB to license the design of its clock, and they are also widely available for purchase online. According to Mobatime, which produces the actual clocks, it’s rather unusual for a company to just copy this classic design without permission.

Image credit: Wikipedia