Apple paying Swiss Rail $21 million to use their clock design on the iPad

Apple will be paying Swiss national rail operator SSB $21 million dollars for using their clock design on the new iOS 6 Clock app for iPad. Apple launched the new Clock app for iPad in September of 2012, over 2 years since the original iPad launched sans Clock app of any kind, and initially without permission to use the famed design. The AFP paraphrases (no link provided and/or available) the Tages-Anzeiger daily:

[According to several unnamed sources, Apple] agreed in October to pay the lump sum so it could continue using SBB's Swiss-designed station clock face on its iPads and iPhones.

Apple often seems to prefer begging paying for forgiveness than asking for permission, and this is simply the latest example. It's a great looking clock, it's a great looking app, the SSB seem to have their money, we have the feature, so all's well that ends well.

Now could Apple please go steal that Braun calculator design, along with a good weather and stock app design, so we can finally get iPad parity with iPhone and iPod touch?

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 7 comments. Add yours.

undermycloud says:

Can't believe Apple is throwing money away that way, when it could be used for more important things. Fail Apple.

trebor8806 says:

What's 21 million compared to their net 110 billion or so? That barely puts a dent.

FooFighter7 says:

So.. Apple basically does what they want, and then when they get caught doing something wrong, they throw money at the accusation. What a good business model.

parabel says:

It's SBB, not SSB ;)

And by the way, Apple has been using this clock design (on the iPhone as well) since the launch of Siri a year ago. Just ask Siri for the time and there you'll find the same design. Seems like the SBB just didn't notice until it was more prominently placed in the new iPad clock app.

Not really a nice business model on Apple's part, but I guess they can afford it... :/

1776_1865_RIP says:

Patent laws are a farcical mess; it's a clock face.