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Apple to dole out $21m to Swiss Federal Railways for clock icon

Apple has agreed to fork out US$21-million to the Swiss Federal Railways for the new clock design on the tablet versions of iOS6.

The design is a more or less exact copy of that used by the railway service. The clock type, designed by Hans Hilfiker, has been in operation since the 1940s and is considered a national icon by the Swiss.

Swiss Railways Clock

Apple was initially accused of copying the design back in September. Initially the Swiss Federal Railway threatened legal action, with Apple eventually bowing to pressure and agreeing to license the design.

At the time it was unclear what the terms of the deal were, but Swiss publication Tages-Anzeige reports hearing from sources that the figure was around US$21-million.

That number is largely symbolic for a US$100-billion company, but it at least shows that Apple is at least willing to make amends and pay for intellectual property. Failing to do so however may have meant having to remove the design from iPads sold in Switzerland and would also have damaged its reputation in the country.

It’s not like Apple is averse to copying designs. Steve Jobs pretty much ripped off Xerox’s iteration of the mouse, before making it one of the first mice commercially available to consumers.

Author | Stuart Thomas

Stuart Thomas
Stuart is the editor-in-chief of Engage Me Online. After pursuing an MA in South African literature, he spent five years reporting on the global technology scene. Intrigued by the intersection of technology and work, he joined Engage Me as the editor-in-chief. He is a passionate runner, and recently ran... More
  • jjstccean

    Can’t wait to see it working and getting a test drive.

  • Andy Walker

    Agreed! It sounds like a brilliant concept and we’ll be reviewing the browser as soon as it’s available, so stay tuned.

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