One homage too far for Apple

Apple pays up on time

Techonology giant forced to pay Swiss Railway operator SBB for using its trademarked clock design

As befits a nation grounded in democratic ideology you don't mess with the Swiss - as Apple has just learned to its cost. The company has agreed to pay the Swiss National rail operator SBB an undisclosed amount for using its trademarked station clock design in the IOS6 for iPad without asking first.

As we reported a few weeks back the design is used on station clocks throughout the Swiss railway system and, more recently, has been successfully licensed to Swiss watch manufacturer Mondaine. When the news broke, an SBB spokesman told the Swiss daily paper Tages-Anzeiger that while he was pleased Apple was using the design he noted that the company was not authorised to do so and said a legal complaint seeking financial and legal redress was being drafted as a result. 

SBB announced the result of that complaint on its website this morning, though neither side, naturally, is saying how much money will be handed over. “It is a design icon that has obviously lost none of its appeal in the digital age,” SBB says in the statement. “It symbolises the innovation and reliability that are key qualities attributed to both SBB and Switzerland as a whole.” Talking of reliability, while we generally love our Apple products here at we do wonder whether SBB could take a quick look at Siri and Maps while Apple has its attention. . .