Skip to main content

Apple signs deal with Swiss railway to settle clock dispute

Apple has inked a deal with the the Swiss Federal Railway (SBB) to license the use of the railway's iconic clock on iOS devices.

Financial terms of the agreement were not released, but SBB said Apple signed a deal that will allow it to use the clock icon on the iPhone and iPad.

In the wake of the iOS 6 launch last month, the SBB claimed in an interview with the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper that the new clock icon within iOS 6 on the iPad (left of top image) violated the railway's clock trademark.

The clock design used by SBB (right of image) was crafted in 1944 by Hans Hilfiker, and the trademark is now owned by the Swiss Federal Railway. SBB licenses the design to companies like Mondaine, but told Tages-Anzeiger that Apple had not secured such a license.

The SBB said it would speak to Apple about the problem, and that dispute has apparently been resolved.

The iPad clock icon is just one of the issues Apple's new mobile operating system has encountered. The most high-profile problem was with the Apple Maps app, which many found to be inaccurate and less detailed than the previous iOS maps app, based on Google data. Eventually, Apple CEO Tim Cook apologised for his company's lacklustre product and even suggested that customers use competing apps until the problem was resolved.