Apple To Pay SBB For Using Swiss Railway Clock In iOS 6

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined
as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Apple may not know where you are but the Swiss Railway Clock tells iOS 6 users what time it is

Apple and Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) have settled their dispute over the Cupertino-based company’s unauthorised use of the Swiss railway clock in iOS 6.

The two parties have entered into a licensing agreement for the design to be used in iPhones and iPads running the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system.

It first emerged that Apple was using the design when iOS 6 was rolled out to compatible devices last month and SBB confirmed to TechWeekEurope that it was in licensing negotiations with the computing giant.

The development came just one month after Samsung was ordered to pay Apple £664 million after its design and software patents were found to have been infringed by the Korean manufacturer.

Swiss Railway Clock Design

The design is used in all clocks at stations operated by SBB and was created in the 1940s by Swiss engineer and designer Hans Hilfiker.

The distinctive design features no numbers, with minutes denoted by black lines and a red second hand moving in a smooth motion around the clock before it stops at the top of the minute for 1.5 seconds to allow trains to leave promptly.

The clocks have become a symbol of the famed Swiss punctuality, and are given to foreign countries as a sign of friendship.  One was given to London in 1985 and is currently located in Leicester square. Apple’s use of the clock has even been interpreted in Switzerland as an example of its enduring appeal.

The issue has not been the only headache Apple has received from iOS 6. CEO Tim Cook apologised to customers for the frustration and inconvenience and frustration caused by the company’s less-than perfect Apple Maps application introduced in iOS 6. He even suggested that iOS users download rival mapping applications from the App Store or create an icon to the Google Maps web app.

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