Apple Reportedly Paid $21 Million for Rights to Swiss Railways Clock Design

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Apr 12, 2001
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Back in September, the Swiss Federal Railways accused Apple of copying its iconic clock design for the new Clock app for iPad included as part of iOS 6. Several weeks later, the agency announced that the dispute had been settled with Apple signing a licensing agreement for the design, although terms of the agreement were not announced.

Tages-Anzeiger now reports [Google translation] that the licensing agreement resulted in Apple making a payment of approximately 20 million Swiss francs ($21 million) to the agency. The report indicates that amount has been leaked by several sources, but the Swiss Federal Railways and Apple have refused to comment on the situation.

The report also suggests that the licensing agreement may not provide any compensation to watchmaker Mondaine, which has been the sole consumer-focused licensee of the design. Mondaine is reportedly happy that Apple has provided increased visibility for the clock design, but remains in discussions with the Swiss Federal Railways over the issue in order to ensure that it is resolved to the satisfaction of all parties involved.

Article Link: Apple Reportedly Paid $21 Million for Rights to Swiss Railways Clock Design
 

Frign

macrumors regular
Aug 19, 2011
111
380
Who knows how much Apple would've liked it to put a statement for the Swiss Federal Railways on their main page on apple.ch.
 

Macist

macrumors 6502a
Mar 13, 2009
782
458
Wait... that clock design is a copyrighted 'design'? It looks like the most generic interpretation of the 'clock concept' I've ever seen.
 

neiltc13

macrumors 68040
May 27, 2006
3,116
6
Or you could look at it another way - 21 million that could have been spent upgrading Mac Pro or fixing Final Cut Pro X, but they chose to spend it on a fancy clock instead.
 

tekno

macrumors 6502a
Oct 15, 2011
842
4
Glad Apple didn't get away with stealing a trademark. If they're going to go after other companies that borrow from them, they need to pay-up to other companies.

But, with retrospect, I bet they'd rather have just got one of their overpaid designers to spend half an hour drawing a generic clock icon rather than spending $21m.
 

mac1984user

macrumors 6502a
Dec 10, 2009
790
345
United Kingdom
A friend of mine has the Mondaine wrist watch and I really enjoy the design, but it's completely superfluous in a UI setting. It seems ridiculous to me (if true), that Apple is willing to part with $21 million for a clock design and then boasts about its contribution to hurricane relief efforts. That kind of money might as well go to a suitable cause...I'm content with a 'generic'-looking clock, but that's just my two cents (or seconds, as the case may be).
 

madrag

macrumors 6502
Nov 2, 2007
359
70
Wasted money, when there is no new Mac Pro or the "released" iMac doesn't even have a proper HD (unless you go for the fusion drive).

Would be better spent on developing better hardware and software.

This shows the arrongance of today's Apple, "we want it we buy it" (in this case was more "we have to pay for it, we pay").
 

Marcus-k

macrumors regular
Nov 17, 2011
111
0
Wait... that clock design is a copyrighted 'design'? It looks like the most generic interpretation of the 'clock concept' I've ever seen.
Really? Then show me a clock that looked atleast somewhat close to this design that was made before this was invented.
 

macnerd93

macrumors 6502a
Nov 28, 2009
678
96
United Kingdom
20 million dollars would be pocket change to a company like Apple. Seems both parties are happy. Mondaine and the Swiss railway are happy of the money as well as the publicity of the design.
 

Mike MA

macrumors 68020
Sep 21, 2012
2,046
1,679
Again a useless and this time very expensive use of skeuomorphism...Apple will need to sell some iPads to refinance that Forstall decision....
 

Cali Fornia

macrumors regular
Feb 27, 2012
150
0
Vienna, Austria
Honestly, I like the clock design pretty much. Though, it's questionable to pay more than 20M for a simple design, when Apple could have easily come up with a decent alteration which would not infringe any patents but look nice as well. I mean, it's not as if they had no good designer's who could take a look at it *cough* Ivy *cough*.
At least, I hope they make this the basic clock skin on all of their iDevices.
 

camnchar

macrumors 6502
Jan 26, 2006
434
415
SLC, Utah
Wasted money, when there is no new Mac Pro or the "released" iMac doesn't even have a proper HD (unless you go for the fusion drive).

Would be better spent on developing better hardware and software.
Yes, because that was the only money Apple had in the bank. Next we'll see Tim Cook and Jony Ive wearing nothing but stylish, aluminum unibody barrels and begging for money on a Cupertino street corner.
 
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