Apple Accused Of Ripping Off iPad Clock Design In iOS 6 From The Swiss

Apple Accused Of Ripping Off iPad Clock Design In iOS 6 From The Swiss

One of the best new additions of iOS 6 for iPad owners is the fact that not only do we finally get the iOS 6 clock app, but it’s absolutely gorgeous… easily Apple’s most attractive app, in my opinion.

The app’s good looks aren’t going unnoticed… and that might spell bad news for Apple. Apparently, the Swiss Federal Railway Service is livid over the clock used in the new app, says they own the trademark on the design.

The clock in question was originally designed by Hans Hilfiker, but is widely considered an icon of the Swiss Federal Railway Service, who say they are the “sole owner of the trademark and copyright of the railway clock.” They now say they’re trying to get in contact with Apple, who hasn’t bothered to contact them to license the design.

Apple Switzerland had no comment on the matter, but looking at the two clocks, it certainly seems as if Apple lifted the design of the clock for the iPad Clock.app from the Swiss. It’s probably not willful, but it does seem sloppy of Apple to not know or not check that that clock design was trademarked.

On their part, the Swiss seem eager to figure out a financial licensing deal, so doubtlessly this will all be settled shortly with a check. Good thing, too… I’ve gotten used to having that clock in my iPad app.

  • nevmac

    This is a skeuomorphism issue, not a design copy. Remember the clock faces that came with last year’s iPod Nano? Not design rip-offs, simply a UI design style.

  • ddevito

    Sounds like Mr. Hilfiker’s getting one nice payday coming soon.

  • ddevito

    This is a skeuomorphism issue, not a design copy. Remember the clock faces that came with last year’s iPod Nano? Not design rip-offs, simply a UI design style.

    Umm, no. The design is too detailed. Hope they pay the man at least for ripping him off.

  • John McLachlan

    huh? Looks like they took a normal clock and just removed the numbers. What exactly is copyrightable about this particular design

  • ddevito

    What a day for Cupertino. First the internets blast their precious maps now this. Poor poor Apple.

  • ddevito

    iFans cry that this isn’t a blatant ripoff yet they were so quick to say Samsung ripped them off with the first Galaxy S phone. Hypocrites.

  • SupaMac

    I love how @Tallest_Skil always dislikes or votes down or flags as a troll @ddevito ‘s posts. He may be ripping on Apple, but why waste your time fighting back. Who cares?

  • Tallest_Skil

    He may be ripping on Apple, but why waste your time fighting back. Who cares?

    What do you mean? You think it’s fine for people who do nothing but spew blatant, slanderous lies about Apple to come to Apple sites? He’d be banned in an instant if the mods actually cared about the content here. They let spambots and trolls run free.

  • iSteve

    what the f**K about trademarking a clock! These guys are nuts and they just want to make some money out of Apple.

    @ ddevito:
    I’m sure that there is nothing interesting on the Doodle forum worth talking, that’s why you are barking so much here to attract attention. It’s you the poor guy…

  • seelee

    I like the design very much, but Apple is in the wrong on this one. They’d better get their checkbook ready. In short, Apple has samsunged the Swiss.

  • iSteve

    I love how @Tallest_Skil always dislikes or votes down or flags as a troll @ddevito ‘s posts. He may be ripping on Apple, but why waste your time fighting back. Who cares?

    Hello,

    We Apple fanatics fight every morsel to keep Apple reputation intact and that’s what we care for and stood for.

  • Jonathan Ober

    hands are in the wrong position, can’t be the same :)

  • LTMP

    If it wasn’t for the second hand, the two wouldn’t look much alike at all.

    The minute hands are different lengths, the minute markings are very different and Apple’s hands appear to be thinner.

    Since design patents (at least in the US), depend upon having multiple characteristics copied, I’m not sure that this is a slam dunk.

    If it went to a jury, I think it could easily go either way.

  • David Shanahan

    Shame Apple shame.

  • breck

    it appears as if apple may have done what it has always done, it improved on something that already exists. yes, they look similar, but apple’s version is visually more appealing perhaps.

  • Allan Cook

    I knew I’d seen that dial before!

  • Allan Cook

    I knew I’d seen that dial before!

  • ddevito

    what the f**K about trademarking a clock! These guys are nuts and they just want to make some money out of Apple.

    @ ddevito:
    I’m sure that there is nothing interesting on the Doodle forum worth talking, that’s why you are barking so much here to attract attention. It’s you the poor guy…

    Actually there’s lots going on in Android land today. Take a wild guess what all Fandroids are talking about :p

  • Tallest_Skil

    The best way is to beat them with something they don’t possess. Intelligence. Anyone with any morsel of intelligence wouldn’t pointedly hike over to an oppositions weblog and troll.

    Don’t stoop to ad-homs. It makes you no better than them. Call out their idiocy, sure, and hopefully we can get change enacted in the rules to ban their crap altogether.

  • nthnm

    I think the ugly red thing sealed it. I’ve seen many clocks with this design but did not use that red arm, or, if they did, did not have the circle on the end of it.

  • Jeffrey-the Barak

    Wait a minute. Imagine if Mondaine suddenly made a clock or watch with Apple’s trademarked logo on it, without asking Apple. The Mondaine dial and hands are a globally recognized trademark design. Apple should have at least asked them and maybe included the Mondaine name on the dial also.

  • Jonathan Osborn

    Live by the sword. Die by the sword. I’m with Woz on the lawsuit thingy.

  • worm

    I like how when Apple copies something and it looks the exact same, John Brownlee thinks that they didn’t do it willingly. But then when Samsung goes and makes a gallery icon with a close up of a flower pedal, he considers it shamelessly copying? Apple is just a saint and how dare anyone accuse them of doing anything wrong.

  • SupaMac

    @Tallest_Skil you make a good point. Fight away. This is an Apple fan site after all.

    He may be ripping on Apple, but why waste your time fighting back. Who cares?

    What do you mean? You think it’s fine for people who do nothing but spew blatant, slanderous lies about Apple to come to Apple sites? He’d be banned in an instant if the mods actually cared about the content here. They let spambots and trolls run free.

  • Tallest_Skill

    Quit trolling, troll

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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