Apple may still be having problems with certain elements of iOS 6, but the design of the Clock app is no longer an issue. Money talks.
In September it emerged that Apple may have infringed upon the trademarks of the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) with the design of its Clock app in iOS 6. SBB claimed to be the sole owner of the copyright for the clock, which was designed by Hans Hilfiker in 1944 and which has since been used in stations throughout the railway network in Switzerland.
The Web reacted as only the Web could, with people immediately accusing Apple of double standards and hypocrisy. After all, this is the company which has chased several companies through the courts over the slightest design similarities. Even a cursory glance at the image of the two clocks side-by-side was enough to suggest Apple had been caught red-handed.
A month later, in October, Apple and SBB reached a licensing agreement that meant the tech giant could keep using the clock in its mobile operating system for the foreseeable future. However, neither side was willing to discuss the terms of the agreement or how much money had changed hands in order to make it happen.
Now, we learn that Apple paid out 20 million Swiss francs (US$21 million) to keep the Swiss Federal Railways sweet. According to AFP, several sources have proffered the information, which remains unconfirmed by either side involved in the deal. The $21 million was paid as a lump sum, but we don’t how long it clears Apple’s use of the iconic clock design for.
There have been 210 million iOS 6 devices bought to date, which (as 9to5Mac points out) means Apple has had to pay out around 10 cents on each iDevice sold with the stolen clock design installed as standard. I wonder how it feels to have the boot on the other foot for a change.