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Swiss Federal Railways to meet with Apple over iOS 6 clock design

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 
Swiss Federal Railways, the owner of an iconic clock face design, is set to meet with Apple to reach an agreement over the digital clock face found in the iPad version of its iOS 6 mobile operating system.

Clock
Left: Apple's iOS 6 clock. Right: the clock design owned by SBB.


Officials with the railway service, known as SBB, told global news service AFP (via Cnet) that they will meet with Apple in the coming weeks to discuss the matter. No agreement has been made, but SBB spokeswoman Patricia Claivaz said the two sides would "talk about it."

Earlier, inaccurate reports had claimed that the SBB was demanding financial compensation for Apple over the clock design found in iOS 6. Claivaz dismissed those reports as "speculation."

Rather, the SBB is "proud" that Apple has chosen to use the iconic clock design in iOS 6, she said, noting that it was flattering to have a "brand as important as Apple" use their design.

"There are a lot of brands that use the SBB logo, though nothing like Apple," she added. "It's not just about exchanging money, rather drawing up a contract stating where the logo can be used, under what conditions and for how long."

The original clock design was created in 1944 by Swiss engineer Hans Hilfiker. It remains the property of SBB, and is still used in the Swiss operation's train stations.

SBB licenses the clock designs for various products, including its own collection of watches that are available for sale.
post #2 of 57
Change the app. The phone version is fine.
post #3 of 57

Tell SFR that they can use for free Apple's slightly more elegant reworking of the original design, and call it even.

 

Allow them to call it the William Tell version. ;-)

post #4 of 57

The only thing original about that Swiss clock seems to be the red ball on the seconds hand. Besides that, it looks like any average, common clock.

 

If the Swiss railways demands even a single penny, then Apple should just change the red ball on the Apple clock and make it into an arrow or something.

post #5 of 57
Looks like they just want credit. That seems fair.
post #6 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Clock
Left: Apple's iOS 6 clock. Right: the clock design owned by SBB.


And the response from Samsung's attorneys:

They look nothing alike. Look - the hands are pointing in different directions.
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post #7 of 57

110755_640.jpg

 

Actually, that is the original ... looks pretty unimproveable to me ;)

post #8 of 57
Waiting for fandroids to say "so SBB owns the circle now?"
But they won't. Those arguments are only for use against Apple.

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post #9 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


And the response from Samsung's attorneys:

They look nothing alike. Look - the hands are pointing in different directions.

Actually there are a number of subtle differences, probably enough to not be infringing legally, although, I wonder why Apple even decided to make it so similar or if it was coincidental.

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post #10 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phone-UI-Guy View Post

Change the app. The phone version is fine.

funny you say that, because the phone version share a resemblance to the classic IBM clock.  (minus the hatch marks of course, and I'm sure that's on purpose).  Heck, Microsft is even a closer copy-cat (note I couldn't find an image but it does have the option of a Red Second-Hand).


Edited by antkm1 - 9/24/12 at 12:54pm
post #11 of 57
Personally, it is a hideous design.
post #12 of 57

Actually, they are meeting to strike a deal for SFR to provide their train schedule as a data source for iOS Maps.

 

 

 

;)
 

post #13 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Actually there are a number of subtle differences, probably enough to not be infringing legally, although, I wonder why Apple even decided to make it so similar or if it was coincidental.

 

Give me a break.  That is an clear and obvious copy job as I can imagine.  As soon as I saw it on my iPad, I showed my wife and say "hey look they did the Swiss railway clock design."  Maybe Samsung would try to argue that they didn't copy it if they had done it, but there is no way Apple will insist that they just stumbled onto the "obvious" design.

 

I think they made a beautiful copy, but if they want to continue using it, they should meet SBB's conditions.  Or just switch to another design, no big deal.

post #14 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by antkm1 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phone-UI-Guy View Post

Change the app. The phone version is fine.
funny you say that, because the phone version share a resemblance to the classic IBM clock.  (minus the hatch marks of course, and I'm sure that's on purpose).  Heck, Microsft is even a closer copy-cat (note I couldn't find an image but it does have the option of a Red Second-Hand).

I would not say it looks like IBM. Every element is different. No hash marks as you say. Hands don't have a tail. Hands are shaped different. Font is different (look at the 1). Just about every clock I saw as a kid had black hour/ minute hands and red second hand. Maybe they all copy each other, but you won't get infringement claims for every Elmer being different.
post #15 of 57

 
post #16 of 57

I just don't get it, out of a million diff clock designs, they HAVE to use this version? There are plenty of alternatives.

post #17 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post
Give me a break.  That is an clear and obvious copy job as I can imagine.  As soon as I saw it on my iPad, I showed my wife and say "hey look they did the Swiss railway clock design."  Maybe Samsung would try to argue that they didn't copy it if they had done it, but there is no way Apple will insist that they just stumbled onto the "obvious" design.

 

I think they made a beautiful copy, but if they want to continue using it, they should meet SBB's conditions.  Or just switch to another design, no big deal.

How many differences are required to not be a copy in your mind?

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post #18 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Swiss Federal Railways, the owner of an iconic clock face design, is set to meet with Apple to reach an agreement over the digital clock face found in the iPad version of its iOS 6 mobile operating system.


Isn't it an analog clock face? The flashing 12:00 on my VCR is a digital clock face.
post #19 of 57

OK. Fixed!

 

 

post #20 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post

Isn't it an analog clock face? The flashing 12:00 on my VCR is a digital clock face.

It's a digital representation of an analog clock.
post #21 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by mandalax View Post

110755_640.jpg

 

Actually, that is the original ... looks pretty unimproveable to me ;)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

How many differences are required to not be a copy in your mind?


More than Apple made - especially when you see that photo of the clock in the analog world.....  ....c'mon, there's defending Apple and then there's "Apple can do no wrong."  I'm frequently involved in doing the first, but not always the second, because at some point you become a "spinner."  

And I'll add that Warner Bros. could've made a beef over the similarity between the iTunes icon and some variations on the old Looney Tunes logo...  ...as close as Samesong's "resemblances" in some cases.....

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post #22 of 57

Look.  Apple realises there are only so many ways to design a clock, and its just natural progression that it has gone to this style.

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post #23 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Apple 
[" url="/t/152844/swiss-federal-railways-to-meet-with-apple-over-ios-6-clock-design#post_2197338"]The only thing original about that Swiss clock seems to be the red ball on the seconds hand. Besides that, it looks like any average, common clock.
I'm pretty sure Apple could go to few museums and find examples of clock faces that predate the design. Maybe not exactly like that but similar enough that you would have to wonder how the design got trademarked in the first place.
Quote:
If the Swiss railways demands even a single penny, then Apple should just change the red ball on the Apple clock and make it into an arrow or something.

Maybe maybe not. Sometimes it is to both parties advantage to come to an agreement. Done right Apple could present some prior art to cause the railroad to use some caution before trying to demand too much.
post #24 of 57

Why is there any need for an agreement? The copyright on the Swiss design is long expired. It's in the public domain... anyone could copy the original design "as is" and face no legal threats.

 

Frankly, I wish Apple had made the effort to marginally improve the original design, which is actually not that easy to quickly read and discern what is the correct time.

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post #25 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

It's a digital representation of an analog clock.

I won't argue with that. Still, I think, far from what was written in the article.
post #26 of 57
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post
Why is there any need for an agreement? The copyright on the Swiss design is long expired. It's in the public domain... anyone could copy the original design "as is" and face no legal threats.

 

Hilfiker died in 1993. The copyright is valid until 2063.


Frankly, I wish Apple had made the effort to marginally improve the original design, which is actually not that easy to quickly read and discern what is the correct time.

 

They did.

post #27 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Why is there any need for an agreement? The copyright on the Swiss design is long expired. It's in the public domain... anyone could copy the original design "as is" and face no legal threats.

 

Frankly, I wish Apple had made the effort to marginally improve the original design, which is actually not that easy to quickly read and discern what is the correct time.

 

It's a trademark, not a patent (which expire) or copyright (which...may expire). Trademarks can be held indefinitely. 

 

This is a pretty clear case of a look similar enough that most people who know the Swiss design will think Apple copied it or meant to imitate it very closely. If Apple values its own "look and feel" patents and trademarks, which it clearly does, then I expect that it will now reciprocate when another firm justifiably feels that Apple has infringed. 

 

It's not like it's going to cost a fortune if Apple keeps the design, and they can always change so as not to infringe.

post #28 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

 

Give me a break.  That is an clear and obvious copy job as I can imagine.  As soon as I saw it on my iPad, I showed my wife and say "hey look they did the Swiss railway clock design."  Maybe Samsung would try to argue that they didn't copy it if they had done it, but there is no way Apple will insist that they just stumbled onto the "obvious" design.

 

I think they made a beautiful copy, but if they want to continue using it, they should meet SBB's conditions.  Or just switch to another design, no big deal.

But Apple never copies anybody, remember? /s

 

Just like all musicians are inspired by music they have previously listened to, many companies are inspired by other companies designs. Still, this would definitely be considered a copy as far as I am concerned. Don't be a hypocrite Apple,  either pay up or give them credit for the design!

post #29 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlor View Post

It's a trademark, not a patent (which expire) or copyright (which...may expire). Trademarks can be held indefinitely. 

This is a pretty clear case of a look similar enough that most people who know the Swiss design will think Apple copied it or meant to imitate it very closely. If Apple values its own "look and feel" patents and trademarks, which it clearly does, then I expect that it will now reciprocate when another firm justifiably feels that Apple has infringed. 

It's not like it's going to cost a fortune if Apple keeps the design, and they can always change so as not to infringe.


Apple is clearly infringing on this trademark but as you note it won't cost a fortune. I'd like to also note that Apple's infringement has note affected the trademark holder in a negative way. They aren't able to sell less clocks because of Apple unauthorized usage. People are thinking it's an iPhone when they see it's a Swiss clock or vice versa. The Swiss aren't competing with Apple for the same sale of a product which could be awarded damages. It's simply an homage to a design they should pay for if they want to keep or change if the Swiss want too much for it.

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post #30 of 57
post #31 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlor View Post

 

It's a trademark, not a patent (which expire) or copyright (which...may expire). Trademarks can be held indefinitely. 

 

This is a pretty clear case of a look similar enough that most people who know the Swiss design will think Apple copied it or meant to imitate it very closely. If Apple values its own "look and feel" patents and trademarks, which it clearly does, then I expect that it will now reciprocate when another firm justifiably feels that Apple has infringed. 

 

It's not like it's going to cost a fortune if Apple keeps the design, and they can always change so as not to infringe.

 

Here is the link to Swiss trademark length:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries'_copyright_length

Life + 70 years effective 1 July 1993 non-retroactively, but Life + 50 years for computer programs[290]


Life + 50 years (before the law changed on 1 July 1993, applicable for deaths through 1942)][291]

Now, since the copyright holder is presumably the Swiss Railway, not the designer, that would affect the length of the term (assumedly).

 

If Apple infringed on a design that is still enforceable, the designer at Apple should be fired and they should immediately come to an agreement or change the design.

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post #32 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by csdigitalworks View Post

Problem solved.....
http://csdigitalworks.deviantart.com/#/d5fvzve

 

Is that a Red Delicious?

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post #33 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


Apple is clearly infringing on this trademark but as you note it won't cost a fortune. I'd like to also note that Apple's infringement has note affected the trademark holder in a negative way. They aren't able to sell less clocks because of Apple unauthorized usage. People are thinking it's an iPhone when they see it's a Swiss clock or vice versa. The Swiss aren't competing with Apple for the same sale of a product which could be awarded damages. It's simply an homage to a design they should pay for if they want to keep or change if the Swiss want too much for it.

 

If their copyright is still valid, and it appears it might be, Apple has no excuse in this case. Dumb of them to do this. I'd fire the designer responsible and have them apologize to the Swiss Railway. A sloppy mistake on Apple's part (again, if everything appears as it seems).

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post #34 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

If their copyright is still valid, and it appears it might be, Apple has no excuse in this case. Dumb of them to do this. I'd fire the designer responsible and have them apologize to the Swiss Railway. A sloppy mistake on Apple's part (again, if everything appears as it seems).

As previously noted I would assume this falls under trademark, not a copyright, which can last indefinitely. Think of the Coke bottle.

Assuming Apple does have to pay for this, my problem is that they'd even up the door for something so petty beawe we both know the DaHarders, Teckstuds and Jfannings of the world have no ability to see the difference between this clock and what Samsung has done to Apple and the rest of the Android licensees.

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post #35 of 57
I've been an Apple fan since 1984 (Apple II) and I started with Macs in 1988 with a Mac II, but they are obviously infringing here. It's at least as close a copy as Samsung's products. Just dig out the checkbook, guys.
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post #36 of 57

Sammy's saying "damn, apple beat us to it. so we wasted time creating a 132 page comparison slide deck between the Swiss clock and ours."

post #37 of 57
Dear Apple. Please redesign the whole clock app for the iPad. It sucks.
post #38 of 57
The IBM or should we say prior to IBM, the School Clock design that is generic across the US in every university, high school, down to grade school is a better design
post #39 of 57

 

It beats Sammy's "slavish" reworking of the original design I would say...

If you google images with "clock" as a keyword, you will see literally thousands of possible 2D & 3D's clock shapes, and Apple, as it always proudly says, will come up with the thousands-1st unique design. This is apparently that "unique" design. Apple might even go with the "square with rounded corners" inspired clock altogether..., but no.., Apple has to go this "slavishly" instead. 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Tell SFR that they can use for free Apple's slightly more elegant reworking of the original design, and call it even.

 

Allow them to call it the William Tell version. ;-)

post #40 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Why is there any need for an agreement? The copyright on the Swiss design is long expired. It's in the public domain... anyone could copy the original design "as is" and face no legal threats.

Frankly, I wish Apple had made the effort to marginally improve the original design, which is actually not that easy to quickly read and discern what is the correct time.

Wrong, the Swiss Railway owns the rights to the design.
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