So you accuse Apple to pay for something they use in their system rather than stealing.
This logic sounds very samsungish to me!
Yeah, I see your post now. It wasn't there when I started mine. Obviously the designs are far more similar. Could the other AI one be the original 1944 design? this one looks more refined.
Clearly Apple's is not "exactly the same" as you say, but it is a very close copy. I'd have to admit that Apple's design isn't hands down supieror to this one, but they have made some different design choices which might be seen as improvements (or not.)
Anyway, they have paid for it (and rather dearly!)
I'm assuming that Apple's design boffins figured - incorrectly, as it turns out - that the design was public domain. Whoopsie!
That having been said, $21 million is probably cheap compared to the litigation costs if this thing had gone to trial. Apple would almost certainly lose, and be held liable for damages as well as being penalized.
In the end, $21 million is probably a good deal.
Also, we don't know what else might be a part of this deal. Maybe the Swiss Railway has agreed to partner with Apple on some other product - Passbook or something - which caused Apple to sweeten the deal.
Apple may have also bought exclusive digital rights to the design, so NOBODY else can have it. That's also worth some bucks.
They a branch of SBB? Hope no one claims that clock isn't a take off of SBB's or that SBB "has no ability" to sue them.
I wonder if it wasn't just a big mistake: someone went on Wikipedia looked at the year it was designed (1944) and miscalculated 70 years of intellectual rights later...
I have been outsourcing for design for Apple several time and I can tell that they are tough as any other company when it come to the budget, so I don't think they are OK to just spend an extra $20 millions. Will this hurt them? No! But the PR was worst than paying. In the end, I am glad to see the swiss railway clock, I've always been a fan of!