Do you see any difference in the two clocks in this picture? The clock on the left is the iPad iOS 6 Clock app. The one on the right is the iconic clock for the Swiss railway operator, SBB (Schweizerische Bundesbahnen). The SBB clock is the hallmark of watchmaker Mondaine and had been present in Swiss railway stations for many years. In a perfect example of “what goes around comes around”, SBB is upset that Apple used the clock face in their application without permission and noted that they hold the copyright and trademark of the design. The company is not pursuing legal action just yet but is in talks with Apple about their unauthorized use of the trademarked design and how the problem can be “resolved” [sound of shuffling dollar bills].
This isn’t’ the first time Apple “borrowed” from another company for its software design. The iOS Calculator and the recent Podcast app do very little to hide their Braun ET44 calculator influences. Catching Apple making “unauthorized” copies of someone else’s work is especially ironic considering the recent Apple accusations against Samsung in which Apple claimed Samsung copied the iPad and iPhone designs.
UPDATE: On 10/12/12, Apple issued a news release disclosing that they had agreed to license the design from SBB for an undisclosed amount of money.