11:42 22 September 2012
It was cause for celebration as Apple launched its new operating system - iOS6 - across its iPhones and iPads, but trouble arrived in record time as Swiss Federal Railways looks set to draft a lawsuit after the company copied its trademarked railway clock design without permission.
The news comes shortly after Apple won a landmark billion dollar suit against Samsung for copyright disputes. Now it looks like the scales of justice could tip the other way for the tech giant.
Apple's updated design of their clocks app is almost an identical copy of the striking Swiss Railway Station Clock that the organization has been using since the 1940s with its black chunky clock hands and thermometer style red second hand.
The design in question was drawn up in 1944 by Swiss engineer Hans Hilifker and has been in use by the railway network ever since as well as also being licensed for mass production by Swiss watch manufacturer Mondaine.
An extremely similar clock face appears on Apple's iPad to which a spokesman for the Swiss Railway Station Clock told the Swiss newspaper Blick am Abend, “we are happy that Apple uses the Swiss Railway Station Clock. It’s evidence for the fact that this is indeed a great piece of design.”
However, the use of the design was not authorised first prompting the organisation to consider legal action and collect fees from Apple, according to TechCrunch.
Forbes magazine was quick to add comment: "Is it patent infringement when you copy basic design elements? Apple says yes, and so does a billion dollars in damages from the landmark Apple vs. Samsung case. The Cupertino juggernaut may want to temper that claim, however, as it seems Apple may have ripped off the design for its new iPad clock app."
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