A few weeks ago, we reported that Apple Inc. was in trouble with the Swiss Federal Railway(SBB) service over the clock image featured in iOS 6. The image in question was designed by Hans Hilfiker, when he worked for the company in 1944. The same image was also used throughout the railway system, and it’s licensed by Swiss watch design company, Mondaine.
Both companies finally reached an agreement on Friday that gives Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) the rights to use the design on their iOS. Unfortunately, the details and the licensing fees will remain confidential.
This report isn’t really surprising, as the representative for SBB claimed they were not seeking financial compensation from Apple. They also mentioned that they were proud that Apple chose to use their design for their iOS 6 based products, like the iPad and iPhone 5.
A few years ago, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was involved in another design scuffle. In 2009, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) accused Tabpots (the maker behind Tweetbot) of using a clock icon that looked quite a bit like the clock in Apple’s phone application.
There was no word on how the agreement took place, but Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) must have been pretty easy to work with, in order for the official agreement to have surfaced so soon. Oftentimes, companies take months to reach an agreement, but it was evident that in this case, both companies just wanted to work together.
The Swiss Federal Railway made the following statement on Friday , “It is a design icon that has obviously lost none of its appeal in the digital age. It symbolizes the innovation and reliability that are key qualities attributed to both SBB and Switzerland as a whole.”
Perhaps, the SBB recognizes Apple’s appeal and innovation, which made them want to work with, rather than against the company. Or maybe they know Apple’s history in litigation and they just didn’t want to risk losing money in a counter suit.