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Apple Pays 20M For Swiss Clock Design

Apple reportedly paid 20 million Swiss francs, which translates to US  $20.27 million, to the Switzerland-based national rail operator SBB for the use of the latter’s clock design in iOS 6. The figure comes from a Swiss newspaper, which AFP cites  in its article regarding the clock issue.

Last September, the Cupertino company made tech headlines for using the popular Swiss design without permission from SBB, which owned the design’s trademark.

The design was created back in 1944 by Swiss engineer Hans Hilfike and has since been used by SBB in its stations throughout Switzerland.

On various websites, Apple came under fire for its unauthorized use of the clock design, since it came shortly after the company won a lawsuit against Samsung over the South Korean company’s infringement of several patents.

SBB, however, appeared to be less indignant, stating through its spokeswoman, Patricia Claivaz, that they are “rather proud that a brand as important as Apple is using our design.”  She went on to say that they will talk with Apple about the use of the design.

In October, Apple and SBB signed a licensing agreement  to allow Apple to continue using the clock design on iOS 6.

AFP reports that the amount of 20 million Swiss francs was paid to the Swiss rail operator as a lump sum. The terms of the deal, however, such as for how long Apple may use the clock design, have not been disclosed.

Meanwhile, Mondaine Watch Group,which formerly had exclusive licensing rights to the clock design is said to be “surprised” about the deal between Apple and SBB, according to an article published by Reuters. Mondaine, a Swiss-based watch manufacturer, had been using the design it its timepieces since 1986. Mondaine says that their company was left out of the agreement between Apple and SBB. There is still no word whether Mondaine will protest against the result of the agreement.

via afp, reuters, blorge