Swiss Rail Company to Meet With Apple Over iPad Clock Design

When Apple finally decided to add a clock app to the iPad, it included a classic, timeless design - one owned by the Swiss national rail company (SBB) since 1944. Rather than take umbrage at the move, SBB is looking at the bright side of life and seeing the potential exposure the app can have for the company. It will, however, be meeting with Apple to discuss the situation.

iPad clock and SBB clock side by side

With the release of iOS 6 last week, it didn't take long for people to recognize the simple elegance of the iconic Swiss Federal Railways clock. Over the years, the design of the clock has been licensed to third-parties for uses such as wristwatches, but this time Apple apparently didn't ask before taking.

SBB spokesperson Patricia Claivaz told AFP that there has been no agreement to this point, but that they will be talking with Apple about it. She dismissed the idea that SBB would be seeking monetary compensation and said that it didn't plan to "upset [Apple] by asking for money."

Instead, Claivaz said "We're rather proud that a brand as important as Apple is using our design."

No specific date has been set for this meeting, but it is expected in a matter of days or weeks. Claivaz emphasized that the point of the meeting was to come to an agreement that both companies would be happy with.

"There are a lot of brands that use the SBB logo, though nothing like Apple. It's not just about exchanging money, rather drawing up a contract stating where the logo can be used, under what conditions, and for how long."

With millions of iPads across the globe, that's a lot of exposure for the SBB clock face that was designed during World War II by Swiss engineer Hans Hilfiker. It's also still widely used in Swiss rail stations.