Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has paid a “lump sum” of $21 million to SBB, the Swiss railway service, for rights to the clock design similar to the one in iOS 6 on the iPad.
“For the use of the clockface on certain Apple devices, such as iPads and iPhones, the parties have negotiated an arrangement that enables Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to use the SBB station clock under a license agreement,” SBB said on Friday.
In September, this year, SBB objected to the design used by Apple in its devices, and said that both companies will ‘talk’ and settle the dispute. The rail service company has denied the reports, claiming it demanded any sort of compensation. The Swiss rail service, instead, revealed it was proud that its design is being used by such a popular organization. Even though initially, the Swiss Federal Railways did threaten with legal action, but within a few weeks, the news came that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has agreed to license the clock’s design.
“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,” SBB spokeswoman Patricia Claivaz said at the time. “We’re rather proud that a brand as important as Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is using our design,” she said in September.
The original clock-face was designed by SBB employee Hans Hilfiker, in 1944, and the same has been registered with Museum of Modern Art in New York and the London Design Museum as a masterpiece of 20th century design. The Zurich-born engineer designed the minimalist clock to help travelers check the time at a distance while hurrying to catch trains. In 1953, he added a red second hand in the shape of a railway guard’s signaling disc, which pauses briefly at the top of each minute “to enable trains to depart punctually,” as he put it.
“It is a design icon that has obviously lost none of its appeal in the digital age,” the SBB said. “Even now, it symbolises the innovation and reliability that are key qualities attributed to both SBB and Switzerland as a whole”.
The terms of the deal have not been revealed yet, but it’s for sure that the two parties had reached an agreement on a lump sum payment.