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Apple to meet Swiss railway over clock-design flap -- report

An Agence France-Presse wire report notes that the Swiss railway SBB, which has accused Apple of ripping off a decades-old clock design used in its stations, doesn't intend to 'upset' Apple by asking for money.

Apple's iOS6 clock and an official SBB watch from Mondaine Apple/Mondaine

It may be time for a meeting between Apple and the Swiss rail provider that's accusing the electronics giant of ripping off its clock design for iOS 6.

The Swiss Federal Railway service, or SBB, told global news service Agence France-Presse (AFP) that it would meet in the coming days or weeks with Apple representatives to reach an agreement over the clock design.

Apple, which recently introduced the latest version of its mobile operating system, redesigned the clock in iOS 6. But SBB says it owns the trademark to the design. The SBB clock was created in 1944 by then-SBB employee Hans Hilfiker. It's used throughout the railway system and is also licensed to Mondaine, a Swiss watch maker.

In the AFP article, an SBB spokeswoman dismissed claims the company was seeking financial compensation from Apple, saying SBB did not intend to "upset them by asking for money."

She added that SBB was "proud" its clock had been chosen for iOS 6.

Apple is no stranger to design-related litigation. The company in 2009 asked popular app develper Tapbots to change the design of the clock icon it used in its pocket converter application, saying it looked too much like the image in Apple's own phone app. And Apple has been pursuing litigation against other handset makers, saying they copied the design features of Apple's products.

Apple and SBB weren't immediately available to comment.