Skip to comments.Swiss rail claims Apple copied its iconic clocks
Posted on 09/22/2012 12:16:24 AM PDT by smokingfrog
BERLIN -- Switzerland's national rail company accused Apple (AAPL) on Friday of stealing the iconic look of its station clocks for the iOS 6 operating system used by iPhone and iPad mobile devices.
Both designs have a round clock face with black indicators except for the second hand, which is red.
A spokesman for the Swiss Federal Railways, or SBB, said the Apple design was "identical" to the one pioneered by the rail company in 1944.
"We are proud that this icon of clock design is being used by a globally successful company," Reto Kormann told The Associated Press, but he noted that Apple hadn't asked for permission before doing so.
"We've approached Apple and told them that the rights for this clock belong to us," he said.
(Excerpt) Read more at mercurynews.com ...
Given the fact that Apple considers their legal department to be a profit centre, I think it would be awesome karma if they got sued over this.
Screw the Swiss Cheeze! If the Swiss can't maintain bank secrecy, what good are they? As for time pieces, the Japs have forgotten more about clocks and watches than the Swiss ever knew!
Red and black is such a generic color scheme that it is actually the name of a standard computer search algorithm: the red-black tree! No way can it be patented or copyrighted!
And NO other company’s using such designs? I smell bologna.
Only difference I can see is that the Apple is about 4 hours and 23 minutes slow.
OTOH, ca 1930s:
time is money...get over it ya switzer scammers ya...design manuf. and sell yer own line of pc’s, let’s see ya pull off that one ....ya moochin pull offers..ya bwahahhah
Give us back our secret numbered swiss accounts, we give you back your clock. Meanwhile all your clock are belong to apple.
The Japanese called: they say you copied their schtick ;^)
Somebody set up us the bomb
Didn’t apple just win a ridiculous lawsuit against Samsung over the shape of the iPhone and the shape of the friggin’ icons on the screen?
I love it when karma comes around and bites the high and mighty on the backside.
Apple fanbois descending to flame you in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...
Aren’t they using Arabic numbers on that clock also?
“Arabic” numbers? Swiped from the Indians.
The second hand on the Apple version does not extend beyond the rotation point as far as the Swiss one does. It also has a red dot at the axis. Also, the round end on the second hand is smaller and a hair shorter than the Swiss.
The hour hand and the minute hand on the Apple are both shorter.
The Apple second marks are thinner and longer than the Swiss.
The Apple hands are narrower than the Swiss and do not have the slight taper of the Swiss.
LOL. You are showing your longevity as a Freeper. I was lurking during the "all your bases are belong to us" era. That discussion ran a long time. Was that 15 years ago?
If the examples of “prior art” shown are the closest Apple can defend with, it will get to the jury if actually litigated. Apple’s clock looks much closer to the Swiss clock than the prior art. SBB is offering a license, Apple would be foolish to not take it. I have some experience with Swiss companies and IP rights, this won’t go down well if Apple doesn’t settle.
Apple may be the real world version of a Skynet.
I have never owned any Apple product, and because its so big and has such a fanatic fan base it actually turns me away.
I had a choice to buy the Iphone but went with the Samsung Galaxy 2S, and I’ll stay with it. I just feel like branding myself and following a herd.
I meant I DON’T feel like branding myself and following a herd.
I’ll wager you excelled at Where’s Waldo.
Yep, neither Microsoft nor Google have any such aspiration, lol.
I would venture to say it isn’t the red and black but the overall design of hour marks and no numerals, round ball on second hand, etc. They are virtually identical.
I’ve been peripherally involved in a trade dress lawsuit. Apple won because their competitor was attempting to profit off of Apple’s distinctive, original product design. Confusing to consumers. There is more than one way to design a cellphone, yet Samsung chose to knock off the market leading design. They lost their gamble and paid for it.
The Swiss timepiece is iconic as well. I do not know if it has become so ubiquitous that a trade dress claim could be legally inforced. Have they ever attempted to protect it before? It’s quite old by their own admission. It’s been so successful that it’s almost *the* generic analog clock face by now. Trademarks that are not aggressively protected become diluted. Some trademark names have descended into common language.
There has to be an effort to protect a unique mark. If there has been, then Apple owes the Swiss a royalty or will need to cease use of it. If not, they can continue using it. Just imho, of course.
But maybe they should have put an Apple Logo on the second hand!
Gosh, this is a hot case! I mean, just because EVERY CLOCK I’VE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE uses hour and minute hands which are black, and a red second hand, doesn’t mean there’s not merit to this suit.
Next up — Bern, Switzerland sues Disneyland!
SBB licensed at least watch maker Mondaine, can’t imagine it has not enforced its trademark(s). It has made a widget available. They have not allowed it to become generic.
Another article says SBB and Apple are planning to meet: http://www.news24.com/SciTech/News/Apple-Swiss-rail-firm-to-meet-over-dispute-20120921
SBB may seek moderate financial compensation, more likely wants to control use of the image and be acknowledged. This should resolve itself quickly, SBB will be firm but not unreasonable, and Apple has put itself in quite a position to try to deny taking advantage of a famous trademark / trade dress.
If that’s the case then they will settle. Might be a great opportunity for co-branding. Or, Apple can cease and desist. More beneficial to the Swiss to pursue co-branding, I should think. Quite the halo effect.
I’ve seen them in the flesh and my wife bought me a pocket watch of one like them.
I’ve never seen that design anywhere else.
I’d rather they go to digital because when the Swiss say the train is leaving in 60 seconds, you better be on it because their system runs like clockwork.
You're kidding right? Someone is going to take a Swiss train (they're quite nice) because Apple has the same design on their I whatever that they stole from the Swiss?
No, someone who appreciates good design, ie Apple customers, will be more prone to purchasing licensed Swiss design watches, clocks, etcetera.
You’re not very attuned to marketing, are you?
You imply that Apple consumers appreciate good design while I guess the rest of us yocals don't. Stupid premise.
Youre not very attuned to marketing, are you?
What a condescending elitist statement, are you an Apple fan boy? So, you admit that you are a sucker for advertizing, yes? As well as a sucker for any I-product that comes out?
How's that Iphone #5 working out for you? Does it still make phone calls? What a bunch of suckers. Can an end user replace the battery, no? I guess that would affect the fantabulous design. That or the cynical side of me thinks they expect you to upgrade or send the phone to Apple for a new battery. Would you buy a car that if the battery went dead meant you needed to buy a new car?
Luckily there are places that have the tools and the battery although it kills the warranty but it's probably over already by the time the battery dies.
Long ago I was a physics teacher and spent a lot of time looking at problems to find the errors. Differences just jump out at me.
I’m not a big Apple fan, but my company just issued iPads and I am learning what it can and can’t do. It’s ALMOST a computer but not quite. It’s irritatingly close.
I’m sure Samsung appreciates the subtle differences.
What exactly did Samsung copy, rounded corners? What else? There appeared to be plenty of prior art and I am certainly no attorney but didn't the judge basically shut down Samsung's defense?
Aren’t you just a tightly wrapped little bundle of anger and resentment, lol.
Yes, Apple is known for high quality and leading edge design, so much so that every time they come out with a new product, the rest of the industry throws in the towel and immediately starts copying them.
Seems like the rest of the world agrees more with me than with you, Lx.
Maybe you should consider taking up yoga or something, lol.
Understand trade dress and understand it’s the combination of all the various elements. No coincidence.
So much for Apple's dominance. I see them in every corporation I've worked at and been to, no wait, those were Windows machines.
Apple is so far ahead they have what and I'm being generous 15% market share? It's expected that the MS8 version of the tablet will crush Apple's tablet sales. Now I don't know about that; I've seen the MS tablet and the Metro interface is downright ugly but it is customizable while Apple's is basically a bigger Iphone so if you can operate an Iphone, then you can operate an Apple tablet.
Maybe you should take up, not whining like a little girl? Your 'life partner' might appreciate it.
Taking this all a little too personally, don’t you think?
Heck, maybe it’s just beyond your ability to rationally discuss Apple.
You’ve launched into personal attacks several times over a discussion about a clock face design on an iPhone.
Is it really that important to you?
Apparently so. I suggest you take a vacation. You clearly need a rest.
Lighten up Francis, I was just funnin you.
I have no stake in whether Apple or Samsung wins although the judicial B.S should worry all of us.
Advice, look up projection, it does not make your argument stronger, it forces you (if you let it as you clearly have) to address something you should just ignore and continue on with your argument. I’ll give you that one for free. I’m such a people person.
I suggest a Dale Carnegy course. You’re not doing it right.
Typical over edumacated poster, always tries to get the last word and sound intelligent.
Not writing intelligently, just satisfied that you sound intelligent, oh BTW, you're failing miserably, it's sad really and it's such a beautiful day.
However, due to the past issues about this clock, I don't think it'll be as easily settled as you suspect. I think Apple will be licensing the image and paying for past infringements as well. And it will be settled quickly and profitably for Swiss Rail.
>> “although the judicial B.S should worry all of us.” <<