Apple to meet Swiss rail firm over clock dispute

Sep 21, 2012

Swiss national train operator SBB said Friday it is to meet Apple representatives after the tech giant used without agreement its famous clock design on a new application for iPad and iPhone.

"There's been no agreement so far, we're going to talk about it," SBB press spokeswoman Patricia Claivaz told AFP, adding that the rail firm's lawyers had requested the meeting.

Claivaz dismissed reports that the rail company was intent on demanding from as "speculation", adding that SBB did not intend to "upset them by asking for money".

Instead, the railway spokeswoman said, SBB was proud that its Swiss-designed station clock face had been chosen "for 80 million iPads" after realising that the apparently reproduced the SBB clock design on one of its new apps iOS 6.

"We're rather proud that a brand as important as Apple is using our design, it's already on show in exhibitions in places like New York," said Claivaz.

The clock was designed in 1944 by Swiss engineer Hans Hilfiker and remains the property of SBB. It is still used in SBB's stations.

While she was unable to give a date for the upcoming meeting, which could take place "in coming days or weeks", Claivaz joked that it would indeed happen since Apple "was in and we are in Bern"—cities just over an hour's drive from each other.

The aimof the meeting was to reach an agreement both parties were happy with, she added.

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

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