The Swiss Federal Railway service has accused Apple of using its renowned clock design in the official Clock app for iPad, according to a report [English translation] by Swiss newspaper Blick. The clock was designed by Hans Hilfiker and is iconic for both the Swiss railway and Switzerland altogether.
The clock has been widely licensed, with watchmaker Mondaine selling replica versions of the clock worldwide, although Apple is clearly not a licensee of the clock in this instance. Apple Switzerland has refused to comment, instead directing the press to the company’s corporate headquarters in Cupertino, California.
The design of the Clock app for iPad does have an uncanny resemblance to the Swiss railway clock, so it does appear that Apple has blatantly copied the patented clock and should be held responsible if so. The Swiss Federal Railway service will be contacting Apple in an attempt to reach a legal and financial solution.