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Apple copied 68-year-old Swiss clock design: SBB

Apple has been embroiled in patent battles with smartphone maker Samsung in courts across four continents

Bloomberg  |  Geneva/London 

Apple Inc’s new iOS 6 operating system infringed a trademarked design for clocks in Swiss rail stations, according to state-owned railway operator

The updated software, introduced this month by Apple, includes a clock icon with black and red hands that uses an design created in 1944, Reto Kormann, a spokesman for the Swiss rail operator, said by telephone on Friday.

SBB, which has allowed companies such as watchmaker Mondaine Watch Ltd to use the design under a license, said that it’s in discussions with Cupertino, California-based Apple about a license or a settlement that would allow the phonemaker to use the image, and expects to resolve the issue in the next few days, Kormann said.

“The money isn’t in the front of our interests because we are proud that Apple took an design,” Kormann said. “If we have a cooperation agreement between two good brands, that’s a win-win.”

The disputed design appears only on the and isn’t on the iPhone, said Adam Howorth, a spokesman for Apple in London. He had no further comment immediately.

Separately, Apple has been embroiled in patent battles with smartphone maker Co in courts across four continents after Apple accused the South Korean company of copying its devices last year. Apple lost a ruling against Samsung in Germany regarding claims that Galaxy devices infringed on Apple’s touch-screen technology, according to a court spokesman on Friday.

A federal jury in San Jose, California, on August 24 found Samsung copied the and and awarded Apple more than $1 billion in damages. A week later in Japan, Apple lost a suit as a Tokyo judge ruled that Samsung smartphones and a tablet didn’t infringe on an Apple invention for synchronising music and video data with servers.

The 5, which also uses the iOS 6 operating system, went on sale today and may sell more than 10 million devices in its opening weekend, Piper Jaffray Cos analyst Gene Munster has predicted.

First Published: Mon, September 24 2012. 00:55 IST