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Swiss Federal Railways to meet with Apple over iOS 6 clock design

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Swiss Federal Railways, the owner of an iconic clock face design, is set to meet with Apple to reach an agreement over the digital clock face found in the iPad version of its iOS 6 mobile operating system.

Left: Apple's iOS 6 clock. Right: the clock design owned by SBB.

Officials with the railway service, known as SBB, told global news service AFP (via Cnet) that they will meet with Apple in the coming weeks to discuss the matter. No agreement has been made, but SBB spokeswoman Patricia Claivaz said the two sides would "talk about it."

Earlier, inaccurate reports had claimed that the SBB was demanding financial compensation for Apple over the clock design found in iOS 6. Claivaz dismissed those reports as "speculation."

Rather, the SBB is "proud" that Apple has chosen to use the iconic clock design in iOS 6, she said, noting that it was flattering to have a "brand as important as Apple" use their design.

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

The original clock design was created in 1944 by Swiss engineer Hans Hilfiker. It remains the property of SBB, and is still used in the Swiss operation's train stations.

SBB licenses the clock designs for various products, including its own collection of watches that are available for sale.