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End of an icon Apple drops Swiss Railways clock

The Federal Railways clock appeared on Apple mobile devices with the release of the previous operating system in September 2012

(Keystone)

The iconic Swiss Federal Railways clock is no longer featured in the new Apple operating system i0S7 or on the US computer company’s newest iPad and iPhone devices, presented to the public on Tuesday.

The clock was the subject of a patent dispute which the railways settled with Apple in October 2012 for a widely reported but unofficial sum of CHF20 million ($21.5 million). Details of the arrangement remained otherwise confidential.

Apple had used the Swiss station clock design without permission for its mobile operating system iOS6, released in September last year.

At the time, the railways had said it was happy that the computer firm had adopted the clock, confirming its design status, but could not ignore the illegal usage. As the owner of the clock’s trademark and copyrights, the transport company promised to take legal action.

The railway clock was created in 1944 by Swiss electrical engineer and designer Hans Hilfiker. The red second hand is in the shape of the disc which controllers previously used to signal to train drivers that they could leave.

The clock was lauded by the Design Museum in London and the Museum of Modern Art in New York as an example of outstanding 20th-Century design.

Swiss watchmaker Mondaine has been licensed to make wall clocks, desk models and wristwatches based on the design since 1986.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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