Apple cash sum to Swiss rail $21 million for lovely clock

The clock aesthetic you're seeing on your iPhone 5 and iPad mini is one that Apple has reportedly payed a handsome sum for this week as Swiss daily reports a beastly $21 million USD as agreed upon by Apple and the timepiece's owner: SBB. This situation was first reported earlier this year after iOS 6 was released with the new graphic look at the clock used by Apple's devices and the Swiss rail group found it oddly familiar. The report today lets us know that Apple's end sum certainly speaks to the greatness of the original design of the clock's look, originally made real by Swiss engineer Hans Hilfiker in 1944.

The clock can be found in all devices running Apple's mobile operating system iOS 6 and what's known for certain thus far is that Apple and SBB have indeed entered into an agreement. What's not certain is the cash sum – this report comes from the AFP who notes a Swiss daily reporting such information, but given the relative amount and recent similar legal sums we've reported, it's certainly believable.

What you'll find soon after this report takes hold is a collection of comments and analysis deciding that Apple is turning in on legal matters after much litigation themselves over the past year – when in reality it's just a series of unfortunate timings. What's referred to here is, of course, the HTC/Apple legal matter that was announced over the weekend, with both companies entering into an agreement which has them cool with one another legally for a 10 year period. Now the Apple "haters" will be unleashed, saying they're folding down upon themselves.

Don't believe them, folks – and understand this: the only mistake that was made by Apple between these two utterly unrelated events was not paying SBB before using Hilfiker's design for a clock. A $21 million dollar sum is nothing, and in fact SBB has made it clear that they do not care about the cash so much as they care about the world understanding that Hilfiker designed the iconic clock (and that they still own the rights). Apple's legal fate over the next 10 years doesn't look all that different from our perspective than it has for the 10 years previous to this.

The folks at Apple will continue to protect themselves at the same time as they seek to litigate against those who infringe on the patents they've got the rights to. They'll keep doing the same thing SBB has done here for the foreseeable future.

[via AFP]