Apple pays $20 million for clock design

Awhile back, there was a report that Apple stole a clock design trademarked by the Swiss Federal Railways.  Well, the story didn’t end there, as the Swiss railway company decided to go after Apple for stealing what was rightfully theirs and got a pocket full of change for their effort.

There hasn’t been much coverage regarding the iOS clock rights, and none of that matter now because Apple has agreed to a $20 million payout for rights to use the clock design.  The amount Apple paid out to the Swiss Federal Railways may as well be a dime in a wishing well, but to the average Joe it’s an automatic retirement and all the toys one can ever wish for.

Initially, the railway company approached the iOS clock design with friendliness and enthusiasm, and they had this to say in a statement:

“We’re rather proud that a brand as important as Apple is using our design, it’s already on show in exhibitions in places like New York.”

However, shortly after the initial statement, a Swedish newspaper reported that the Swiss railway company meant business and were pursuing the matter legally.  Lo and behold, the outcome couldn’t have been better (other than more money) for the Swiss railway company. 

The railway company's operating revenues for 2011 were $902.4 million, so $20 million may not seem like much.  However, we’re talking about a clock design that’s worth $20 million!  Only companies like Apple have enough change to toss around like that.  Now that that’s out of the way, back to Samsung vs. Apple.

Update: The figure seems to be around $20-21 million.