According to Steve Jobs, “Good artists copy; great artists steal.” If that’s the case, Apple is either filled with good or great artists, yet no one can decide which. The company who made a lot of money suing Samsung for copying their phone design has been accused of copying the design for their iPad Clock app directly from Switzerland’s Federal Railways.
Apple finally updated the iPad apps to include a Clock app similar to the one the iPhone uses. Shortly after the iOS 6 update, they were accused of ripping the design from the Swiss company. This clock was designed in the 1940s and is seen as a symbol of Switzerland.
The Federal Railways threatened to take legal action, something Apple is apparently quite used to being involved in. Apple folded and agreed to licensing the design of the clock. A Swiss publication is now reporting that Apple paid approximately $21 million to use the clocks design.
Obviously they have the cash to pay up, but is that simple clock design on the app really worth $21 million? If so, I shouldn’t have gotten out of the graphic design business. I wasn’t making that kind of money, so maybe I was doing something wrong.
The Swiss Federal Railways absolutely made out like bandits with this. I’d like to warn them to not spend it all in one place.