This is one mistake that Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) could have done without, since it has cost the company about $21 million in pay-outs.
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Apple has had to pay $21 million to Swiss national rail operator SBB or the use of it famous clock without taking permission, a report in a Swiss Daily said last week.
The clock design is a recent one by Apple appears in its latest operating system iOS6.
Last month, Apple agreed to compensate the Swiss rail operator so that it could continue to use the SBB’s Swiss-designed station clock face on its iPads and iPhones, the Tages-Anzeiger daily reported on its website, citing unnamed sources.
Considering that Apple is such a stickler for patents and design violations by others and is quick to take legal recourse if it catches so much as a whiff of anyone even trying to copy its designs, it seems rather strange that the company should be guilty of the same thing.
The company should have asked for permission first from SBB before using a symbol that is so iconic and at once recognisable.
According to Tim Worstall, writing for Forces, "It’s much, much, cheaper to negotiate IP before you launch a product, when you still have the choice about whether to use it or not, than it is to have to cough up after you’ve distributed a few tens of millions of the product. You know, when the IP owner definitively has you over a barrel?"
Incidentally Apple has been taken to court by many companies for using designs of other companies without bothering about IP.