Apple (AAPL) has made it a case to point fingers and sue Samsung (005930) for copying its patented product designs, but when it uses another company’s copyrighted and trademarked designs without consent, the end result is probably going to be a licensing agreement. Such is the case with Apple’s usage of the Swiss Federal Railways’ (SBB) iconic clock design in iOS 6.

Apple was accused last month of blatantly stealing the clock design without SBB’s permission but according to SBB, Apple has now agreed to license the clock design for future use. Exact terms weren’t disclosed, but with Apple having more than $100 billion in cash, the licensing agreement probably wasn’t a big deal for the company.

Still, should Apple be let off the hook so readily for stealing another company’s designs? Probably not. Apple definitely deserves its share of criticism, especially when it’s accusing other companies of ripping off black rectangles.

[Via The Verge]


Raymond Wong is a technology reporter with a passion for cutting-edge gadgets and clean design. He first realized his love for technology when he burned through so many AA batteries on the original Game Boy that scraping battery acid off it became the norm.