It could be said that when it sues others for stealing design ideas, Apple
is a pot calling the kettle black. Further damning evidence is that Apple appears to have swiped the design for the clock in iOS 6 from the Swiss Federal Railways iconic clock.
Here’s a side-by-side of the two:
Image credits: Newlyswissed (L) and iDownload Blog (R)
As you can see, they’re essentially identical. And yes indeed, the Swiss Federal Railways is taking legal action against Apple for using it illegally. According to swissinfo.ch, the railway clock is widely licensed and used for timepieces of all shapes and sizes, but Apple apparently didn’t bother to pay the fee for its use.
Brilliant, creative people lift ideas (inadvertently or otherwise) from other brilliant, creative people; it just happens. It’s part of the way inspiration works, and it’s not a bad thing. However, if companies like Apple feel the need to go after anyone who it thinks was inspired by (or, to be fair, possibly flat-out copied) its designs, the Cupertino crew better be prepared when the chickens come home to roost.