* Black, white and red clock a 20th-century design classic
* Clock appeared last month on new iPad operating system
* SBB won't disclose amount of licensing fee
(Adds comment from watchmaker Mondaine)
ZURICH, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Apple , sensitive aboutprotecting its own designs, has struck a deal to use Swissrailway operator SBB's trademark station clock design on iPadsand iPhones.
SBB, which holds the trademark for a 1944 design byZurich-born engineer Hans Hilfiker, said last month it mightchallenge the U.S. company after the clock appeared on a newoperating system for the iPad.
"For the use of the clockface on certain Apple devices suchas iPads and iPhones, the parties have negotiated an arrangementthat enables Apple to use the SBB station clock under a licenceagreement," SBB said on Friday.
The cost of the licensing fee and further detail of theagreement will remain confidential.
"It is a design icon that has obviously lost none of itsappeal in the digital age," the SBB said. "Even now, itsymbolises the innovation and reliability that are key qualitiesattributed to both SBB and Switzerland as a whole."
Hilfiker designed the minimalist clock to help travellerscheck the time at a distance while hurrying to catch trains.
In 1953, he added a red second hand in the shape of arailway guard's signalling disc, which pauses briefly at the topof each minute "to enable trains to depart punctually", as heput it.
Mondaine Group, the company that has held the licence since1986 to make clocks and wristwatches for consumers based on thedesign classic, said it was not involved in the SBB deal.
"As an exclusive licensee, we are surprised to hear aboutthe licensing agreement between SBB and Apple," Ronnie Bernheim,the company's co-owner, told Reuters, but declined to saywhether he would take any further action.
The Design Museum in London and the Museum of Modern Art inNew York both included Hilfiker's clock among examples ofoutstanding 20th-century design.
Apple won a sweeping legal victory in August when a U.S.jury found Samsung Electronics had copied criticalfeatures of the iPad and iPhone.
(Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Dan Lalor and JaneMerriman)
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Keywords: APPLE IPHONE/SWISSCLOCK