Sony settles Walkman disputewith German inventor

28th May 2004, Comments 0 comments

28 May 2004 , HAMBURG - Japanese electronics firm Sony has settled a decades-long dispute with a German who claimed to have invented the technology which led to the Walkman portable music player. According to German news magazine, Der Spiegel the agreement could be worth several million euros to 59-year-old Andreas Pavel, who has fought Sony over licence fee rights for the Walkman. Spiegel quoted a Sony spokesman as saying the dispute had been settled "in friendly agreement" between the company and Pavel.

28 May 2004

HAMBURG - Japanese electronics firm Sony has settled a decades-long dispute with a German who claimed to have invented the technology which led to the Walkman portable music player.

According to German news magazine, Der Spiegel the agreement could be worth several million euros to 59-year-old Andreas Pavel, who has fought Sony over licence fee rights for the Walkman.

Spiegel quoted a Sony spokesman as saying the dispute had been settled "in friendly agreement" between the company and Pavel.

Pavel applied for a patent in 1977 for a "portable small component for the hi-fidelity reproduction of recorded sound". He called his player a "stereobelt".

Sony first marketed the Walkman, which initially had many similarities to the "stereobelt", in July 1979 and has since sold more than 200 million of the portable players.

In 1996 Pavel lost his dispute over intellectual authorship of the Walkman idea when Britain's Appeals Court confirmed an earlier court ruling that the portable player was a normal further technological development and not subject to patent protection.

Spiegel said that following the death in 1999 of Sony co-founder Akio Morita, who has been credited with the Walkman invention, the company established new contact with Pavel, now working as a culture manager in Milan.

Pavel had threatened to take litigation to Italy and Canada where he still holds valid patents. According to Spiegel, he intends to take other portable music player producers to court, including computer company Apple which developed iPod, the digital successor to the Walkman.

 DPA

Subject: German news 

0 Comments To This Article