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  1. Member adam's Avatar
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    PIONEER OF PERSONAL STEREO WINS MILLIONS IN SONY CASE

    CHARLES ARTHUR TECHNOLOGY EDITOR Mr Pavel's stereobelt' never went into production


    THE GERMAN inventor who pioneered the technology behind the Sony Walkman has won a multimillion-pound pay-out nearly 30 years after dreaming up his invention.

    Andreas Pavel's original 1970s concept of the "stereobelt" revolutionised portable listening and Sony's version - the Walkman - became a global hit.

    Now the 57-year-old stereo enthusiast, who works in Milan, is threatening to use his payout to sue Apple Computer, whose iPod portable music player is the digital successor to the Walkman. He is believed to be considering cases in countries such as Italy and Canada where his patents were filed later and may still be valid.

    It is understood that Mr Pavel has been offered several million euros to settle outstanding disputes with Sony over licence fees he claims to be owed on the Walkman, even though his European claim to authorship of the idea was rejected by the Court of Appeal in Britain in 1996.

    Sony said the long-running dispute, which has gone on for 25 years, was settled "in friendly agreement" with Mr Pavel, who applied for a patent in 1977 for a "portable small component for the hi-fidelity reproduction of recorded sound". He called it a "stereophonic production system for personal wear" - shortened to "stereobelt", and filed a patent in Britain in March 1978. The key idea was that it could be clipped to a belt or handbag, and produce sound to be played back through headphones.

    Though he produced prototypes, none reached the market. Two years later Sony began marketing the Walkman, and has since sold more than 200 million players.

    The move by Sony, which does not reverse the court decisions, follows the death in 1999 of the company's co-founder, Akio Morita, who was often cited as a driving force behind the invention and popularisation of the original cassette-playing Walkman. The settlement brings to an end a dispute which has run since Mr Pavel used legal aid to bring court cases against Sony in the UK in 1993 and 1996.

    He lost both cases when judges ruled that his patent was invalid because it was an obvious extension of the technologies existing at the time that it was filed.

    The US Patent Office had refused his patent application, so he was never able to sue Sony in one of its largest markets.

    However, Sony did pay Mr Pavel a licence fee of DM150,000 in the 1980s for the original Walkmans sold in Germany. Those had two earphone plugs and a "hotline" button for reducing the volume - both details included in Mr Pavel's original patent application drawings. Those features were removed from subsequent versions of the Walkman.

    Mr Pavel's first court failure in 1993 in the UK left him with a legal bill of pounds 1.7m, which Sony said it would waive if he agreed not to appeal against the verdict. When he refused, it seized his assets. In 1996 Mr Pavel brought his appeal against Sony in Britain, where he was eligible as a European citizen for legal aid. He lost again, leaving British taxpayers with a legal bill of pounds 500,000.

    If Mr Pavel now sues Apple Computer over the iPod player, it is unclear whether his patent is still valid: normally patents are only valid for 20 years from the date of application. Apple did not introduce the iPod, which stores its music on a tiny hard disk, until October 2001. The first version of Mr Pavel's patent was published in Italy in 1978.

    If Mr Pavel does follow up on his threat, it would be the second lawsuit surrounding Apple's newly developed interest in music. The company is also being sued by the Beatles' management company Apple, which says that the computer company is infringing an agreement struck in the 1990s not to use the name Apple in ventures into the music market.

    That lawsuit continues.
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  2. Member teegee420's Avatar
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    An international conglomerate stole someone's design? Who'da thunk it? :P
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  3. An old man holding a grudge for over 20 years, Who'da thunk it...

    -Suntan
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  4. Member
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    how does a 30 year old crappy walkman idea have anything to do with an ipod?
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  5. Член BJ_M's Avatar
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    very interisting ,,,,

    other big one was the time delay windshield wiper lawsuit ... that case was in court for like 20 years also and the guy who invented it finally won some huge amount of money --
    "Each problem that I solved became a rule which served afterwards to solve other problems." - Rene Descartes (1596-1650)
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  6. Master of Time & Space Capmaster's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by crazyhorse
    how does a 30 year old crappy walkman idea have anything to do with an ipod?
    If he can prove the concept of portable, belt-worn stereo was his idea and his alone, it wouldn't matter what the media is.
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  7. Член BJ_M's Avatar
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    the pro series of walkmans and the dat walkmans were pretty cool -- and some pretty expensive
    "Each problem that I solved became a rule which served afterwards to solve other problems." - Rene Descartes (1596-1650)
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    A Ipod player has a hard drive in it . This guy did not invent the hard
    drive. Someone needs to sue him for being stupid.
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  9. Member adam's Avatar
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    Yeah but its the concept of having a portable radio attached to your belt that he patented. Regardless of what the storage medium is, he's got the patent on the overall concept, at least in some countries. And besides, now he's got enough money that he can afford to be stupid.

    I agree with the UK court's interpretation, and the US's refusal to grant a patent. Its just a simple modification of technology that existed at the time. I mean obviously if you can make something at all then you can conceive of making it in a smaller size. If something is small enough then you can attach it anywhere on your person that you want, and it becomes portable, which would be preferable to some people. It just doesn't sound like something that could be patented, but some countries granted it anyway so other businesses are bound by that patent in those countries.

    Lucky SOB.
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    does it seem dumb to anyone besides me that you can patent the idea of having a portable music player? what if you dont put it on your belt? can someone get a separate patent for portable devices that go around your arm? patents and lawsuits can be so counter intuitive and ridiculous.
    Yellow-Haired Warrior...Go
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  11. I invented the Internet.


    I also owned a Sony TCD-D7 DAT and I must say, it was a nice complement to my pair of DTC-700s. DAT was a kick-ass technology back in its day, made all the more so better because the RIAA hated it.
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    I didn't know Al Gore was this site
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  13. Originally Posted by Timmychuck
    I didn't know Al Gore was this site

    Bad...
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  14. Oh COME ON. This Havel guy is so greedy..
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    I had a transistor radio with earphones in the 1950's!
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  16. Originally Posted by RayH
    I had a transistor radio with earphones in the 1950's!
    I'm suing you!

    I invented earphones also.
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  17. does it seem dumb to anyone besides me that you can patent the idea of having a portable music player? what if you dont put it on your belt? can someone get a separate patent for portable devices that go around your arm? patents and lawsuits can be so counter intuitive and ridiculous.
    You're not alone. I feel the same way. I'd like to announce here and now that I have invented the portable time machine that you wear like a watch. Now if anyone ever makes one he better pay me first.

    When I first heard of the guy who won on the claim that he "invented" intemitant timing on windshield wipers I couldn't believe it. I mean how about the guy who thought of the "slow" speed on wipers?

    And what about the whole "one click" shopping patent? Is it really true that websites have to use more than one click or they will get sued?
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  18. Член BJ_M's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by RayH
    I had a transistor radio with earphones in the 1950's!

    The first transistor radio was a joint project between the Regency Division of Industrial Development Engineering Associates and Texas Instruments. TI knew that it needed a fun product to catch the nation's attention. They thought a radio was just the thing to make a splash. TI built the transistors; Regency built the radio. On October 18, 1954, the Regency TR1 was put on the market. It was a scant five inches high and used four germanium transistors.

    While the Regency sold out everywhere, it didn't stay on the market. Texas Instruments caused the sensation it wanted and then moved on to other things.

    But over in Japan, a tiny company had other ideas. A tape recorder manufacturer called Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo had also decided to make small radios. In fact, they were going to devote their whole company to commercial products like that.

    Tsushin Kogyo was close to manufacturing its first radios when it heard that an American company had beaten them to the punch. But they kept up the hard work, eventually producing a radio they named the TR-55. When Regency quit producing the TR1, in the Spring of 1955, the Japanese company was poised to enter the US market.

    The only problem was that the company name was unprouncable for Americans. They needed a new name. Ibuka and his partner Akio Morita thought and thought. First, they found a latin word sonus meaning "sound." That was a good start. At the time, bright young men were referred to as "sonny boys," and that was a good image too. Combining the two concepts, they developed a new name: Sony.

    And the rest, as they say, is history.

    "Each problem that I solved became a rule which served afterwards to solve other problems." - Rene Descartes (1596-1650)
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  19. think you can get that puture any larger??? 8)
    tgpo famous MAC commercial, You be the judge?
    Originally Posted by jagabo
    I use the FixEverythingThat'sWrongWithThisVideo() filter. Works perfectly every time.
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  20. Член BJ_M's Avatar
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    ok = i will do it for you
    "Each problem that I solved became a rule which served afterwards to solve other problems." - Rene Descartes (1596-1650)
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  21. I will sue the person that invents the first time mache, portable egg boiler, carburator food heater and car exhaust pipe opium smoking pipe, all I have to do is write this crap down, draw some stuff pay for a patent and wait for someone to build them and make money out of them.
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  22. Member flaninacupboard's Avatar
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    so how about mobile phones? they play mp3's and have headphone sockets these days. do they becom an infringement if i slip them in a case with a belt clip? how about a Palm with MP3 player? why just apple, why not creative - they came up with HDD jukeboxes ~5 years ago.

    this guy sucks ass. he's just going to cost me more ******* money along with all the opressed illegal immigrants when they go bitching to the ECoHR.

    i ******* hate being a part of eurpoe.
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  23. I came up with the idea of www.dvdrhelp.com in a parallel universe. It was the same as this one but no one cared. When VHS came out the DVD format die. LOL
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  24. Member
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    Should Gene Roddenberry's estate sue all the cell phone manufacturers? Didn't he come up with the idea of a portable comunication device that folds in half?
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  25. Member adam's Avatar
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    I completely agree with all of these sentiments but I don't blame this guy, I blame the governments that granted him a patent. A patent is literally a contract with the government, and it doesn't come cheap. He didn't just come up with an idea, he paid a substantial amount of money for government assurance that, as of the date of his filing, he had the exclusive rights to that "technology." If the governments grant it, other parties are supposed to do their homework and buy the guy out before developing any similar technology. He never should have gotten these patents, but he did, so he had a right rely on them.
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  26. Member
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    what a greedy bastard. He already won millions from sony.. why does he need to go sue ipod? beside... no1 weras mp3 players on thier belts. Every1 throws them in thier pockets. And suing Ipod is so wrong. He cant sue every1 who make a portable music device. thats just not fair.
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