“In 1977 Andreas Pavel applied for a patent for a ‘portable small component for the hi-fidelity reproduction of recorded sound.’ The player, named ‘stereobelt,’ never saw the light of day,’ Jan Libbenga reports for The Register.
Now, The Register reports, “Sony [has] settled a decades-long dispute with a German who claimed to have invented the technology which led to the Walkman… the German inventor [had] tried to sue Sony before, but Britain’s Appeals Court confirmed in 1996 an earlier ruling that the portable player was a normal further technological development and could not be patented. According to German magazine Der Spiegel, Sony now has ‘silently parted with a few million euro’ in an out-of-court settlement with the 59-year-old inventor. Pavel says he intends to take other portable music player producers to court as well, including computer maker Apple, which developed the iPod.”
Full article here.