Sony settles with ‘Walkman’ inventor who intends to take iPod-maker Apple to court

“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.


  1. last time i checked, US utility patents only last 20 years….the ipod came out in what, 2001? good luck buddy, but that’ll be thrown out so fast you won’t even know what hit ya. now, internationally that might be another story, but i’m still pretty sure that patents don’t last longer than 20 yrs overseas…anyone know more?

  2. Patents = Bullshit

    The U.S. Patent Office has become a freakin’ joke. There are no longer any standards applied to patent applications. If you can fill one out properly, you can get a patent on breathing.

    Changes in law have rendered the Patent Office a rubber stamp for anyone willing to pay for having it.

  3. The iPod cannot be directly linked to his ‘patent’, when in actuality, it is the next, natural progression of technology from the CD portable. His patent would only affect technologies built directly off his patent, and the Walkman and assorted knockoffs would be the only technology that would or should apply.

    Of course, common sense has never been much of a part of lawsuits anyhow, so what do I know?

  4. Can the court tell someone that they’ll be thrown in jail for being a pain in the ass for continuously suing people and wanting retrials? This guy just needs to quit now.

  5. is this clearly shows how apple is modeling itself after packard bell. they are set for the same doom!… why can’t anyone but me see this. stop thinking i’m a loon. stop it fool.

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