The War Over the Walkman Patent Finally Ends

17 Dec ’05

The New York Times tells the David v Goliath story of Andreas Pavel, who after a 25 year battle has finally settled his lawsuit with Sony and has won the right to be called the inventor of the walkman, as well as what is rumoured to be an 8 figure settlement, and royalties.

Pavel says he originally conceived of the device as a means of adding a soundtrack to life, rather than a mass-marketed electronics device. For those “The hills are alive …” moments we all have from time to time:

MR. Pavel still remembers when and where he was the first time he tested his invention and which piece of music he chose for his experiment.

It was February 1972, he was in Switzerland with his girlfriend, and the cassette they heard playing on their headphones was “Push Push,” a collaboration between the jazz flutist Herbie Mann and the blues-rock guitarist Duane Allman.

“I was in the woods in St. Moritz, in the mountains,” he recalled. “The snow was falling down. I pressed the button, and suddenly we were floating. It was an incredible feeling, to realize that I now had the means to multiply the aesthetic potential of any situation.”

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