Japanese electronics group Sony has buried a 20-year-old patent row with the German inventor of the Walkman. German news magazine
Spiegel reported Friday that Sony had "shed a few million euro" in an out-of-court settlement with 59-year-old Andreas Pavel. Pavel registered his "Hi-Fi system" in several European countries in 1977. Two years later, Akio Morita, Sony's founder and boss, introduced the first Walkman on the market, that bore an amazing similarity to Pavel's invention. Pavel took Sony to court, but lost out to the group's battery of patent lawyers and had to face legal costs of millions of dollars. According to
Spiegel, it was only after Morita's death that Sony decided to change its stance and make a quiet settlement with Pavel aware from the glare of publicity. Sony is said to have sold more than 200 million "Walkman" worldwide.