|Dear Handpan Community,|
Hereby an update on the latest developments,
Table of contents:
– Recap and update on the Dutch proceedings
– Update on the Swiss proceedings
– The Handpan Timeline
– More questioned answered in the updated FAQ (Frequently asked questions)
1. Recap and update on the Dutch proceedings
These proceedings on the merits were indeed instituted by PANArt, and Ayasa Instruments was summoned before the Court of The Hague. In its claims, PANArt seeks a pan-European infringement injunction against Ayasa Instruments, as well as, among other things, destruction of product stock, declaration of sales information and compensation for alleged damage, penalties, and lawyer costs.
Now for the update. As you know, Ayasa Instruments, together with many other makers, initiated proceedings against PANArt in Switzerland, in order to defend itself against PANArt’s copyright claims. You can read more about the status of these proceedings in paragraph 2 below. The Swiss proceedings concern the same subject as the Dutch proceedings, and were initiated earlier than the proceedings at the Court of The Hague. This is where it gets a bit technical. There are international treaties with rules that deal with the same cases being brought before courts in different countries, as is the case here. These so-called lis pendens rules exist because there is a danger that decisions of the different courts in different countries are incompatible with one another. Based on this, we have now (in the Dutch proceedings) put forward that the Court of The Hague is incompetent to hear PANArt’s claims now, because the proceedings in Switzerland were already pending. If successful, this would also mean that the seizure of the handpans and shells of Ayasa Instruments has lapsed.
We have filed these lis pendens arguments by way of a so-called ‘procedural issue’. This means that the Court of The Hague will decide on these arguments first, before looking at all the other claims. Namely, if the Court agrees with the arguments, there would be no point in looking at the other claims, since the Court of The Hague would consider itself incompetent due to the Swiss proceedings. The Court of The Hague has received the procedural issue in good order, and PANArt will have to respond in the second week of September. In principle, the Court of The Hague will thereafter render its decision. In case the Court fully agrees with the arguments, that will be the end of these proceedings in the Netherlands.
2. Update on the Swiss proceedings
In the proceedings in Switzerland, PANArt have meanwhile filed their Statement of Defense, which is their first substantive submission in which they set out their arguments. This submission did not bring any relevant new aspects, as we were already aware of PANArt’s position and main arguments from the proceedings in e.g. Germany.
The Court of Berne now summoned for a preliminary hearing on 11 October 2021. This will be a “case management hearing” in which the court has a first discussion of the matter with the parties, probably also explaining the court’s preliminary view of the matter and which aspects should be focused on in the further submissions. The court will probably also see whether an amicable settlement of the dispute is possible.
This hearing is scheduled for a full day, but with only a limited participation of two representatives for either side (i.e. for all plaintiffs together, and for the defendant), and of course with the lawyers. The hearing will not be public, though. We are currently preparing for this hearing together with our lawyers. There will not be any further written submissions before the hearing, but if the case continues after the hearing – if no settlement can be reached – a further round of written submissions will probably follow.
3. The Handpan Timeline
Learn history, check sources, research and double check. The Handpan Timeline is a crowdsourced project that was voluntarily created and is voluntarily maintained–’the purpose being to create a timeline of sources on the history of the musical instrument known as the handpan’. While the Handpan Timeline Team makes no claim to completeness, it is a very extensive timeline and one that is constantly expanding and growing. No new content is created specifically for the timeline; it only shows references to existing sources. It has proven to be an incredible resource for HCU and if you are at all interested in learning about the factual history of handpans be sure to visit. From the timeline website:
“How to participate as an author or editor of postings?
If you can help this project please first introduce yourself at email@example.com – let’s speak about your ideas and lets find a good task to start for you. There is indeed a lot of voluntary work to do and everyone has limited time to work on all the tasks.
Of Course for such a project it is also vital to have a flexible and growing core team! Such a project can never be completed or finished and a network of a trusted framily (friends/family) is vital to continue!
This project is not funded at all! – it is voluntarily maintained and updated by steelsound enthusiasts – like you.
4. More questioned answered in the updated FAQ (Frequently asked questions)
While things get more complicated, legally, it can be a challenge to get the facts straight. In an effort to disseminate accurate and current information as well as answer some more frequently asked questions, HCU has updated the FAQ page of our website. You can find the updated FAQ here. If you have any questions that feel unanswered and/or could give value to the FAQ page, please feel free to email HCU at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The HCU administrative group