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Hi all,

I received an e-mail from the Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism requesting an E-Pan on loan for a display that they were putting together for participation in an expo in Surinam. The presentation was a display of pan from its inception to present. They also indicated that the display was attending an expo in China subsequently. I indicated to the officials making the request that I would loan them an E-Pan for the Surinam display but I did not want the E-Pan to be included in the China expo. They obliged and indicated that several parts of the exhibition would be returning to Trinidad and not going to china, so the stage was set.

I am turning to the community now to ask for your help in finding the E-Pan as after over one year of requesting the return of the loaned E-Pan the ministry finally informed me in person that the E-Pan was "apparently" lost. I know that the pan community is quite resourceful and it's feelers have a long reach. So, if anybody finds or has heard of anyone who has found a lost E-Pan please contact me or the Ministry of Arts and Multiculturalism so that this can be resolved

I thank you all in advance for your help.

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Brother Salmon, my apologies for the incorrect spelling, this can be a teaching lesson for all or us. Your own government can't guarantee you the safety and security of your invention loaned to them.

Quite so. Lost, stolen or strayed? Or lost, stolen and sold?

Yes. That is the most likely scenario.If so, it will be patented in China and sold back to you.(Or you will only be able to make E pans on license) On the other hand , it might just  have been lost or damaged or it is doing duty in a steelband somewhere in Surinam-or T&T. Cupid says that 'indicated' that the pan should not go to China. If there was nothing in writing, that 'indication' would have been lost in transit. A simple statement of terms, signed by owner and borrower would have sufficed. No need for a lawyers letter at that stage, but he would have proof of ownership and conditions of transaction, something of substance to take to court. I assume a receipt was issued? That would be a start in the search.


As stated previously, a proper receipt etc. was issued...  In fact the PRC is now recognizing and embracing IP rights, to now protect "it's own innovation", even as piracy and industrial espionage is pursued...

The USA knows damn well, that if they change course and find themselves lagging behind, they my be surpassed...

A professional foreign investigation must be instituted to find this unique pan, and this mysterious disappearance of one of our national instruments should be classified as STOLEN! Shipping records must to be revisited. A relevant press release should be transmitted to the international community in as many languages as possible (including Chinese).

Cupid, Why would you want to lend your E-pan to the Gov't, while they own the PHI pan?  You have been duped undoubtedly. someone saw a way of inspecting the contents of your invention. things like you Epan, PHI pan, and other high tech inventions are never loaned. They are purchased outright.  Once you loan it and it is stolen either in hardware form or software or technology design, you have in effect compromised your own Patent protection or copyrights or other legal proprietary rights. You could ask for a payment of the product but no one will be obligated to repay you or compensate you. Second question what Contracts were drawn up by you or your company with regards the protection of your asset and if in the event it went missing, what clauses were written to cover such losses. When you do business with Patented or copyrighted products, you the owner must also protect it legally and especially the asset was not  sold outright. Seems to me you have been negligent about a child of yours that cannot protect its own self. Right it down as a lesson in life.  Why would you loan a Patented product. If the Ministry didn't want to buy it or not pay any thing or sign any Contracts for its protection and you didn't yourself insist on selling the Ministry, why would you expect anyone now to find your asset and return it to you.  Once there was no agreement for protection outside the China protection and whether that was written down in any form, how would you recover either financially or get the return of the asset itself. Learn from this experience. Yamaha and other big companies never loan their new products on the market. Buy it or get going. That is how business is done with high tech companies. So you are doing the same thing what the pan pioneers did. Just loaned out or give away for free their early inventions. Who will find that instrument now after a year? 

Hello, Hello!! ...

1. The UWI and NOT GORTT owns the PHI patent.

2. However, GORTT has some interests in the PHI. At teh very least it should respect its own patent laws as PHI is patented in TnT and ePan is not

3. Just in case I just raised a red herring by posting on this thread (I have done my best to avoid the senseless banter in the past), neither I nor my team have ever seen the innards of an ePan. We don't need to nor do we care to as we have been at this for a long long time and are very proud of the fact that we have a superior product, all iterations of which were 100% conceived,  designed and made right here in Trinidad & Tobago.

4. The statement about compromising the patent via a loan is not correct. By definition, a patent document provides full disclosure on the relevant elements of the product anyway. Patents are only there to stop people from manufacturing, using and selling your invention for a period of time and in those jurisdictions where the patent is filed. Significant action re a copied product can only be taken when the patent owner has evidence of infringement as described above (see http://www.bitlaw.com/patent/rights.html).

5. That being said, one must be wary of the copycats or the potential for same as patent cases are exorbitantly expensive - the lawyers are always the real winners. Unfortunately, no amount of legal documents could stop someone with the  resources from fabricating a copy en masse in a country outside the scope of one's patent. Other strategies are required.

Enough said


Since this expo was a presentation to display pan from its inception to present, did the ministry include your PHI in the exhibition? I would think, as you've said the PHI is a superior product, they most likely would include your PHI.


I stand corrected about the PHI ownership. The point I was making about the loan idea is that, if something is covered by Patent International Law, the owner also has to respect that protection by writing appropriate Contracts no matter who it may be. You cannot lend someone your Patented asset and without any written agreement expect that the person or Govt will protect it. especially govt. They are the worse to borrow anything. Govt means every bodies business but no bodies business. No one cares about whether the asset was protected or not because no one was assigned under a contract of agreement to see that it is protected at all times as another person's property. So in this sense expect no protection from the Patent offices if something happens to that equipment. That is my point. (Sidd)

Sidd ...Izzat you?

I understand and agree. One would think that if you are going about loaning your product that there should be some sort of written understanding of use,  scope and attendant liabilities. Truth be told we also erred on that point more than once ... its a real hassle! The core issue is really more about due care and diligence in securing your interest in capitalising one's intellectual property. Again the paperwork cannot stop anybody from infringing...it's not much more than a "Keep Out - No Trespassing" sign.

Hello ODW

AS I recall we loaned them a V0.9 a long time ago. We are up to V2 now. I am not sure if they see it as a superior product or not.


PS Cool picture on your profile there. Where was t taken?


Sometimes we (T&T citizens) think that going through Gov't that will bring us outstanding financial rewards. We have not yet understood Govt is the worse to pay out especially where there is no actual return on their coffers.   Govt should be made to pay for the use of private property no matter the type of property. They should be made to pay the highest amount possible. Lets say if you rent equipment or sell equipment for a certain price to the private sector for a stated amount, that should not be the price you charge govt. It should be more. When dealing with govt contracts, the higher the charges the better in winning the contracts. East Indian businessmen know this concept. Then one can negotiate with govt. Still the ending price will be profitable. Why? govt does not pay on time. They may take whatever time they wish to pay you back. You cannot charge interest or late payment fines to them. You wont get the contract. Therefore the price you charges should be inclusive of late payments and penalties even by years.  from our colonial past we, it is not in our practice to sue the govt for late payments and breaking agreements. So what to speak of lending equipment to govt. See how foolish it is?  It is better not to deal in that way. if your loan equipment for $1000.00 for a time period. The govt price should be $12,000. Cheap prices they don't respect. Junior Sammy understood this when he rented his equipment to take the fire truck which fell in to a steep ditch. 


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