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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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Salo did you ask the Ministry to pay you for your E-Pan or you have to do the lawyer thing.

Seems to me he should be lawyer-ed up to protect his investment, look what happen when Sony took the steelpan notes and reproduced them on their synthesizers. Who profited and made millions of dollars, not our pan pioneers or the GOTT. 

Don't allow yourself to be intimated by them, you hire them to do a job and agree on set fees, state what you seek as protection for your invention. I once made an attorney pay me back monies left in my retainer account and he was a former mayor of a city. Know your RIGHTS and responsibilities as an individual.


Even micing is electronics. It may be an early form but it is in the class of electronics. Within the air contains electrons. The mic is a device which uses equipment to "hear" these electrons. Just imagine a microphone can "hear" unseen nuances so minute that the human eye cannot see. It is verey subtle (sound). To produce sound you need air. Withn air thee electrons of sound exist. Electronics therefore is all that exist. Bertie's Bertphone was designed specifically to "hear' the steelpan notes and by a process not only 'hear" the notes but try to elongate them when asked to by a system of electronic pedal. That system of electronic pedal is still being used today. In this sense Bertie is the first inventor of electronically amplifying the acoustic steelpan.  So that is the original Utility principle of the use of the sound electrons to make it louder and more sustained. Primitive? and so is the stone age but they were our ancestry You cannot dam the bridge you cross. You have to respect it and build a better one.

No mention was made of Keith Maynard in your last post. It was back in the 80's I attended a pan innovators show at the Queens Hall. Many pan innovators were there to show there innovations. I am also a pan innovator -something concerning the bass pan and had gotten 100% clearance worldwide to obtain a Patent on it. Now that's an original idea. There was nothing like it. So I know about Patents. if you change one shape of the notes on the pans, that one change can be Patented. It is called "new and useful results". You can pack a 12 bass set in one bag the size of a full oil drum.  So as an innovator I was interested in what others did. It is there in the eighties I first met Keith Maynard. he was showing how he connected midi from a keyboard to a circular 'pan" made out of something and contained notes which sounded when hit with a stick.  It was crude  but it was the first attempt at midi connectivity and the electronic steelpan concept. In the eighties you would have been still going to primary school or early high school. 

Now Patent is not a compulsory activity. It is not that an inventor must Patent his invention. It is a facility offered by law in which an inventor can get a certain amount of protection from his original invention once that person can show proof of his original invention. So someone like you came up with The E-Pan and called it an original invention. Yes it is in terms what you produced. Patents do not license you to go around saying you were the original thinker of the electronic pan and it never happened before you did it. That is not Patents. The Patents you received is for the specific "new and useful result" you obtained from your invention. How you E-pan functions specifically and how everything works which is different from how Bertie and Keith did it. Their own worked too, but your own works differently and that specifically is what is Patented. Many people misunderstand patent law. It does not give anyone the right to say to the rest of humanity that I created this or that and anyone who creates something similar that they have to get license from me. No not at all. The patents only really protects "new and useful result" in an invention. Patents law leave the door wide open for others coming up with new and improved functions which are new uses and therefore more useful in more than many ways than what was there before. 

Patents being not compulsory by law also leaves the door open to persons who may challenge a Patent work.Those persons may not have patented their own work but because the function or use  was already created physically, the use function -the UTILITY is not original. If someone can come up with that proof substantially, the person owning the Patent will have to reduce his claim to "new use". This is how it works. This does not mean the person will lose his Patents. It can be retained but the person cannot prevent others from improving on the uses both of the old original ones even though not Patented and the Patented one. The patent holder cannot block anyone from creating improvements or creating something differently concerning the same idea of the electronic pan. Ideas are not Patented because the human mind always have new ideas of old ideas. That is a natural right of a human being. So new ideas are not patent potent.  New uses and new functions are of already patented products. This is the system. Therefore patents never assume that once something is Patented no one else have the right to create similar and competitive products. Persons simply have to come up with new ways, new unctions, new uses, new methods, new components, new shapes and sizes, and everything new that is not contained within the already Patented product. Patents do not block products themselves. Patents are for the purpose of promoting new  uses and new changes of old ideas. That is how that law works. try to understand it once and for all and don't let lawyers steal your money because of your big ego of thinking no one else is to make something like an E-Pan. I am sure many persons and companies across the globe will make something like your E-pan.  is it that you will try to stop them all? Not possible. just not possible. In trying to stop others, you also have to prove to the Patent Laws that their system of making their electronic pan concept is exactly the same as your. In order to do that, you would have to physically strip their product apart and review the innards. A task indeed. 

A case in question concerning the acoustic pan traditional pan. A man made a pan in 4ths and 5ths but placed the notes differently from Tony Williams arrangements. Tony has no Patents as known by all. Therefore anyone can make a tenor pan like Tony and sell them. But this guy goes to the Patent offices and wants a Patent on his "invention". It was turned down because it is worldwide known that Tony Williams invention of thee 4ths and 5ths was an original one. It did not exist before Tony did it. The Patent ofices saw no need to issue a Patent for a copied version of Tony's original useful utility. That is the UTILITY principle being applied there. the guy didn't bring a new and useful utility. he memrly re-arranged the notes to his liking and thought that that was a new useful utility. The point is 4ths and fifths can be arranges in many ways on a circle but they are still 4ths and 5ths. Had the person brought the pan into 1st and 6ths or 3rds and 7ths and change the shape of the notes to square ones, he would have stood a greater chance of obtaining not a steepan Patent because that cannot be obtained but obtained a new use and new function of the old one even though the old one was not Patented. The concept of Patents therefore lies in one sentence. Patents are about bringing new uses, new functions, new specifications, new formulae, new methods, new shapes, new smells, and anything new to that which is patented or not patented which exist in the past. This is precise definition of patents. People get confuse with all the legal jargons. But when it boils down it is a test of what is actually new or not new.

Anyone can make the acoustic pan meaning the traditional pans the original inventors made. They cannot now go an Patent those. but if significant new uses or shapes or arrangement of notes or new materials including plastics which is different from steel, it is possible Utility Patents can be won. this is the Utility principle.

The government of T&T challenged the case of the two Americans who obtained a Patent concerning Pan. Everyone thought that the Americans stole our pan concept and one a Patent. Previously pan wee created by hand hammering, burning in a fire, cutting with a sharp tool like an ax. but the american men Patented a process of hydro foaming which was also difeent from what had been attempted in T&T and spoken about but no physical example could have been applied and therefore no proof was admitted. The Americans won the Patent because the brought new and useful processes in making a steelpan. They have no rights on the steelpan per se, but their patents are based on new ways of making steelpans much faster than ny hand. This is called the Utility principle. So Patents are not for the sole purpose of stopping anyone from making similar products. It is that someone can make similar products but there must be something differently done and new functions to the already patented product. So many people will make electronic versions of steelpan but they must make it different from yours with different shapes. For instance both the PHI and the PanKat shapes are different from the shapes you used. There are more differences contained in them then your own. all that would be taken into account as to the differences of those three inventions. What I am trying to arrest within you is that you speak as though you alone in this whole wide world was given the idea of the electronic pan and no one else. It does not work so in the universe. Everyone is given ideas. Sometimes people have the same ideas. That is seen daily among humans. But patents are based on registering new functions and new ideas and anything in the opinion of the Patent offices that is to their estimation brand new. Patents is not for the purpose of blocking creativity in human society. It is for the increase in creating productivity. So if someone patent something today and receive the patents in time, does that mean he stops everyone from making something similar. How would the patent offices make their income to pay salaries and expenses. patent offices are glad each time someone comes up with a new idea of an old patent product. In that way they can make more. Multiply that by millions of creations across the globe. In this way patents are not stopped like that and also they do not stop others from patenting new functions and that is why the Utility patents are mostly uses. It is not used to stop others as such not unless the owner has a definite case of someone deliberately stealing the specifications and making and selling exact copies of the patented product. This happens but only foolish people do it not knowing that they could still do the same thing but come up with new methods new functions, new uses as described herein. this is for the education of all posters as well.

Salo has been mixed up with others (including his brothers) by many who seem to think he's still in diapers, despite his grey hairs.  they assumed incorrectly then and now.  Check the USPTO records to see what is lodged and when.
It is said that Great Minds do think alike.  That is especially so in the land of The Mimic Men, but the law of the land mixed with politics in T&T is sadly and unfortunately far too opportunistic, far too often which is yet another vestiges from our colonial past.  Let's see how things unfold with the change-of-guard, whether there will be real change or just more exchange...
Those versed with steelpan culture are familiar with copy-cats biting from others to favour and flavour "their own" expressions, but for Christ's sake, give props and recognition to the ones who are due for heralding the idea.  No wonder the steelbands of the past would hide their practice sessions from prying eyes and ears when they rehearsed to drop their "bomb" pieces on J'ouvert morn, eh~oui...
As for the "registration" of innovative ideas and protected IP rights compliant with prevailing laws and legal practices, both inside and outside T&T, the record demonstrably speaks for itself in referencing prior art.
If you are thinking of applying for a patent, you should not, as far as possible, publicly disclose the invention more than a year before you file an application because this could be counted as prior publication of your invention. Any type of disclosure (whether by word of mouth, demonstration, advertisement or article in a journal), by the applicant or anyone acting for them, could prevent the applicant from getting a patent. It is essential that the applicant only make any disclosure under conditions of strict confidence.
In fact, those latent claims are misleading, erroneous and are being challenged according to Salo, in which case he can confirm.  (Note the cited prior art.)
TT/A/2006/00044 - Salmon Cupid
The first piece of good news was the announcement that a team in the Steelpan Development Centre, part of the Faculty of Engineering of The University of the West Indies (UWI), had developed the G-Pan. It was unveiled in July 2007. A great deal of credit must go to Professor Brian Copeland at UWI the G-Pan team leader and Professor Clément Imbert. This has been followed up by the development of a new electronic steelpan called ‘Phi’. It is a real breakthrough that takes the instrument to a leading edge position in the 21st century. The IP behind it is protected by a patent - US Patent 7030305. T&T has now won back a leading position in steelpan and protected all the smart thinking and design work that went into developing the electronic steelpan.
Bertie Marshall, who I have had the opportunity to meet and talk to, is documented talking about his creation. For those of you who believe that Bertie Marshall was the first to invent the electronic steelpan, please note that there is a big difference between micing an acoustic instrument using mic pickups and what I have done. The E-Pan is not amplification of a traditional steelpan. What I have done is all through electronics making tones come out of the E-Pan using mother boards, daughter boards, chips, rubber pads, sensors and MOST IMPORTANTLY, writing of software. What Bertie did was amplify the traditional pan which a lot of people thought sounded like "Chinee music" back in the day. If you all take the time to listen to Bertie Marshall's interview, you will hear him speak of what he did. This is not me talking here, this is Bertie himself, describing what kind of mike he used, a through-voice mike. Here is the link to the interview http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uK2uase0FBc
Yes, Boogsie embraced "electronic innovation" for the steelpan way back with the Bertphone from "Pan Scientist" Bertie Marshall.  Those who knew him often heard him talk of the need and to see the quest bear fruition, so stealing and sabotaging innovation from those who create the innovations in T&T is nothing new, just like with the missing e-pan, notwithstanding the conspiracy theories. 
Salo is a panist who has always shared a mutual respect and understanding for his fellow steelpan community, especially the admired pioneers and history of the art-form.  It has been an integral part of his thought-process.
The classical and traditional steelpan musical instrument as it has evolved to this point and beyond, will always maintain its place. But as pannists know only too well as musicians and artists, the search for an electronic version has always been anticipated. Top pannist the world over have long hoped for that companion electronic version, to allow them to have a well-tuned durable instrument in their keep. That "dream pan" it was hoped, would not require the time, effort and cost to maintain, especially if compared over the lifespan of the steelpan. This would allow them, especially as solo artist, arrangers and composers, the flexibility and versatility to practice, explore and create in traditional and new ways. Only their imaginations, musicianship and artistic creativity will limit them once this new tool is in their hands.
Boogsie himself along with many others have testified on the strength, versatility and usefulness of the e-pan, especially once they experienced a "hands-on-touch"...
When politics can no longer co-opt his true feelings and expressions, maybe someone can buy him a set of tenor and double-seconds e-pans, maybe for his birthday ent... ;-)




Not big on the academic exercise, here’s my take moving forward; just build your new E-Pans to include GPS technology. With a cell phone new buyers will be able to find its location, if their E-Pan has gone missing. This should be a big win $$ for you.

Accept the fact your E-Pan might may have been lost on purpose, next time, take out some insurance coverage when conducting this type of transaction.

In any business today you must be able to TRUST and also VERIFY, don’t take anyone or anything for granted.

Hi Odw,

Thanks for your advice and recommendations. 

The newest version E-Pans already have something in it.

Cupid, Hence the reason why China, Japan, and other countries are called offshore. Cupid anyone can make an electronic pan and sell it to the rest of the world which is larger that the US. The secret is to Patent outside of the US now. The secret is to bank outside of the US now. The secret is to form an international business corporation in an offshore country. The Internet even can be operated offshore and be much more successful. Offshore means outside of the US. The US is the last of slave masters remaining. They will fall shortly because they encourage a few families  to be wealthy. This is why as you say millions are thinking like me.  Th 21st century has brought with it free trade which will increase worldwide. Your E-pan might have already been copied and changed in China or japan or somewhere else. Patents really cannot prevent anyone from doing this now. There are so many offshore ways that the US laws cannot touch.  Instead of registering your E-Pan in T&T and other offshore countries, where it can easily be mass produced and sold cheaper, you choose oppressive patent laws of the US to continue to give to the few white families which really run the US Treasury. It is called the Treasury Reserve. All those slave systems are being broken down as we speak by the universe and God. there is too much poverty and wars which are actually caused by the US and other slave master countries. Its time is coming my friend. You know these things but try to hide these realities. Offshores have become the common ground due to the Internet and e-mail. but once your register an International Business Corporation ofshore, bank ofshore not necessarily only in US dollars and that's another thing that is going out. why only US$. Why not Japanese Yen. China currencies and all the other currencies of the world. Why only the US$. have you begun to comprehend these things? The pan and all its derivatives and expansions must travel the globe and not be tied down only to US Laws.  It doesn't have to be so.  You say West. It is not West but US. South America needs to be developed economically on the world map as well. They can be as rich as the US. Africa is another place not yet developed in terms of beautiful land space. India, China, Japan, the European countries.  Why only the US patents? So it is another form of COLONIALISM. That type of mindset keeps the rest of the world under a spell and then they become slaves again. China and Japan, India and Russia and the rest of Europe have begun to say no to US control and they have freed up their economic gains by becoming much more freer traders across the globe. The US economy is feeling the pinch now. We do not need to simply fall under the US spell as in the earlier times. People across the globe have begun to move offshore in their economic space which should really be the world. Not just a few countries led by mainly the US. So the result by karma of the uS is the constant turmoil of the Muslim wars. Not that I support the terrorists but karmic reactions comes in those ways. You also suffered a karmic reaction by losing one of your E-pans and these discussions come to the fore for your benefit. think global. Think worldwide. don't be afraid of China and Japan. They are right. Just make the products. Sell them and make money. Buy up real estate in the form of land and buildings and help feed the poor and hungry worldwide. Ask Bill Gates, ask Facebook founder, ask the many Internet millionaires now being made across the globe. Where it gets sour is where wealth is thought only as US wealth. That we have to give up now. Wealth can be obtained anywhere on the planet. we want our pan with it derivatives to go to the rest of the world not for free any more but at a small price. Lets recover it in that way. Ask Ellie Manette. this is why he showed the world.

Hi Cecil,

Let me tell you what I'm dealing with. Over 2 weeks ago I sent an e-mail with an invoice attached for reimbursement of the lost instrument. I copied everybody including the Minister himself. I called and the person I spoke with confirmed they received it. Yet in a conversation with a representative at the Ministry as recently as this morning, nobody seems to have received my e-mail and they're requesting that I send them another e-mail and invoice for reimbursement of the lost instrument. Confused yet? Talk about spinnin' top in mud?

Salo, I feel your pain, lol but we know it's the ole Trini run around, stick in dey backside.


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