The enormous economic importance of intellectual property for our society and the need for efficient legal protection of innovations and investments in technology and culture are now recognised.
Although works that have not only an aesthetic value but also a function have long been difficult to be recognized as works protected by copyright, in recent years the courts have recognised the value and importance of such works, known as works of applied art, and now protect them in the same way as literature, music, photographs and computer programs.
Sabina Schärer and Felix Rohner were the first to consider the sound sculpture they designed in the late 1990s as a work of art, which they called "Hang" and which since then has largely hand-made and developed into a total work of art. The lens shape with the central features "Ding" and "Gu" is a work of art that did not exist before. The work reflects the human body placed in its lap.
In addition, world-renowned scientists familiar with sheet metal instruments have confirmed in expert opinions that the design features that make up the overall impression of the "Hang" are primarily aesthetic and in no way functional.
Because with its success the demand for the "Hang" became greater than the supply, unfortunately more and more plagiarism has been proposed and PANArt, supported by recent case law, has decided to assert its rights with the help of the courts if necessary and in a first case successfully.
In doing so, PANArt does not want to block the development of other such instruments, but prevent the theft of intellectual property without its own creative effort.
Therefore, PANArt hopes that by protecting its sound sculpture, it can give a creative impulse to the monoculture of construction of handpans. The link between PANArt and the roots of the steel sound, Trinidad, demands a constant further development of this unique art. Copy producers are called upon to make their own contribution to the history of the sound of steel and to create the charming sounds in musical instrument bodies that are sufficiently different from the "Hang's" design.