In October 2013 it was brought to our attention that Samsung had installed a ring tone called ‘Hang drum’ on its smart phone Galaxy Note 3. This is a very disconcerting circumstance, especially because this sound is entirely synthetic and has absolutely nothing to do with a Hang.
We could not stand by this kind of use of our trademark ‘Hang’, which is registered in many countries and stands for high quality and individually crafted products. Furthermore, we were concerned that a mass distribution through the Samsung smart phone would only serve to further popularize the term ‘Hang drum’. Since the creation of the Hang instrument in 2000, PANArt has repeatedly emphasized the fact that it is not a drum, but rather a sound sculpture which presents itself in various facets. As far as we are concerned, the suggestive and confining term ‘drum’ does not describe the necessary candor required to discover the Hang and its spectrum of possibilities.
Therefore, we commissioned our lawyer to contact Samsung’s trademark attorney in order to shed light on this matter. As is customary in such cases, the differing legal viewpoints are presented and the best possible defense for each side is formulated. We were very pleased that beyond of all legal evaluations, a practicable win-win solution was found. Samsung agreed to delete the ring tone from its smart phones within the next three to four months and not to install it anymore in new devices.
We would like to express our thanks to this international and well-known company. Now we can pursue the call of iron in peace and quiet and continue our work on the sound sculpture Gubal.
In this matter, all of the parties were involved in an unnecessary confrontation. Samsung was originally unaware of our trade mark, when installing the ring tone ‘Hang drum’ on its smart phone. We would therefore like to take this opportunity to ask for a more careful use of our registered trade mark and not to designate any instrument not explicitly produced by PANArt as a Hang. Unnecessary trouble and cost can thus be avoided not only by ourselves, but can also keep others from becoming unsuspectingly involved in a costly and tedious legal dispute about trade mark violation.