Sunday, August 02, 2015

Balram Shotam

The Sony Walkman is considered the 20th century’s top invention that changed our lives. However, not many know that the first personal stereo was patented by an Indian, 6 years before the first Walkman:
Balram Shotam is the inventor of the transportable music player (aka Walkman). The prototype was built by Bal in 1972 and used by him while travelling to Europe and Asia to assist in his audio engineering work. The patent was described in a 1974 UK application for which a patent was issued 1976 that covered a device without recording functions and no directly built speakers. Playback was via headphones. The inventor corresponded with Akio Morita who then took the idea and called it the Walkman in 1978. 

Before his name was scrubbed from Wikipedia, this was how they had it:
The original patent for a personal stereo was registered by Srirekam Jayram Purushotam on behalf of his brother Balram Shotam (Baal). The patent was filed in the U.K in 1974. Baal had a prototype built in 1972 while he was in the record industry as President of Baal Records distributing ABC and AVCO" (Stylistics) records.

Some more here:
However, the true inventor of the Walkman is Balram Shotam. All filings for a transportable music player are after the date of his brother's filing in the U.K. Sony received a copy of this patent prior to manufacturing it. There is a letter from Sony to Baal Records stating they had the patent in hand before the Baal filing which was taken as true at that time (there was no internet in those days, remember). Then Pavel who stodily went after Sony proved that Sony had no such patents on hand and their original letters to Baal Records were to stop action against Sony. .

This Wiki discussion further strengthens suspicion:
Your investigation proves that the first ever document on a transportable music device with only headphones and no recording facility is the UK patent, and belongs to Baal Recrds (Jay Shotam and Balram Shotam who invented it). So I am adding back the text you have consistently removed. Parkerex (talk) 20:16, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

Yes, but the patent never amounted to anything. It wasn't ever mentioned by third party sources discussing the history of the Walkman, and it wasn't part of a legal battle. Shotam gets a pat on the back for the idea, but does not merit a mention here in this article. Binksternet (talk) 21:31, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

Prior art and prior patent filing in any country makes all subsequent patent filings null and void. This is a simple law. All your histrionics doesn't mean a thing. Neither did Sony and Pavel originate the idea of the transportable cassette music player. This is obvious in your own discussion of the timeline and snide remarks against the inventor doesn't cut it. We are dealing only with facts. Parkerex (talk) 18:27, 24 June 2009 (UTC)


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