The HANG IS A WORK OF APPLIED ART – the Bern High Court has ruled in favor of PANArt


addendum (08.07.2024): the HCU Newsletter on the topic

This ‘whole story’ about the Hang, its development and distribution including the history of the first replicas and the subsequent development history of the Handpan is very complex. Very exciting, adventurous, fascinating, instructive – but also complex to grasp and understand. Much of this complexity has been lost in the tales, legends, fairy tales and lies that circulate in the handpan scene. Simple stories consisting of a good and a constructed evil are simply more entertaining. But mostly – as here too – not true!

One thing should be clear to anyone familiar with the subject. Namely that the Hang was not created as a funny coincidence in an afternoon – as the HCU lawyers arrogantly and without any respect for PANArt wanted to explain to the judges in Bern!

The development of the Hang, without which there would be no Handpans, is a great creative achievement by two people – namely Sabine Schärer and Felix Rohner. A fact that deserves great respect. Regardless of sympathy.

ALI vs. Cleveland (1966) – was also no surprise how it turned out 😉

It may come as a surprise to some that this verdict in Bern is so clear and unambiguous. But it is by no means. This verdict was absolutely to be expected – and it is justified in my opinion!
During the break on the first day of the trial, I already told the HCU representatives that if I had donated money to the ‘Save the Handpan Campaign‘, I would now demand it back. The whole strategy that the HCU pursued in court was completely incomprehensible and very illogical – unless you follow the goals of the mass manufacturers, wholesalers and profiteers of the handpan boom. This is astoundingly obvious and is not even disputed in discussions.

I went home massively disappointed.
Disappointed by the HCU lawyers (unsympathetic, arrogant, poorly prepared, strange/incomprehensible trial strategy), surprised and amused by some of the clumsy statements made by the plaintiffs (‘oh yes, its just an normal Instrument, but i anyway call it Sound Sculpture….’) and also angry because even a surprising and, in my view, very good, indeed generous settlement offer by PANArt was not accepted.

Why do ‘HCU’ (Handpan Community United) have the gall to call themselves the united handpan community ? Large parts of the real handpan community want nothing to do with the strategies of the HCU. Their choice of name is totally hypocritical !

Of course, I realize that I will make myself unpopular with some people in the scene with such statements about the HCU. And that’s a good thing – I cordially invite those who are really interested to discuss with me. The only prerequisite is that you must have read Akhong Wong’s recently published master’s thesis beforehand. After all, this complex topic can only be discussed in depth if it is based on facts. And Wong delivers these in excellent quality with his master’s thesis when it comes to Hang or Handpan and also the Makers and the scene around them.

“The hour of winning or losing is a test of character” – is a beautiful piece of wisdom.
It will be interesting to see how the ‘winners’ will celebrate their success and how the ‘losers’ will deal with the situation. The possible spectrum ranges from friendly, respectful, ‘with decency’, to malicious, mean, whiny and fear-mongering.

Let’s hope for the best ….

tip of the day: stay away from drama, don’t let it stir up fear 😉


  1. the largest swiss newspaper publishes a detailed article on PANArt’s success in the proceedings for industrial property rights for the Hang (here you find the english translated (google) article)
  2. the HCU Newsletter on the topic
  3. discussion at REDDIT:


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