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Japan Businesses Patents

Japanese Nobel Laureate Blasts His Country's Treatment of Inventors 191

schwit1 writes: Shuji Nakamura won the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics (along with two other scientists) for his work inventing blue LEDs. But long ago he abandoned Japan for the U.S. because his country's culture and patent law did not favor him as an inventor. Nakamura has now blasted Japan for considering further legislation that would do more harm to inventors.

"In the early 2000s, Nakamura had a falling out with his employer and, it seemed, all of Japan. Relying on a clause in Japan's patent law, article 35, that assigns patents to individual inventors, he took the unprecedented step of suing his former employer for a share of the profits his invention was generating. He eventually agreed to a court-mediated $8 million settlement, moved to the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and became an American citizen. During this period he bitterly complained about Japan's treatment of inventors, the country's educational system and its legal procedures. 'The problem is now the Japanese government wants to eliminate patent law article 35 and give all patent rights to the company. If the Japanese government changes the patent law it means basically there would no compensation [for inventors].'"

There is a similar problem with copyright law in the U.S., where changes to the law in the 1970s and 1990s have made it almost impossible for copyrights to ever expire. The changes favor the corporations rather than the individuals who might actually create the work.
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Japanese Nobel Laureate Blasts His Country's Treatment of Inventors

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @03:31AM (#48854457)

    Only if he knew that all work created during the time of employment in the US rightfully belongs to the employer....

    • You are incorrect. Patents and copyrights done on your own time and not relating to company assets are yours.
      • by brainboyz ( 114458 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @04:32AM (#48854589) Homepage

        Entirely depends on the state. Some allow companies to claim all patents filed by their employees as innovation for hire in some circumstances.

        • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @08:26AM (#48855101)

          Oh! That's why we have had an influx of a LOT of US researchers recently. Our copyright (which is, more accurately, actually called "creators right") pretty much disallows such a clause.

          Might be a reason why lots of people prefer to do research in Europe where their employers can only offer a shared exploitation of stuff you do in your private time. Usually it's not the worst idea to agree to something like this, since the company usually has far better means to monetize your inventions and has less of an incentive to screw you over than any competitor (since they usually want to retain you in their team, too). But they can neither force you to do so nor simply push you aside, what you do on your own time is your own.

        • Honeywell once tried to make that claim, thinking that they were in Minneapolis. Alas, it's prohibited in Canada, where we were doing business (;-))
      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @04:34AM (#48854597)

        You are incorrect. Patents and copyrights done on your own time and not relating to company assets are yours.

        You might want to re-read your employment contract. It is not uncommon for your contract to state that stuff you work on during the term of your employment belongs to the company unless you have made prior arrangements. At my company, unless you get agreement in writing specifying what you are working on in your own time, everything belongs to the company.

        • by _merlin ( 160982 )

          They can write all kinds of things into employment contracts but they may not be legally enforceable. For example in Australia an employer may claim ownership of an employee's inventions/patents relating to their core business, but not all inventions/patents in general.

          • The question now is whether you have a justice system where some average researcher can actually hope to see him winning a case against a huge corporation before his address reads "second car on the Wallmart parking lot".

        • I have worked for big and small companies in the UK and in all situations I have had no issues getting these clauses removed from contracts. These are all UK/EU based companies however.

      • by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @10:51AM (#48855843)

        You are incorrect. Patents and copyrights done on your own time and not relating to company assets are yours.

        Only if they don't make money.

        I have signed paperwork from the first company I ever worked for that gives them the ownership of anything I ever invented. The next ones too. The wording is interesting, but as I read it, it leaves room for interpretation, the favorite tools of the patent trolls

        I haven't invented anything patented, but you can bet your bottom dollar that if I ever did, and it was a big moneymaker, I'd be hit with lawsuits of ownership, claims that I did the work on company time or used company resources, and then the winner would be sued by the others, until only one was left.

        • If you are someone capable of creating something patentable, don't sign the document and don't work for a company that insists on it. Same goes for unreasonable non-compete agreements.

          Of course, they will sue you document-or-not, but its pretty much a guaranteed win without it.

          Or, if you want, put a value on that part of your agreement. If they pay you enough that you don't need to worry about inventing stuff, why not go for it?

      • by dywolf ( 2673597 )

        Hah.
        Fat chance.

        I had to sign a piece of paper required for employment that states "I voluntarily agree to sign over the Company all rights and titles and other ownership of anything I invent or create or develop while I am employed by the Company, or continue to develop if already created prior to employment, that is in any way inspired by or useful for the work I perform, or otherwise potentially useful to or marketable by the company in any way, or its division, subsidiaries, parents or partners."

        I asked,

      • depends on the area if your day job is rnd in electronics and you invent a new method for manufacturing a compoant there Isnot a cat in hells chance in alglo saxon legal systems of say that its not "related" to your employment - as opposed to say you wrote a billboard hit they wouldn't own any of the rights to that.
    • by Idou ( 572394 )
      He explicitly addresses this, saying that US employers are significantly more likely to award reserved stock or stock options to employees than Japanese employers (where it is almost unheard of). Accordingly, if Japan did not have special laws to protect individual inventors, the impact would be completely different in Japan than the U.S. (a point complete lost on PM Abe, whose only strategies are to devalue the yen and copy the U.S. wherever possible, even when it makes no sense. . .)
  • by Anonymous Coward

    In the US, your employee contract will state that everything you invent is property of the company. The patent will be listed in your name, but patent ownership will be assigned to the company.

    • by khallow ( 566160 )

      In the US, your employee contract will state that everything you invent is property of the company.

      Unless you didn't sign a contract like that. Enshrining something in law is a whole lot different than a contractual matter that may not be in your contract.

  • Say what ? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Crashmarik ( 635988 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @03:35AM (#48854469)

    There is a similar problem with copyright law in the U.S., where changes to the law in the 1970s and 1990s have made it almost impossible for copyrights to ever expire. The changes favor the corporations rather than the individuals who might actually create the work.

    Wow it's amazing how if you hate something enough you can see everything as justifying your hatred.

    Having copyright extend ever longer is both stupid and counterproductive, but it's no way comparable to changes that take away a creators right to profit from their creations. Arguably it makes the creations more valuable and makes it easier to invest in creating material for either a corporation or an individual. Contrast that with a law from the article that "If the Japanese government changes the patent law it means basically there would no compensation [for inventors]." Apples to Orangutans here.

    With so many very good arguments about why copyright needs to be reformed there's no need to make bad ones.

    • by Tailhook ( 98486 )

      With so many very good arguments about why copyright needs to be reformed there's no need to make bad ones.

      schwit1 figured this was an opportunity pick at one of his grievances expecting the freetard groupthink around here to indulge him.

      And he's right.

    • Its also worth pointing out that this inventor did receive compensation - the company covered all his research costs, failures and employment while he did the inventing. Seems to me its the company that gets the raw end of the deal in Japan - all the investment, no patent at the end of the day.

      • Seems to me a shared system is most appropriate. Sort of like how the inventor got $8 million, in addition to the salary he still would have been paid had his research produced nothing.

  • Works as designed (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Znork ( 31774 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @03:39AM (#48854479)

    Patent and copyright laws have never been about compensating inventors or creators. If they had been, they would be mandating actual payment to them.

    Their construction as monopoly rights in a market where few individual creators or inventors will be scarce resources ensures that the negotiating power will be entirely on those in control of markets and distribution networks. The middle man can easily just pick up another provider of materials, while the originator is forced to take whatever deal is offered or face being unable to reach customers at all. Modern technology has slightly improved the situation with better opportunities, but ultimately, the deck is stacked solidly against the creators.

    But that's working as it's designed. The purpose of monopoly rights has always been to provide stable market power and protection from free market competition for the friends of the crown. Creators are merely the convenient, powerless and easily replaceable excuse.

    • Re:Works as designed (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @03:49AM (#48854495)

      This is nonsence. The entire reason for the patent is to bring knowledge into the public domain, to stop that knowledge being hidden as a trade secret. The twenty year monopoly is the bargain the state makes with the inventor for that knowledge.

    • Patent and copyright laws have never been about compensating inventors or creators. If they had been, they would be mandating actual payment to them.

      Patents and copyrights are mechanisms that create the OPPORTUNITY for inventors or creators to profit from their work. If the inventors sell their work or assign it as a condition of employment to a third party, that is a separate issue. If they cannot or will not profit from their work, that is their problem. The idea is to give them a "temporary" (yeah, I know...) monopoly on their work as a reward for creating something valuable to society. The entire purpose is to combat the free rider problem [wikipedia.org]. Fin

      • If they cannot or will not profit from their work, that is their problem.

        That's how it should be. Instead, we end up with monopolies enforced by government thugs that violate our right to freedom of speech and/or our private property rights.

        Find a better solution to the free rider problem and there is no need whatsoever for patents or copyrights.

        Freedom is more important than solving the "free rider" problem, but even if it weren't, there is no hard scientific proof that copyrights or patents are actually effective in the first place, and absent any proof, there should be no restrictions. So, either way, I will reject your 'solution,' just like I would reject the TSA and NSA mass sur

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @03:39AM (#48854481)

    Spend your personal time and resources at inveting.

    If you spend your worktime and resources from your job for your invention I don't see why you personally should get a patent. If my boss pays me to clean toilets and I invent something then there might be a point, but if my boss pays me (and gives me staff to freely use) to invent stuff I don't see the merit.

    • I own your invention because if I didn't pay you to clean the toilets, you would be out in the streets. My warm building was a resource you used. You are okay with that argument?
    • No question about that, but only if what I invent was invented on company time, using company equipment and company assistants. With creative jobs it may be a bit more complicated since you can't put the "company" portion of your brain in a locker and you take your work home by definition, but if I come up with a new algorithm for robot pathing it should not belong to the company I work for if what I do there has nothing to do with robots (just to give a real life example).

  • Hang on WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Harlequin80 ( 1671040 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @03:57AM (#48854515)

    He created the work while employed by someone. That someone provided him with all the equipment and capabilities to do the research why the hell should he be awarded the patent?

    If you are part of a team who gets the patent? It seems to me only logical that the entity that commissioned the work, invested the resources and made it happen ie the company should own the patent.

    As for the education system. Correct me if I am wrong but this guy who is now holder of a nobel prize is the product of that education system.... There seems to be a serious axe to grind there with a feeling that he didn't get his due and I think he is drawing a very long bow.

    • Re:Hang on WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Feral Nerd ( 3929873 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @04:37AM (#48854603)

      He created the work while employed by someone. That someone provided him with all the equipment and capabilities to do the research why the hell should he be awarded the patent?

      If you are part of a team who gets the patent? It seems to me only logical that the entity that commissioned the work, invested the resources and made it happen ie the company should own the patent.

      As for the education system. Correct me if I am wrong but this guy who is now holder of a nobel prize is the product of that education system.... There seems to be a serious axe to grind there with a feeling that he didn't get his due and I think he is drawing a very long bow.

      I dunno... because he was the source of innovation? If you have a valuable employee whose abilities are responsible is generating a substantial portion of your company's revenues you might want to keep him happy and employed with you. Treating him/her like shit, paying him/her worse than shit while you go off buying yachts, villas, luxury cars and renting top range hookers with all the money you earned through your hard work will probably result in that employee leaving your company and going somewhere else to another company who offers superior compensation and a share in the profits. Now there are two ways to pervent this, you can:

      (1) Not treat your valued employee like shit and outbid your competitors to keep the employee from leaving (that's the theoreticalcapitalist way) or
      (2) you could do what many companies in the western world to, you could lobby for legislation that restricts worker's rights, seek to get government to ban empoyees from organizing, and try to force your employees to sign contracts with 'anti competition clauses' in them that are usually found to be unconstutional though fortunately (from the managers point of view) this normally only happens after a prolonged legal battle that employees as a rule can't afford.

      If you are part of a team that is awarded a patent pretty much the same applies. Employees should award teams that generate alot of revenue for the company with a share in the profits. Otherwise the employees should be free to leave.

      • Re:Hang on WTF? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Harlequin80 ( 1671040 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @07:55AM (#48855013)

        And he was free to leave. In fact he did leave.

        As for being the source of the innovation, there is no question that he is a brilliant scientist. But there are lots of brilliant scientists. If another had been given the same job as him there is nothing to say they wouldn't have been the one to have come up with blue leds.

        In the end he signed an agreement to trade his time and expertise for a set figure, his salary. After the agreement, because his particular work was more successful than expected, he wants a bigger share.

        If you leave your company I assume that you know you don't get to take all the intellectual property you have been working on with you. Whether you are a scientist building blue leds, a programmer writing a phone app, or a sales monkey with a list of clients. That IP belongs to your employer.

        • Re:Hang on WTF? (Score:5, Informative)

          by Antique Geekmeister ( 740220 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @08:41AM (#48855139)

          > As for being the source of the innovation, there is no question that he is a brilliant scientist. But there are lots of brilliant scientists. If another had been given the same job as him there is nothing to say they wouldn't have been the one to have come up with blue leds.

          Anyone who knows the field would say so. Other colors for LED's were a long sought goal at the time, and the new technologies required several genuine developments and insights. When told to stop working on it at his company, he continued the research on his own, with materials he paid for out of his own salary. His was a classic case of a dedicated scientist completing a tack considered too difficult by his superiors.

        • Re:Hang on WTF? (Score:5, Informative)

          by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <mojo&world3,net> on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @09:09AM (#48855231) Homepage Journal

          Clearly in this case the court disagrees with you, and I'll try to explain why. From TFA:

          "Nakamura, who held only a master's degree and was toiling practically on his own at a small specialty chemical manufacturer in rural Shikoku, cracked the fabrication challenges to get a bright blue LED that was commercially viable."

          So he did a lot of the work on his own time and with his own company. More over, in Japan, like many counties, "you are free to leave" is not an excuse for bad working conditions or contracts. Courts can and do decide that things are unfair, even if you agreed to them at the time.

          In Japan patents are awarded to individuals. Employment contracts can stipulate that things invented at work have to be turned over to the company, but they can only do so within the bounds of contract law. In this case since Nakamura put in a lot of work and money on his own to develop a commercially viable fabrication method for blue LEDs it doesn't matter that the contract says the people he was working for own everything he patents, because he was not compensated for that work and the law says that he must be.

    • Re:Hang on WTF? (Score:5, Informative)

      by trptrp ( 2041816 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @05:28AM (#48854699)

      It seems to me only logical that the entity that commissioned the work, invested the resources and made it happen ie the company should own the patent.

      What you're proposing sounds like zero incentive to invent while being employed. Doesn't make much sense psychologically.

      $8 Million is quite low if you know what this guy's invention stimulated across various fields

      I think just is if one agrees with the employer about a certain split ratio when signing for the job. It seems that here in Germany while employed at a university the inventor is entitled to 30% of the revenue achieved by commercialization.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Exactly - the split when you sign on for the job. He signed on for a job, collected a salary, did his job. Congrats he built something cool.

        You don't get to renegotiate afterwards. Your incentive to do stuff at work is your salary. If you are writing code for a living you will create new things ever day to solve the problem you encounter. That is inventing. If you are a researcher then you are paid to invent stuff. You signed on for the job. I don't hear anyone saying that a researcher should have t

        • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @09:21AM (#48855291)

          You don't get to renegotiate afterwards. Your incentive to do stuff at work is your salary.

          Why not? If you have the bargaining position to negotiate a better deal after the fact why shouldn't you? Some naive sense of obligation or fairness to a company that doesn't reciprocate? Don't be absurd. Some work cannot be done without having the resources of a company behind you and no one ever knows if they are going to create something really valuable ahead of time. Maybe the guy was in a tough situation when he was first employed and wasn't in a position to walk away despite some odious contractual terms. If the guy has the ability to get paid for the full value of his work then he should seek to do so.

          I run a company and if someone were to unexpectedly create something that benefited the company greatly, I'd be a selfish prick to not share substantially of the rewards with that person. It doesn't mean the company has to hand over all the benefits but sharing a substantial percent of the rewards with an inventor is quite fair.

          If you are writing code for a living you will create new things ever day to solve the problem you encounter.

          That doesn't mean every problem you solve will be worth millions to the company. This guy did something FAR beyond the expected value of his services and it's not unreasonable for him to ask to be compensated accordingly even after the fact. While the company doesn't legally have to do anything, it doesn't follow that they shouldn't make sure the guy is well compensated for his efforts.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tburkhol ( 121842 )

        It seems to me only logical that the entity that commissioned the work, invested the resources and made it happen ie the company should own the patent.

        What you're proposing sounds like zero incentive to invent while being employed. Doesn't make much sense psychologically.

        The guy was paid to invent stuff. It's not like he was a cashier or even a QA engineer who just happened across LED technology in his spare time. His employer gave him a salary, a staff, and a bunch of fancy equipment to play with, and (presumably) instructions somewhere between "make something cool" and "make us a blue LED." If he hadn't invented anything, he would (again, presumably) have been fired for failure.

        Certainly, a rational company should offer some reward to their successful R&D teams. S

        • You don't get it. He worked for a company which did fluorescent light coatings. He decided to do advanced LED research on his own, against his superiors advice, who told him he could only do it in his own time and not using any company working time. They did allow him to use company equipment to conduct his research but he had to do it on his own time.

          So yes he used company equipment but he did it outside regular working hours.

          • Also from what I heard he worked for himself for a long time and only after he produced some results did he get a team to work on it. From what I understand he only expected a promotion and a better salary out of it. But the thing is they increased his responsibilities a lot made him head of a research team and while his company earned billions his career did not advance in any meaningful way neither in terms of salary nor rank. So he got tired and left.

      • by Rich0 ( 548339 )

        What you're proposing sounds like zero incentive to invent while being employed. Doesn't make much sense psychologically.

        Your incentive to invent while being employed is staying employed. Companies fund R&D so that they can profit from the discoveries.

        Suppose you work hard on something but it doesn't work out. Should the company be able to take your house from you to cover their losses? Of course not!

        That is the difference between an investor and an employee. An investor puts money into a company and it is at risk. An employee receives money from a company and it isn't at risk. The employee gets a steady paycheck.

        • Your incentive to invent while being employed is staying employed. Companies fund R&D so that they can profit from the discoveries.

          That doesn't mean the company cannot share a portion of the profits from those discoveries with the people who made them possible. It is hardly unreasonable to throw a big fat bonus at someone who creates a technology that generates millions in profits for the company. It's no different than paying a big commission check to a sales person who lands a big account. It rewards success and helps motivate other employees by showing them than they will benefit directly by creating something valuable. Would yo

          • by Rich0 ( 548339 )

            Your incentive to invent while being employed is staying employed. Companies fund R&D so that they can profit from the discoveries.

            That doesn't mean the company cannot share a portion of the profits from those discoveries with the people who made them possible.

            Sure, but you're thinking a bit narrowly.

            Suppose you hire 100 engineers and have them work 40 hours per week on 10 projects with 10 engineers per project.

            All 100 work hard. 9/10 projects fail and make no money. The last project makes a huge fortune.

            The company owners take the loss on the 9/10 projects that failed. They make a big profit on the 1/10 projects that succeed. All 100 engineers get a steady salary so they get no risk/reward either way.

            Sure, it is customary to give a modest bonus/etc to those

            • Sure, it is customary to give a modest bonus/etc to those who succeed, but if all 100 engineers worked equally hard but most were just unlucky to be on the project that didn't work out, does it make sense to compensate the 10 on the successful project so much more? They all did what the

              You are presuming that the engineers have no control over the success or failure of the project or that they have no role in determining the course of the project. You need to think of the engineer as more of an independent contractor rather than a salaried employee. It's the responsibility of the engineer to figure out whether they think they can create a valuable product or whether they are wasting their time. Fail fast if necessary. Find another company if this one is a dead end. A salesman can't se

        • Suppose you work hard on something but it doesn't work out. Should the company be able to take your house from you to cover their losses? Of course not!

          But you do lose your house. You'll get fired for failure, fail to pay mortgage, and the bank takes the house.

          The employees are already forced to share the risks. There is no option to just do your job and not worry about being fired. If anything, employees have more risk than companies which, after all, are too big to be allowed to fail. But your sorry ass

          • by Rich0 ( 548339 )

            Employees are at risk of no longer earning income. Entrepreneurs are at risk of losing money they SPENT on the business. There is a key difference.

            However, I do agree with most of what you said and there does need to be a balance. I just don't think the solution to a broken patent system is either abolishing it entirely or breaking it in an entirely different way.

            Reduce patent terms and make them domain-specific. Ditto for copyright. Maintain ownership of each the way they are today (work for hire and

    • Re:Hang on WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by trenien ( 974611 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @06:39AM (#48854825)
      The situation is somewhat incompletely described.

      What actually happened was that the guy invented said blue led (on a standard engineer salary), which pretty quickly allowed his company to rake in tens of millions. When he politely complained that the invention which made them huge profits had earned him exactly nothing, his boss basicaly said:

      "Oh, that's right. Here is a $300 bonus. Have fun at the bar!"

      The problem he is complaining about when he talks about education is probably linked to the pyramidal hierarchy that's ingrained in Japanese people from kindergarten : whatever you do, the group leader is at the forefront. In research, that basically means a department director is the first credited for any discovery, except if he is generous enough to allow whoever did the actual work be awarded the authorship. Considering this also works in case of problems (the one in charge is the one taking the blame), you could say it is a game of give and take.

      However in this case the profit only accrued to the boss/owners (I don't know whether the company was privately owned or not), with pretty much nothing for the guy at the source of it all. That's a breach of the unwritten rules of Japanese social interactions, but standard workings of Japanese society would have had him take it and shut up, too bad form him that his higher-ups were dicks. He decided he wouldn't.

    • That someone provided him with all the equipment and capabilities to do the research why the hell should he be awarded the patent?

      And herein lies the great virtue and vice of capitalism: the assignment of profits to the owner of capital, rather than the one who made the capital useful.

      It doesn't have anything to do with fairness - it's just the way capitalism is set up. There are many good and bad things with this setup; most of the good came about during the time of physical wealth; most of the bad is sho

      • And herein lies the great virtue and vice of capitalism: the assignment of profits to the owner of capital, rather than the one who made the capital useful.

        Close but I don't think that is quite correct. Capitalism rewards control of resources necessary to utilize capital, of which capital ownership itself is merely one. Things like client relationships, product development, labor availability, and the like all can make or break whether capital can be employed productively to generate profits.

        Sales people tend to be well compensated because they generate capital and they have historically structured their compensation (via commissions) to participate in the u

    • by Kagato ( 116051 )

      There's a bit of a difference. He now resides in California where the company would be required to spell out IP assignment in an employment contract. It's not uncommon for those contracts to spell out a profit sharing agreement to entice additional development. It's not uncommon for these guys to be serial inventors with many patents to their name. In some states, lack of spelling it out means the employee is free to keep the patent and the company would simple have non-transferable royalty free rights.

      T

    • Things may be different in Japan, but you do not understand how this works in the US. Investment in research doesn't mean you own the work.

      Having a solid IP assignment agreement with a scientist and a strong cultural and political expectation of ownership is what determines who owns IP. Without a legal IP assignment contract (wording which has survived a court challenge, and an agreement in which both parties benefit - this is where investment comes in), the work IS owned by the inventor.

      In terms of invest

  • America is worse. (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @04:10AM (#48854551)

    This is just idiotic. In America if you're work for hire the company owns your patents unless you invent them on your own time using your own resources. He's a damned fool, in America he wouldn't have gotten a cent if he'd tried to sue his employer for royalties unless his contract expressly granted royalties.

    • America is worse. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Antique Geekmeister ( 740220 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @08:47AM (#48855161)

      I'm afraid you need to look up his case. His employers said "stop" and ended the funding, especially of technician time and equipment. He then completed the work on his own time, out of his own salary, with equipment and materials he bought. The company did wind up owning the patent. But this is a case where the inventor did, indeed, act as a dedicated scientist and engineer, not merely as an employee under managerial direction.

  • The dude didn't happen to work for Serano Genomics, perchance?

  • That if you are getting a salary while doing this research, then unless you signed a clause in your contract upon being hired, should be going to the corporation.

    You basically whored out your "inventivness" to them.....If the company can't sue you to to recoup the money it spent paying you if you develop nothing of value, you should basically not expect a % of something of value.

    Like everything else in life, the more risk you take, the better the reward if you succeed.

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