Monday, 23 February 2009

Employee inventor compensation: an expensive pastime?

This is just a quick post on Kelly and another v GE Healthcare Ltd [2009] EWHC 181 (Pat), a Patents Court for England and Wales decision of Mr Justice Floyd on 11 February. This case has attracted some publicity (see eg here) since this is the first case in which employee inventors in the UK have been awarded compensation in respect of the outstanding benefits which their employer derived from the patent resulting from their invention.

Of note to readers of the IP Finance blog is that the hearing occupied nine days in court and that a very large proportion of the carefully-phrased judgment was given over to establishing (i) the quantum of the benefit the employer which the employer could be said to have derived from the patent and (ii) that amount that it was just that the employee inventors should receive. The judge reviewed various methodologies that might be deployed in seeking to establish the relevant quantum and explained the basis for his preferences. All in all, it was a most instructive -- if expensive -- exercise.  Part of the problem is that the financial records of trading companies do not relate, and can hardly be expected to relate, to the specific IP rights from which revenue streams or other advantages are derived. This means that the compensation exercise will always have a strongly forensic flavour about it, and it will always be likely to generate expensive and complex arguments.  It would be good to match the sums received by the employee inventors (in this case £1 million and £500,000 respectively) against the cost of bringing the case to court and establishing their entitlement to receive it.

2 comments:

commercial real estate said...

"It would be good to match the sums received by the employee inventors (in this case £1 million and £500,000 respectively) against the cost of bringing the case to court and establishing their entitlement to receive it."

yeah i agree with this, they should grant that than doing those things...

Search Engine Marketing said...

Search engine optimization (SEO) must be considered a vital aspect of any Internet marketing approach.