through Internet Information
by Yasuharu Dando
Large amount judgment of invention countervalue projects Japanese corporate society.
(April 2004)(Japanese edition:11/MAR/2004)
Shuji Nakamura who is the developer of Blue Light Emitting Diode and the professor of the U.S. University of California Santa Barbara school have obtained judgment of the invention countervalue of 20 billion yen to NICHIA Corporation (Anan-shi, Tokushima) where he was working before. Furthermore, there has been two judgments which permit HITACHI the invention countervalue of 162 million yen with the reading technology of optical disc, and AJINOMOTO 189 million yen with artificial sweetening aspartame. Someone who look at only the size of a frame applaud, and science-and-engineering talented people are glad with a fair wind, others cry for the crisis of research and development in Japan .... I think that these are very partial and something is different. What influence does it have in fact?
These trial results are inevitable.
Although I was also thrilled in the news which tell large amount of 20 billion yen for a moment, if progress of the trial is known, it will be turned out that it cannot but become like this. The judge has only chosen giving a decision like this.
It is clear to anyone's eye that NICHIA have risen in the world from the obscure country company by technical monopoly of Blue Light Emitting Diode. NICHIA's sales of 180 billion yen became the about 10 times as many sales of ten years ago and has 3000 employees' scale at 2003. Nevertheless, NICHIA submits a audit corporation's written statement of an expert opinion in the trial. "If the profit and loss brought to the defendant company with the patent related product are calculated, the patent has brought 1,490 million yen loss" was developed.
No less than 1,400 million yen, not to mention large profits, were lost. Why does it become like this? "The object of profits distribution is not mere profits but the profits which finally remained to the company" was claimed and making the foundation of calculation into the after-tax current income instead of after-tax operating profit.
On the other hand, with the opinion of a complainant, the excess profit frame was estimated at 265,243 million yen by 2010 when the patent will go out.
The wrong thing "The judge who is not a specialist understands nothing" was in criticism after judgment. To be sure, a judge is not a specialist. Therefore, the contents which a complainant and a defendant assert are heard firmly, one is chosen from the choice put in order, and it is adopted as judgment. Selfish creation is not carried out. The judgment is described like this. "Although a defendant company will not take out profits but will issue 1,400 million yen or more loss conversely, it is widely different too much with the actual condition, and it cannot trust it."
When also issuing a main subject and another more proper calculation, saying "Such views also exist although considered so", the judge may have ridden on it. In this case, the foolishness of the defendant opinion has helped the complainant, with an emotioned bias.
A lawsuit of HITACHI is a review by an appellate court on an appeal, and payment of 34 million yen was accepted in the first trial. The profits by the overseas patent which was not accepted in the first trial were also only included in the object, and an inventor's contribution makes them 14% this time as well as the first trial. Now a global spread of an optical disc is seen, there is no wonder.
Although the AJINOMOTO lawsuit 100 million was also exceeded, it was small authorization compared with the complainant opinion. About 30 billion yen profits were produced, inventor's contribution was made into 83%, and 24,700 million yen presupposed that it is an invention countervalue, and charged 2 billion of yen of it. On the other hand, the produced profits 7,900 million yen, his contribution 2.5% were recognized in the judgment.
Both judgments are reasonable. In the case of NICHIA, the development of fighting alone is carried out under the environment where a president command of a research stop is issued, and it is making sure the case which the judge cannot generalize. "Nakamura's contribution 50%" is authorization specially. The investment risk by the company side is thought in the estimated process of contribution.
Science-and-engineering talented people are unfortunate in Japan.
Professor Nakamura insists that he has received only 20,000 yen as compensation, but it differs from the talk which I heard. When he retired, it is heard that he had a higher annual income for research worker of a country company. However, even if it accumulates, it is the compensation of real the order of 1 million yen, and technical monopoly of Blue Light Emitting Diode is not balanced.
In March, Professor Tohoku University, Fujio Masuoka, who developed the semiconductor flash memory in TOSHIBA asked for the countervalue of invention too, and he caused the payment lawsuit of 1 billion yen to the Tokyo District Court. 20 billion yen profits and contribution were made into 20%, and charged a part of invention countervalue of 4 billion yen. Otherwise, the lawsuit of about 100 million yen is disputing, and a flow is being made.
Professor Masuoka's interview is carried by newspaper Asahi Shimbun, and the background of presenting a case to the court is told. His first wish is to carry out just evaluation to a researcher. "Although I became research institute length in TOSHIBA, I was likely to be sent to the sinecure which has no research cost and no subordinate. Therefore, even if the salary decreased, I moved from TOSHIBA to the university to continue research." An incentive system "it is the impression of the rule which raises a prize only having been fixed, and being. It is not the system which prized the researcher in the true meaning." Although Professor Nakamura does not have any invitation from a domestic university and he was set about to the university in the U.S., it is thought that there is a common feeling with Professor Masuoka.
Compared with talented people of liberal arts, the university graduate person of science-and-engineering department is made unfortunate in respect of a salary in Japanese society. Although they thought "I am doing favorite research", when the conspicuous results are achieved, may any appropriate way of dealing be? It is unbearable if it makes do with the compensation money system of a formal amount of money. A series of invention countervalue lawsuits have the side of the objection from science-and-engineering talented people, especially researcher.
Through inernet-research I investigated about the remuneration gap of science-and-engineering and liberal arts. "Job invention system seen from the researcher (inventor) side" (Professor University of Tokyo Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, Toshiya Watabe) tells "The whole life wages of liberal arts is 436 million yen, same of science-and-engineering is 384 million yen". There is 50 million yen difference.
Although 50 million yen is equivalent to the price for one house in Japan, it is hard to realize in a sense. "Search about data"(Sophia Univercity department-of-economics Dejima laboratory) introduces various job salary comparison with the monthly amount base as follows. Original source is "Result of the private sector salary survey classified by occupational description " by the National Personnel Authority 1997.
If a bonus is included, this difference will be expanded considerably. The large sum bonus has come out in the financial industry and trading companies till recently, it did not become as compared with the bonus of a manufacturing industry. Moreover, in fact, it is turned out also in science-and-engineering work that the research work is in a low position relatively. From above table we can read that engineering section chiefs and the factory managers of a wage base are higher than research section chief.
As a reaction from the industrial world to a series of judgment, Japan Intellectual Property Association which makes a member 800 or more major companies announced "The countervalue to job invention". "NICHIA and HITACHI both judgments admits a surprising amount of money, and may give trouble to corporate activity. We should revise immediately Article 35 of patent law which gives the basis which produces such judgment that the basic idea of an economic activity should be respected.
Moreover, it says "Both judgments interpreted Article 35 of patent law under the outdated formal logic isolated from the actual condition of corporate management, and deny the main object of industrial method slack patent law. We cannot admit it from social justice. There is a motion which carries out increase or maximum abolition about the payment frame of the compensation to an inventor in companies. This is grant of the incentive as a bonus to an inventor, and is different from the character as compensation."
The opinion is only intense, but there is no language of the reflection for which a researcher was not prized anywhere. If it breaks in so far, the nerve by the side of a researcher will just be rubbed the wrong way.
Although a large amount claim like Japan is not generated since the company in the U.S. is a contract principle, researchers are favorably treated so that a complaint may not come out in practice by the selection in respect of personnel affairs, or grant of a stock option. The head temple of the intellectual property rights which should know such these situation just increases a confrontation mood between researcher and companies. There was a pro-baseball player who said "the supervisor is foolish" and resigned. Researchers said "Since a Japanese corporate management person cannot estimate technical worth", and have presented a case to the court. Now, we have to notice that just evaluation to a researcher is indispensable to growth and continuation of a company.
I will introduce a example of failure in evaluation. It is the development of the strongest neodymium magnet which made MRI(Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging equipment) possible without superconductivity. The idea was produced at the FUJITSU research institute. Since a superior official did not permit research, the inventor resigns a job and appears in external. Since he was a managerial position, just before resignation, it was isolated from in-house information for a while, and the period of "just keeping a person on the payroll" was prepared. The near route can be seen by the research done this free period. It is said that the development research being done in Japanese companies is inefficient-like compared with European and American companies.
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