The Intellectual Property High Court of Japan issued a judgment today in the appellate court review of the suit filed by a former Canon employee demanding payment of 1 billion yen as part of reasonable remuneration for an employee invention made while employed by the company. The appellate court has ordered Canon to pay the former employee approximately 69.56 million yen (reasonable remuneration of 56.26 million yen and interest on same), rejecting the company's claim that reasonable remuneration had already been paid in accordance with Article 35 of the Japan Patent Law.
Canon's company rules regarding inventions, which depend on the union contract, were established and revised through joint consultations between the company's labor and management. These company rules, based on clear standards to enable the fair evaluation of inventions, preceded Article 35 of the Japan Patent Law revised in 2004, introducing the intent of the law prior to its revision. Canon finds it truly regrettable that the appellate court rejected the company's claim throughout the proceedings that reasonable remuneration for the employee invention had been paid in accordance with these company rules.
Canon will determine any future responses after examining the court's judgment.