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(From The Yomiuri Shimbun/Daily Yomiuri)
Industry shaken by patent decision
Keizo Matsuzaki Yomiuri Shimbun Staff Writer
The Tokyo District Court's ruling Friday ordering a firm to pay 20 billion yen to a former employee who invented a key semiconductor technology sent shock waves throughout Japan's industrial companies.
The day before, the Tokyo High Court ordered Hitachi Ltd. to pay 165 million yen to a former employee for his inventions, about 4.4 times the amount ordered by a lower court. In lawsuits over patent rights, courts have increasingly awarded inventors compensation for the transfer of patent rights.