Separately, of the Shuji Nakamura/Nichia flap over patents to blue light emitting diodes [LEDs], please see http://nesr.esci-va.com/materials/gan/maruska_story.asp. [from Just The Facts, Ma'am, Intellectual Property Today, Jan. 2003 on the failure of RCA to capitalize on its work on the blue LED]
Nichia Corp., a closely held Japanese chemical company, agreed to pay about 840 million yen ($8 million) to former employee Shuji Nakamura as settlement in a dispute over the patent for blue light-emitting diodes.
The company said it will pay Nakamura, now a professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara, for his contribution to development of the diode.
The settlement is the largest in Japan for an employee's invention and prompted companies to reassess reward systems, according to Kyodo News. Nichia originally paid 20,000 yen to Nakamura for the invention, announced in 1990, Kyodo said.
The Tokyo High Court mediated the settlement after the Tokyo District Court last year ordered the company to pay 20 billion yen. The district court ruled the development to be worth about 60 billion yen.
Nakamura said he is not satisfied with the settlement, though he accepted it on the advice of his lawyers, Kyodo reported. He left the company in 1999, Kyodo said.