Some Clarity On Inventor-Employee Compensation In The UK

Law360 (January 2, 2020, 4:48 PM EST) -- In a recent landmark ruling, the U.K. Supreme Court overturned the decisions of three lower tribunals and courts and awarded an inventor (professor Ian Shanks) compensation of £2 million from his employer (Unilever PLC) in relation to a patent protecting diabetic sensors. 

In making this award, the Supreme Court has swept away a perceived rule that some employers are simply too big to pay inventor compensation under the U.K.’s statutory compensation provisions. We provide an analysis of the case below.

The Law

The starting point under English law is that the legal rights in inventions created by employees in the course...

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