Get 1 email per week with industry news and tips for growing your business

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form. Please reload the page and try again or email us at hello@mighty.com

Plaintiff Finance

Why It Pays to Be Patient

July 27, 2015
-
3min read

On October 7, 2014,  the Nobel Prize in Physics went to Shuji Nakamura and two other physicists who unlocked the secret to high-brightness blue light emitting diodes. This discovery was revolutionary in its own right, and is more noteworthy still because it facilitated the invention of white LEDs. Blue LEDs spurred the development of brighter billboards, traffic signals, and the blue lasers used in DVDs, among countless other technologies; white LEDs, meanwhile, are used in energy-saving incandescent bulbs.

At the time of the discovery in the early 90's he was an inventor working for Japan's Nichia Corporation. For his excellent work, his employer awarded him the grand sum of 20,000 yen, or $200.

Unfortunately, this is all too common: large corporations, and other entities with deep pockets, thinking their judgement alone is all that matters. And much of the time, it is, since few people have the financial means or patience to challenge it.  But this time, Nakamura did. In 2001 he sued Nichia, which was ordered to pay him 20 billion yen, or nearly $200 million in restitution.

‍That's a lot of cheddar!

It was a well-deserved victory; of course Nichia appealed it. The appellate court reduced the original restitutions to 840 million yen - $8.1 million. In 2005, after a long battle, Nakamura reluctantly agreed to the settlement. At the time, it was the largest bonus a Japanese company had ever awarded its employee; it was also far less than he deserved.

When a huge company takes advantage of an individual person, there's no easy solution. When it comes to intellectual property in particular, the fight for justice can take years - but Nobel laureate ShujiNakamura is living proof that patience pays off. 

Shuji Nakamura: inventor, plaintiff, modern Prometheus?

Photo credits: tudedude, geraldbrazell via Compfight; J.P. Lon, Wurzeller. karaage831.

Get 1 email per week with industry news and tips for growing your business

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form. Please reload the page and try again or email us at hello@mighty.com

Download the free Legal Funder’s Handbook

Close

Legal Funder’s Handbook

Get over 100 proven tips to supercharge your funding business today

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form. Please reload the page and try again or email us at hello@mighty.com