Flash inventor seeks payday

March 3, 2004 – Former Toshiba Corp. engineer Fujio Masuoka has filed a suit in the Tokyo District Court seeking 1 billion yen ($9.2 million) from his former employer for his contributions toward the creation of flash memory.

Masuoka claims Toshiba has hauled in 20 billion yen since the 1980s from transferals of patent rights to flash memory, now a ubiquitous technology in digital consumer devices including digital cameras, memory cards, and cell phones.

It’s the most recent patent-related suits brought before the court, which one month ago handed out the largest-ever amount (20 billion yen) awarded in Japan for patent rights related to blue LED technology.


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