- that the patent is of "outstanding benefit to the employer"; and if so
- that it "is just" that he should be awarded compensation.
Once these requirements are fulfilled, the employee should receive such a fair share of the benefit the employer has derived, or may be expected to derive from the patent or the invention. The case was brought in the UKIPO which, together with the courts, has jurisdiction to hear cases relating to employee compensation. After a marathon nine day hearing at the UKIPO, including three expert witnesses, the Hearing Officer decided that:
1. the benefit of the patents to Unilever was £24.5m;
2. the benefit was not outstanding;
3. had the benefit been outstanding, Professor Shanks' fair share would be 5%.
Professor Shanks appealed the second and third point above; Unilever appealed against the first and third point. Many issues were thrown up by the parties in support of their respective appeals. Click here for the full commentary.