On November 16, 2020, the Russian government approved new rules increasing the rates of remuneration employers must pay employees for their inventions, utility models and industrial designs (the “Rules”).  The Rules will be effective from January 1, 2021 until January 1, 2027.

Employers’ Rights to Their Employees’ Patentable Objects and Employees’ Entitlement to Remuneration

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An in-house patent attorney who protested that his employer knowingly assigned a $50 million value to acquire patents alleged to be worthless could not link his discharge to whistleblower activity protected by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Affirming dismissal in Vodopia v. Koninklijke Philips Electronics, N.V., et al., the Second Circuit Court of Appeals observed that: (1) the complaint clearly centered on the plaintiff’s concern that the patents were invalid, not on the value the company assigned to them; and (2) the complaint did not allege that the $50 million value assigned to those patents was ever reported to the public or to shareholders.

Sarbanes-Oxley Section 806 makes it unlawful for an employer to take an unfavorable personnel action by discharging, or in any other manner discriminating against, an employee in the terms or conditions of employment because of any lawful act done by the employee to provide information or otherwise assist in an investigation regarding any conduct which the employee reasonably believes constitutes a violation of certain enumerated federal laws. 


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