The Tokyo District Court on Thursday acknowledged Nichia Corp.'s ownership of the patent for a key semiconductor device, rejecting a suit filed by the inventor, now a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

But the court recognized that Shuji Nakamura, 48, is eligible for a reward for his invention, and the trial will continue in order to settle the amount the firm should pay.

Nakamura developed the blue light-emitting diode while employed as an engineer for Nichia, a small company based in Anan, Tokushima Prefecture. He filed a lawsuit on Aug. 23 last year seeking monetary compensation and recognition that the patent for the semiconductor device belongs to him.